Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
I was in a store, at the toys department. I noticed with the corner of my eye a five year old boy who was holding a doll in his arms. He was continuously fondling her hair and was carefully clutching her to his chest. I was wondering for whom that doll was. At one point the boy turned towards the lady who was near him and asked her:
“Auntie, are you sure that I don’t have enough money for it?”
“I told you that you don’t have enough money to buy it”, the woman answered, almost losing her patience.
Then his aunt asked him to stay there and wait. She left in a hurry and the boy remained there holding the doll in his arms. Then I went to him and asked him to whom he wanted to give that doll.
“My sister wanted this doll for Christmas more than anything else”, the boy answered. “She was sure that Santa Claus would have brought it to her.”
I told him that maybe he had already brought it to her but he painfully said:
“No. Santa cannot go where my sister is right now.” “I have to give the doll to mummy and she will give it to her.”
While he was saying that his eyes filled with tears.
“She went to meet Christ.” “Daddy says that mummy will go there too in a short time to meet Christ.” “I thought she might take the doll to give it to my sister.”
My heart almost stopped. The boy raised his eyes and said:
“I asked daddy to tell mummy not to leave before I would have returned from the store.”
Then he showed me a picture where he was with the doll in his arms and said:
“I want mummy to take this picture with her so that she won’t forget me.” “I love her very much and I don’t want her to leave me, but daddy says she has to go there to be with my sister.”
Then he bowed his head and remained silent. I took out of my bag some money and asked the child:
“Let’s count again your money to see for sure how much you have.”
“I agree, but it’s needed a lot of money and I don’t have that much.”
Then I unnoticeably added some money to his and we started counting it. There was more than he needed. Then the boy said:
“Thank you, Lord for giving me enough money!”
Then he looked at me and said:
“I asked Christ to do something so that I would have enough money to buy a doll and mummy could take it to my sister.” “And He heard my prayer.” “I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for mummy, but I didn’t dare to ask for it.” “But He gave me enough money so that I could buy both the doll and the white rose.” “You know, mummy likes white roses very much …”
After a while his aunt came back and I went away pushing my shopping cart. I finished my shopping with quite a different feeling from the one I had had when I had started it. I couldn’t take out of my mind the face of that boy. Then I remembered an article from a newspaper where it was related that a few days before a drunk driver had hit a car where were a young woman and her daughter. Her daughter died instantly and the woman was seriously injured. Could it have been the family of that boy?
Two days after that I read in the newspaper that the young woman who had been injured in the accident had died. I couldn’t help but buy a bunch of white roses and take them to the small church of the graveyard where her body was laid. She was there and had in her hand a doll, a white rose and the picture with the boy from the store.
I left the place crying. I felt that my life had changed forever. The love that little boy had for his mother and his sister was so big but in an instant a drunk driver took them so far away of him…