I was about to write a post about money… I was going to call it “Two Years Without A Whole Lotta Money..and What I Learned”…but Jody [The Brown Piglet] had just finished making these beautiful Valentine giftsand I remembered a Valentine story I read once. It took me a while to find it again but I loved the story and wanted to post it.. and it actually does have something to do with the story that I was going to write.
Because one of the most important things I’ve learned in these last couple years with very little money, is to appreciate the smallest things. I always thought that I did but not until almost everything was taken away did I really understand.
Understand and appreciate simple acts of kindness that might have gone unnoticed like a few days ago when I was paying my long overdue bill at the feed store. I was feeling embarrassed and guilty for being so late in paying and as I was waiting in line, a man I had never seen before, came up to me to let me know that I hadn’t put the cap back on my gas tank. He was very over weight and it was quite a long walk from the parking lot… just to let me know…who would bother or even notice..
So simple and yet he changed my mood, changed my day….from humiliation to happiness. I’ve been learning to be happy too..with very little.
So here’s the story and then my favorite film clip on paying it forward which is also related.
He was a shy little boy, not very popular with the other children in Grade One. As Valentine’s Day approached, his mother was delighted when he asked her one evening to sit down and write the names of all the children in his class so that he could make a Valentine for each. Slowly he remembered each name aloud, and his mother recorded them on a piece of paper. He worried endlessly for fear he would forget someone.
Armed with a book of Valentines to cut out, with scissors and crayons and paste, he plodded his conscientious way down the list. When each one was finished, his mother printed the name on a piece of paper and watched him laboriously copy it. As the pile of finished Valentines grew, so did his satisfaction.
About this time, his mother began to worry whether the other children would make Valentines for him. He hurried home so fast each afternoon to get on with this task, that it seemed likely the other children playing along the street would forget his existence altogether. How absolutely horrible if he went to the party armed with 37 tokens of love — and no one had remembered him! She wondered if there was some way she could sneak a few Valentines among those he was making so that he would be sure ofreceiving at least a few. But he watched his hoard so jealously, and counted them ever so lovingly,that there was no chance to slip in an extra. She assumed the mother’s most normal role of patient waiting.
The day the Valentine box finally arrived, and she watched him trudge of the snowy street, a box of heart-shaped cookies in one hand, a shopping bag clutched in the other with 37 neat tokens of his labor. She watched him with a burning heart. “Please, God, she prayed, let him get at-least a few!”
All afternoon her hands were busy here and there,but her heart was at the school. At half past three, she took her knitting and sat with studied coincidence in a chair that gave her a full view of the street.
Finally, he appeared alone. Her heart sank. Up the street he came, turning every once in a while to back up a few steps into the wind. She strained her eyes to see his face. At that distance it was just a rosy blur.
It was not until he turned in at the walk that she saw it — the one lone Valentine clutched in his little red mitt. Only one. After all his work. And from the teacher probably. The knitting blurred before her eyes. If only you could stand before your child and life! She laid down her work and walked to meet him at the door.
“What rosy cheeks!” she said. “Here let me untie your scarf. Were the cookies good?”
He turned toward her a face shining with happiness and complete fulfillment. “Do you know what?” he said.” I didn’t forget a one. Not a single one.