Here are two stories about "giving" that we're collecting from readers and publishing this week. To find out more or submit your own >> click here.
I grew up in eastern Pennsylvania, in an area just south of the rusting mining areas. Our community was hit hard by steel and manufacturing layoffs in the '80s. As frequently happens in times of hardship and economic struggle, the local chapter of the KKK gained some attention. A neighbor in our rural area was purportedly a Grand Dragon or some such muckity muck....
One December, graffiti appeared on the support columns of a highway overpass, depicting a menacing hooded Klansmen and something about the KKK. It scared me every morning as I rode to school on the bus. The hooded face floated in my nightmares. On Christmas Eve, after my brother and I had fallen asleep, my parents went out in the dark and spraypainted over the graffiti, erasing it from view. Best gift ever.
This past summer, my 6-year-old daughter was invited to join her friend's family for a day at an amusement park and exhibition that rolls through Toronto every August. Her 8-year-old brother was pretty jealous--he was going to day camp (which, to him, was akin to an 8-hour jail sentence) while she would be riding roller coasters, eating mini donuts and playing games.
After dinner, she arrived home with a few extra freckles on her nose and an armload of goodies. "How was your day?" we asked her. She brushed past us and headed straight for her brother.
"Look what I got for you--caramel popcorn!" she cried, pressing the bag toward him.
Then she held out two stuffed animals and asked him to choose his favourite. "I kept winning at this game," she told us. "And the man said I could choose one of those BIG toys or two of these. I chose these so I could give one to you."
He smiled. She smiled. I sobbed!
She may be small but she's always had a big heart.
(Painting by Sebastian Stoskopff via Ancient Industries)
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