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Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Best Christmas Present Ever

 A long time friend of mine posted a topic on Face Book that reminded me of the best Christmas present I have ever received.  I scanned through many photos of arthritic fingers on the free image site and the above is probably the closest I could come to represent my best ever Christmas present. Even this is not as twisted as Elizabeth's fingers were but it is the closest I can come.

Probably 35 + years ago when I was still working I had a claim on a very nice lady named Elizabeth Jones. Elizabeth was one of our insureds and her maid had fallen on Elizabeth's steps and broken her arm. I was handling her medical bills under Elizabeth's medical payments coverage and just before Christmas I had stopped to pick up the current medical bills from Elizabeth to get them paid. Elizabeth was quite elderly then and she had very deformed fingers from severe crippling  arthritis. Elizabeth asked me to have a seat in her parlor where she had a baby grand piano. She sent her maid to get me a plate of Christmas cookies and a glass of milk. When I was seated with my cookies and milk Elizabeth sat down at her baby grand piano and commenced to play a series of Christmas songs for the next thirty minutes. I was totally astounded that what I was hearing in the form of flawless music came from those fingers that were twisted every which way and obviously painful.

Elizabeth was elderly then and that was 35 + years ago so I expect that she is no longer with us. What she gave me in the form of flawless music with those fingers was a treasured gift that I will never forget.  I handled tens of thousands of claims but I remember Elizabeth and her Christmas gift all these years later. I thanked her for her gift to me but I doubt that she actually knew how deep an impact it had on my life. To this day I don't see how Elizabeth could hit the keys with those mis-shaped fingers to make such beautiful and perfect music. 

I think a gift that is so sacrificial and personal for a virtual stranger is the very best gift of all. I am glad my friend posted what she did so I could share this experience with readers. No value can be placed on a gift that is so personal and comes from the goodness of one's heart. I remember Elizabeth's gift to me every year about this time. I hope others will appreciate Elizabeth's gift and that it will inspire someone to do an extraordinary gift themselves.     

1 comment:

Bruce said...

Comment by Jane: Thanks for sharing this – it truly inspires one to share their gifts with others, whatever gifts they might be – you never know how you will impact people later on down the road – like this J truly moving – thanks J