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This story is a true story that happened last weekend at an outdoor festival. My Mother died two years ago, and it has taken me this long to deal with being able to part with the jewelry she left behind. I had the strength to deal with it now, but didn't know what I was going to do with it.

I could have given it as a donation to several different organizations, but somehow felt that was the wrong decision. Last Saturday, I was contracted to perform my music at the festival but took along the jewelry hoping for an opportunity to dispense with it. Here's my story . . .

A hugely obese woman approached my 'booth' with Mom's jewelry. Obviously a homeless woman, she looked down to the ground as she came nearer. I detected that not many people, especially strangers, would speak to her and most would look away from her which I'm sure made her sad, lonely and very self conscious. So I made it a point to smile and bid her a good morning!

She looked up if surprised that I had spoken to her with a friendly smile. She loved Mom's jewelry, but her eye caught a piece of jewelry I placed in a plastic 'grab bag' with all the other pieces I didn't want and couldn't sell. The bag and its contents had a little sign I placed on it, "You choice, 25 cents". She said she didn't have any money, but for me to hold it for her and she would return.

Well, return she did. She asked if I still had the small piece of jewelry and I told her I had guarded it while she was away. When she began to hand me the $.25, I told here it wasn't necessary, and she could have the piece as a gift from me with my compliments. She was shocked because I don't think anybody had given her gifts before.

Then, she began to say that she had the $.25 and was willing to pay for it. I smiled as I shook my head, "No, that's a gift to you from me!". I went on saying, "Friendship is more important in life than money . . . " She finally accepted it, smiled and agreed.

Later that day, several hours later, it was beginning to get close to my performance and I felt it was time to break down the booth, gather up the remaining jewelry and go. After packing the small things, the last two items were my portable popup cabana and a fold up table. I fold the table, laid it on the ground, and proceeded to collapse the tent.

I took the tent to my vehicle along with all the other items, but failed to notice the fold up table I laid on the ground while busy folding the tent. Being rather short on time, I was in a hurry to perform my music for the festival and forgot all about the table.

I started my entertaining inside a cafe across the street from the festival. No sooner had I started, I looked up and here was the woman opening the front door of the cafe with my table in her hands! I was shocked that I had been so absentminded, and that she took the effort to return the table safely to me.

I was so grateful to see her, but was strangely puzzled as to how she found me! She said she saw the table on the ground and knew it was mine. She retrieved it and began to ask all around the festival if anyone knew where I had gone. Finally, the last person asked told her I was performing and entertaining at the cafe across the street.

Her placid smile and sparkling eyes told the rest of the story. The table, though not very expensive comparatively to other things, was a nice table and I had it for years still in great shape. If lost, I probably could not have found another quite like it and it was perfect for its intended use.

I told her how kind and thoughtful she was to make the effort to find me and return it. She could have ignored seeing it on the ground, could also have stolen it or not bothered about it and gone about her business . . . but she didn't.

Because I didn't make her pay the $.25 cents for the little piece of jewelry, and told her that friendship was more important than money, she remembered my words and returned the table as her gift to me and an act of friendship. I was so touched by her, and I'm sure she was as well. We both discovered the beauty and the meaning of friendship that deepened and quickened our sensitivities. We both were given 'gifts' that day . . .

I often wonder now as I reflect back what would have happened had she paid me and I had not shared the little friendship lesson with her . . . would the table been returned? Would she have even bothered?

I certainly would have lost more value and money in having to replace the table which exceeded many times the value of $.25 by magnitudes. But instead, I got back the table and gained a new 'friend'!

Life is not about the quantity of possessions you acquire or keep, but measured by the quality of your friendships and relationships. I thanked God for another beautiful day and the lessons it brought.

We are judged not by what we think of ourselves nor greed, but by the thoughts we are judged by others and the kind acts of love and giving. It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

We will be remembered not by our words, but by our deeds. Friendships are about people, not things. Possessions are precious . . . but people are priceless! Enjoy them while you have them, for one day, too, they will be gone.

~J.C. High Eagle

Sept 1-2010

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Comment by LYNN SHEDLER on September 6, 2010 at 9:42am
A Friend indeed - you found an Angel, for nothing is so precious than
a smile and a good deed in return!!!




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