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Friday, September 20, 2013

It's About Time 5...

Lessons Learned…

Time 5


Twenty four hours. Not really that long. Unless you’re alone and it’s Christmas Eve.  Mr. Klinghammer was a recent widower whose wife of seventy years had passed quietly in her sleep. The aching, gaping hole in his heart caused by this excruciating loss was borne in silence but clearly evidenced in his sparkle-less eyes, his curved posture, and his faraway glances. Seventy Christmas Eves together and now alone was more than Mr. Klinghammer could take. We had a family tradition of inviting a guest to Christmas Eve dinner; always someone who was alone. This year we invited Mr. Klinghammer.  The dining room table was festively set, the traditional Christmas meal sent delicious swirls of aroma from room to room, and a small wrapped gift sat at Mr. Klinghammer’s place.  Dad went to get our guest, and, with our noses pressed to the front window, we awaited their arrival with great anticipation. We could hardly contain our excitement as Dad and our special guest walked in. Mr. Klinghammer was dressed to the nines in his suit and tie, but best of all was his big, broad smile, which remained throughout Christmas Eve dinner. We all had questions for our guest and listened intently as he shared stories about his rich, full, blessed life.  Time flew, dinner was almost incidental in light of the amazing conversation, and just as we were about to beg for another story, Mr. Klinghammer surprised and delighted us as he pulled a harmonica from his suit pocket. Mind if I play a couple of Christmas carols for you? Please, please do! Song after beautiful song. We listened with rapt attention, applauded, encouraged, sang along, and together basked in the loveliness of sharing this precious time, a gift beyond measure. To be continued...