|News From The Domestic Church|
TIMMY A STORY OF LOVE AT CHRISTMAS TIME –by George W. Bonin Sr.
Many elderly Times readers can surely recall the TV presentation, “The Naked City”, which aired about 30 years ago. “There are 8 million stories in the Big Apple,” proclaimed the announcement at the start of the show. In Northern Plaza, where I now live, there are 100 apartments, and I would speculate there are thousands of stories untold with those apartments.
Ten years ago, it was a pleasure to share an intimate conversation with one of my old high school teachers, a delightful lady of 80, who had just returned from Hawaii. In our conversation I asked her, “Out of the thousands of pupils, who impressed you the most? Was it one destined to become\e a lawyer, doctor, or a general?”
“No,” she replied, “it was a young lad named Tim, short for Timothy, a boy who had lost his mother at birth, but was brought up by a loving father who held two jobs to keep his little family together. Tim was not retarded, but a little bit slow, withdrawn, and exceedingly shy.”
“He always wore hand-me-downs and clothing donated by others. Because of his shyness, and sometimes disjointed speech, he was shunned by his classmates who rarely offered the mantle of friendship; was not invited into their intimate circle, and his playtime became a solo venture.
“I could not single him out for special treatment, but I did everything to penetrate the shell into which he had retreated. But to no avail.
“Lunchtime became a sad thing to watch, as he took his brown-bag lunch to a secluded spot, and ate alone. Tim was proud , and would politely turn aside all offers to share my lunch. However, he eagerly ate the extra cookies I left on his desk.
“Patience paid off, for eventually, I penetrated his reserve, and gained his trust One day with the others at play, Timmy passed by, placed his little hand over mine and shyly said, Luv Ya’, and ran out to his favorite play spot.
“Christmas, and the holiday vacation, were approaching, and like all teachers, I was to receive my share of small presents, picked, bought, and wrapped by the students’ parents.
“That well-remembered day signaled the end of class sessions until after the holiday vacation. I sighed and surveyed the mountains of gifts on my desk, but was startled at the sight of a brown bag, clumsily wrapped with a shoestring, among the presents.
” As I withdrew the contents, tears streamed down my cheeks. It was a peanut butter sandwich with a clean-cut bite taken out of it. Smiling through my tears, I instantly knew the donor without looking at the crudely written note, Luv Ya–Timmy.”
“It became clear at that moment, that out of all those in the classroom, “slow” Timmy, had been the only one who had absorbed the true meaning of Christmas. He had given his own sharing his love with the only thing he had to give, to one he chose to bestow his affection.”
“Very touching,”.I started to say…. “Wait! That’s not the end of my story, George,” she said with glistening eyes. “Timmy grew up and tried to do the best with the faculties he had. He kept in touch intermittently, but was later killed in the Korean Conflict on Christmas Day! Wars have no respite or respect for holidays, and an enemy bullet cut this caring person’s life short; his Christmas gift to an uncaring government. He now lies buried in a local cemetery. This young man, once my student, tugged more at my heartstrings than all the others. I felt close to him, yes, even to the point of considering him the son I never was to have. I never married, for teachers of my generation were doomed to become old maids.’
“I visit his grave yearly on the anniversary of his death; and please, don’t laugh at an old lady’s whim I always bring him a peanut butter sandwich, with one bite taken out of it, and leave it on his stone. I know God, Timmy and the birds will understand!”
EPILOGUE: Several years after our pleasant visit, it was with sadness that I read the obituary column of The Times, to find that Miss Helen K…, had died. A cold chill washed over me when I was told that she was found dead at Timmy’s gravesite on Christmas Day!
She was buried in the same cemetery as Tim’; and I am wistfully hopeful, that God, in His Infinite Wisdom, had reunited these two lonely souls for Eternity, and had chosen Timmy to guide her to a well-earned place reserved for dedicated teachers!
I never knew Tim, but when I did visit the gravesite of my friend, an unseen urging caused me to leave a brown bag containing a peanut butter sandwich on each stone.
And, yes, there was a bite taken out of each one!
Mr. George Bonin Sr. has written for the past 20 years for the Pawtucket Times Newspaper and for the North Attleboro Mass, Free Press Newspaper for 15 years. He is also a frequent writer of Letters to the Editor when imortant issues come up. Additionally, Mr. Bonin is Staff Writer in Chief for e-Catholic 2000
© Copyright 2003 George W. Bonin Sr. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be used without the express written permission from the author. Please visit Mr. Bonin’s website: “Welcome To George W Bonin Sr HomePage”
© Copyright 2003 e-Catholic2000.com All rights reserved