One of my favorite things to do since I was seventeen years old,(maybe it's because I couldn't have my own children,) although, I have always had a connection with the young and the elderly;but I love to go to orphanages at Christmas, or the Children's Wing at the hospital to drop off Christmas gifts, and just sit and visit. I think it stems from an experience I had while at a hospital, visiting my baby brother who had fallen off his bike, and had a bad concussion.
I had gone out to get him some juice, on heading back to his room, I noticed a little boy sitting on a bench in front of the window just looking out onto the grounds. I decided to sit down next to him and we began to chat.
I found out that he was actually an orphan who had just had surgery and he began telling me all about his life. He was an eight your old boy with the mind of a little old man. He was so wise for his age. He touched my heart. He was just so accepting of his circumstances.
Before I knew it the little bugger had slipped is arm around my shoulder. As we talked I allowed him to keep it there, as it seemed to make him feel more relaxed and comforted by the touch of human contact.
When it was time for me to go, I got up and thanked him for a lovely visit and told him he was a very special young man. As I turned my back to walk away, in the deepest Fat Albert voice ( I realized for my friends on the other side of the pond, I should explain that "Fat Albert" was a character, comedian Bill Cosby created, that was later turned into a cartoon for kids) I ever heard, he said, "Come here honey, honey come here."
I don't know what shocked me more, the tone of his voice, or the words themselves. He was so sincere, with those big Doe eyes, and that huge smile, that I still think of so often. It was so touching. He asked me if I could stay with him, I sat back down and explained that I had to get back to my brother, he looked in my eyes and said "I wish I could marry you." I thought I would lose it right there. My heart was breaking. It had only been a year since I had found out that I would never have children, and the whole experience really struck a chord in my soul.
The realization I would never have such a terrific little boy like him hit me hard all over again; but it was more than that, it was his desire to be loved so badly, and the fact that he felt so attached so fast, that was the final straw.
I gave him such a big hug as my eyes filled with tears. I wondered for many years if he ever got adopted. My Mom had said since he was older his chances were slim.
For the next couple of years I tried to go to Little Flower, (the name of the orphanage) during the holidays with my friends and bring Christmas gifts, but he was never there. I didn't think to ask him his last name.
What I can tell you is that little Jimmy was the first boy to break my heart; but had it not been for him, my desire to create a Christmas and Summer camp for
under- privileged children would not be number one on my bucket list.
It will be the first thing I do once my book and my writing really begins to take off.
I can't imagine not knowing what a real Christmas is like, I just love it so much, and no, not just for the presents. It's more about the spirit of Christmas, people's hearts just seem warmer, and the world seems to take a time out from the troubles that surround us. Somehow they seem to be put on hold; if people would only do that all year round.
My hope is that perhaps this holiday season, if you haven't experienced the smiles and appreciation of these children, not just for the gifts, but for the visit itself, you really should give it a go.
It really brings the meaning of Christmas to the front of you're heart, leaving you feeling just as thankful as the children. May you're Holiday Season be Healthy and Joyous. Have a great rest of the week Patricia©