Reece Gardner: The lesson of the gold shoe box

Reece Gardner: The lesson of the gold shoe box

We have just left the Thanksgiving experience and now we head toward Christmas. During this season, I plan to highlight some very interesting life experiences which have come to my attention — some joyous, some sad — but all of them inspirational. Let me share the following story that I think will benefit all of us.

There was a man who worked very hard to provide for his family. On one occasion, a few days before Christmas, he scolded his 5-year-old daughter upon learning she had used up the family’s only supply of expensive gold wrapping paper. 

As money was tight, he became even more upset when, on Christmas Eve, he saw she had used all of this expensive paper to decorate one shoe box she had put under the Christmas tree.

He was also concerned about where she could have possibly gotten the money to buy what was in the shoe box. Nevertheless, on Christmas morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!” 

As the father started to open the box, he was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction and was regretting how he had scolded her. But when he opened the shoe box, he found it was empty and once again his anger flared.

“Don’t you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present, there is supposed to be something inside the package?” 

The little girl looked up at him with sad tears running down her face and whispered, “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was full.”  

The father was crushed. He fell on his knees, wrapped his arms around his precious little girl and told her how much he loved her and how proud he was of her.

Sadly, a tragic accident took the life of the little girl only a short time later.

Her father kept the gold shoe box by his bed for the rest of his life and whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of his beautiful child who had put it there. 

Folks, each of us in a very real sense has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone can hold.



Reece Gardner is the host of The Reece Gardner Hour, which airs at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on WTMH, Channel 117 on Suddenlink, Channel 1232 on Charter Spectrum and over the air on Channel 21.1 in Lenoir County. His column appears regularly at NeuseNews.com. He can be reached at rbgej@aol.com.

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