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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Christmas Past

Do you remember what presents you received last Christmas? I don't but I do remember one I received many years ago from a sweet elderly lady that also happened to be one of our insureds. It was in Tallahassee, Fla. where I was the company representative for our company insurance claims. Her name was Elizabeth Jones and she lived alone but had a maid to assist her with her house work. Elizabeth was in her senior years and she had advanced rheumatoid arthritis which left her hands as depicted in the above photo.

Her maid had slipped and fallen and broke her arm and Elizabeth reported the claim to us under the medical payments portion of her homeowners policy. I would stop by every couple weeks to pick up the medical bills and reimburse the maid for them. I also liked Elizabeth and this gave me an opportunity to stop and talk to her as she was a very sweet lady. She had few if any visitors so it was always good to stop by. The oldest high school in Tallahassee was Leon HS, and Elizabeth was in the very first graduating class of Leon. (Also where our daughter went to HS).

As with most injuries the maid finally healed and was released from her doctor and I stopped by to pay the final bills and it was just before Christmas. After dealing with the bills Elizabeth had her maid get me a small plate of Christmas cookies they had made and a glass of milk. She then invited me into a parlor where she had a baby grand piano.

Elizabeth sat down at the piano and commenced to play me 20 minutes of Christmas carols flawlessly with those deformed fingers while I ate cookies and drank a glass of milk. She hit every key perfectly and the music enveloped me for that 20 minutes. It was with great effort that those fingers - deformed as they were - played that melody.

I may have forgotten what presents I received last Christmas and the one's before that but I will never forget the gift Elizabeth gave me that day. It was a rare, unexpected and personal gift that was given, with great effort, and a very beautiful thing. That gift was given well over 30 years ago and I remember it still and can still see Elizabeth maneuvering those crippled fingers on the keyboard and playing Christmas carols flawlessly. The sound of that baby grand piano resonating in the small room still brings tears to my eyes.

We all should have such beautiful Christmas memories as this... Perhaps the world would be a better place as Elizabeth certainly left her mark on me that day just a few days before Christmas and made my Christmas' brighter with her selfless gift.  A present I will never forget I hope.

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