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My Christmas Gift Came Early This Year

For several months I have made note of a young man at the local grocery store that I frequent.  Ricky always has a beaming smile, a twinkle in his eye, and tells each and every customer to have a wonderful day.  He always asks if I found everything that I needed, and usually has a quit-witted joke or two to share while ringing up my groceries.  He is the kind of person that really stands out in the crowd of people that you meet throughout the day.

Tonight I stopped in at the small convenience store a block down from my house to pick up a soda.  To my surprise I saw Ricky, but he was walking with a cane.  I said hello to him and then asked, “What's with the cane?”  He said, “I have a leg injury and sometimes I need it to walk.”  He then lifted up his pants and revealed just a metal rod from the knee down on one leg.  With a smile on his face, he explained that several months ago he was in an accident on his motorcycle.  I stood there speechless.  After I recovered from my gaffe, I apologized for my inquiry and I told him that I had no idea.  “I have never once seen you using a cane while standing in the checkout lane at the grocery store.”  He responded, “I don't use the cane very often because I don't want to make a big deal out of my leg injury.”

I continue to be amazed by people that just pick themselves up from tragedy and go on without a complaint.  What an amazing young man to have accepted his disability so readily. With a beaming smile and a twinkle in his eye, he wished me a merry Christmas as he made his way to his car.  May God make us all like Ricky this Christmas and may we truly appreciate our many blessings.  There are so many miracles all around us, if we just take the time to look.

Merry Christmas,

Jim Paris & Family


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James L. Paris
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