Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow.
Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't own any and he didn't like
them anyway. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in
them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold.
Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already.
And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for
his mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought,
"This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have
any money to spend," Ever since his father had passed away
three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because
his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough.
She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was
earning could only be stretched so far. What the family lacked in
money and material things, they more than made up for in love
and family unity. Bobby had two older sisters and one younger
sister, who ran the house hold in their mother's absence. All
three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their
mother. Somehow it just wasn't fair.
Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.
Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and
started to walk down to the street where the shops and
stores were. It wasn't easy being six without a father,
especially when he needed a man to talk to. Bobby walked
from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window.
Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach.
It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to
walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of
the setting sun's rays reflecting off of something along the curb.
He reached down and discovered a shiny dime. Never before
has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment.
As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout
his entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His
excitement quickly turned cold when the salesperson told him
that he couldn't buy anything with only a dime. He saw a flower
shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner asked
if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he
could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift.
The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent offering.
Then he put his hand on Bobby's shoulder and said to him,
"You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for you."
As Bobby waited he looked at the beautiful flowers and even
though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked
flowers. The sound of the door closing as the last customer left
jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in the shop,
Bobby began to feel alone and afraid. Suddenly the shop owner
came out and moved to the counter. There, before Bobby's eyes,
lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny
white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby's
heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them
gently into a long white box. "That will be ten cents young man,"
the shop owner said reaching out his hand for the dime.
Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime.
Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing
for his dime! Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop
owner added, "I just happened to have some roses
on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"
This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man
placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true.
Walking out the door that the owner was holding for Bobby,
he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas, son."
As he returned inside, the shop keeper's wife walked out.
"Who were you talking to back there and where are the
roses you were fixing?" Staring out the window, and
blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied,
"A strange thing happened to me this morning.
While I was setting up things to open the shop,
I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside
a dozen of my best roses for a special gift.
I wasn't sure at the time whether I had lost my
mind or what, but I set them aside anyway.
Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy
came into the shop and wanted to buy a
flower for his mother with one small dime."
"When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago.
I too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother
a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew,
stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted
to give me ten dollars. "When I saw that little boy
tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put
together a dozen of my very best roses."
The shop owner and his wife
hugged each other tightly,
and as they stepped out
into the bitter
cold air, they
cold at all.