My Valentine Gift

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On Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share a special gift that was given to me by a little girl who lives around the corner.

One day Kristina and a friend happened to be walking behind my fence as I was working in the garden. They were real inquisitive, wanting to know what I was doing, why I liked to garden and what type of plants I had. I was planting pansies at the time. Surely, it wouldn’t make much difference if my yard had two less flowers so I offered them each one. It wasn’t even a decision that required any thought on my part but I always remember the smiles on their faces as they accepted their gift and scurried away, only to return moments later. Kristina and her friend played in my grass that afternoon while I finished what I had to do.

Since that day, their visits became frequent and sometimes Kristina would come by herself. No matter what I was doing, they always wanted to help. But I think they really just wanted to be involved in whatever I was doing. And I’ve never run out of finding things to have them help me with, reinforcing their acts of kindness by letting them know how very much they are appreciated for what they do.

Let’s see, Kristina has helped me pull weeds (well, okay, she really was just able to get the leaves off the big ones), water the plants, and sand my back door before I painted it. Oh, and helped me clean bird cages – and of course, her favorite, feeding the birds. All the while we talk and we share. Sometimes we laugh together and sometimes I just listen. She doesn’t come over very often any more, but when she does, I try to make time.

My doorbell rang again the other day. Kristina wanted to visit the birds, then she wanted to draw. I brought out the paper and crayons. The heart is what she made for me. She asked me as she drew what I do when I visit the nursing home. I told her about how the man who I visit shares her love for art. She wanted to come with me. Her mom later told me she had been talking about it every day until that Sunday. What a wonderful day that was.

I love Kristina’s heart. It’s now displayed on my refrigerator above what she wrote for me on the meaning of friends. Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about?

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