Words Can Heal

 

The Greatest Gift My Dad Ever Gave Me


“I would like to share a story about the greatest gift my Dad ever gave me. Over ten years ago my Mom and Dad and one of my brothers jumped into their car to drive across the country to visit my brother and his family in California, where he was stationed in the military.

My Father went into a truck stop somewhere in Texas on Christmas Eve and saw a somewhat sad man sitting at the counter. In talking with the man, my father found out that he was on his way home for Christmas, but was somewhat strapped due to his job not panning out, and it was hard to go home empty handed. My dad proceeded to the truck stop store, purchased some wonderful stuffed animals from Santa, and told him to go home now. My parents were driving because they couldn't afford to fly, but that didn't prevent my Father from doing the little thing that made a difference for so many lives, including mine.

Also, when I was growing up, every Thanksgiving we had strange men of every nationality at our table. My Dad and Mom would go to the military base and invite the ones who couldn't get home or had no family. This was during the Vietnam War. I can't remember many of the Christmas or Birthday presents from over the years, but I proudly remember my parents’ caring concern for strangers, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice.

I also remember making a disparaging remark about Russians when anti-Communism was at a high. I remember my Father saying, ‘Be thankful that we don't have the problems that the families there do. They’re just people trying their best in the situation that they are in.’

It's amazing what sticks with you. It's definitely not the material stuff.”

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