A Touching Tale of Love for the Holidays
My father died on Christmas Eve of a sudden heart attack when I was young. And 18 years ago, Beverly and I buried our son, Captain Todd Wahl, six weeks before Christmas. Perhaps those life-changing events are why I was originally drawn to tell this story many years ago when we lived in Chicago. I hope its message rings as clear and dear to you as it does to me.
Have you ever noticed how many heart-felt holiday stories seem to start with a tragedy? This one is no different. There was a very poor family whose father worked very hard just to keep food on the table for himself and his daughter. You see, the little girl’s mother had passed away a few years earlier. Her death left this father a bitter man and he faced many challenges raising his daughter. One particular year a few days before Christmas, the father punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.
As money was tight, he became even more upset when on, Christmas Eve, he saw that she had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He was also concerned about how she got the money to buy what was in the shoebox.
Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!”
As he took the box from his little girl’s hands, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.
But when he opened the shoe box, he found it was empty and again his frustration flared. “Don’t you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside the package!”
The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full.”
Her father was crushed. He fell on his knees with tears in his eyes and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.
A few months later, more tragedy struck, and the little girl died of pneumonia. Her father kept the little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of his beautiful child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends, and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
This holiday season remember that you too have “a golden box of kisses” filled with the love of those who have touched your life. Be sure to let them know how much they mean to you…before it’s too late to do so.
Beverly, Dr. Aaron Wahl, and I want you to know just how much your trust in us and in St Louis Allergy Relief Center means to each of us.
You make our lives more meaningful. Thank you and Happy Holidays.
For every Like and Share of this blog, we will donate to Operation Food Search in memory of our son Captain Todd Wahl. Sharing is caring.