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“With love to Mrs. Ries”

December 23, 2015

Jane Ries is a teacher who claims to be retired, but I’m still learning from her. An active member of our congregation, she has many talents and gifts. Several are evident in this piece, which she has graciously given me permission to share with you.

Some gifts are so special that you never forget them. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for those kids that perhaps “march to a different beat” or have a little bit of “Dennis the Menace” in them. This boy fit in both categories. He could be challenging at times, but he had a heart of gold, and I loved him for that.

During our Christmas party he came up to me with a grubby looking envelope. He proudly handed it to me with a flourish and said, “Here Mrs. Ries, this is for you!” I took the envelope from him and opened it. Inside was a Christmas card and he’d signed it “With love to Mrs. Ries”. Also inside it was a gift card to Walmart. I hugged him and said, “Oh how thoughtful! Did you use your own money for this?” He looked at me with those big eyes, freckled face, and missing front teeth and said, “What money? Walmart just has these sitting by the registers!”

Even now I still have my Walmart gift card with the gingerbread boy on it just so I can look at it and remember this sweet boy. Remember, if you can’t load a card with money, you can always load it with love.

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