“Hurry up, Mom.
At his rapid pace, my eight-year-old son would be the first to reach the store.
Which was likely a good thing as the owner had said, “Be here in 10 or I’m gone.”
I couldn’t blame him.
It was late afternoon Christmas Eve.
“Mom, come on.”
He’s outside the store door!
I’m running ahead.”
At 4:30 pm, I’d opened my oven to cook the pumpkin pie for Christmas Day, only to witness the aftermath of a white glow left in the wake of a dying oven coil.
There’d be no pie on Christmas Day.
Wait, there’d be no turkey.
Living alone, my mom looked forward not only to Christmas turkey dinner but to taking home a three day feasting of turkey and dressing afterwards.
My son’s first natural response to this crisis was, “Call Dad!”
But, driving our only car, he’d just arrived for his afternoon work shift.
As we all glumly reflected on Christmas without all the food trimmings, my ever-helpful son began jumping up and down with excitement.
“Mom, there’s oven stuff, right beside the bakery.”
Undoubtedly, any appliance store would already be closed, wouldn’t it?
Who’d work late on Christmas Eve?
Quickly scanning the yellow pages, I dialed the number and was ecstatic when someone answered.
“Yes, honey, I am leaving, right now!”
When he realized I wasn’t his wife, he informed me he was closed. I rushed in with my wretched tale before he could hang up.
“Okay, then, but be here in 10 or I’m gone.”
Ten minutes? Only 10 minutes to reach a store eight long blocks away.
It was too dark and dangerous to run alone. So, as I reached for my warm coat, gloves and running shoes, my young son simultaneously did the same.
As I ran, I was only too aware of the lack of streetlights in my area. No such worries filled my son’s head. We were on an adventure!
Panting hard, I finally reached the store’s door as the owner stood outside. Key ready to lock his door, he stood there, obviously bemused by my son ‘s insistence that he wait. The owner stared at me for a few moments before asking, “You the lady that called? “ Still struggling to regain my breath, I nodded.
Shaking his head, he said, “I’d have dropped it off for you if you’d told me you had no car. Let’s get your oven coil, and get you two home.”
That Christmas Day, we satisfied our appetites with a cooked turkey, with all the trimmings.
Thanks in no small part to a compassionate man who embodied the Christmas spirit of gifting good will to all.
(Photos from FB page, I love Christmas )