Finally getting to that story I mentioned a week or so ago... I figured I'd like to leave you with a little gem while I'm away getting some sun.
We don't indulge in lottery playing much around here. What with my husband being in the business of statistical analysis and all, we tend towards the belief that lottery tickets are a voluntary tax on those who are bad at math. However, once in while even something like a lottery ticket can be a positive force.
Recently, my husband and I were at our weekly bowling league. It was the night of our bowling Christmas party. This party consists of people bringing snacks to munch on between turns at bowling and everybody bringing a small $10 or less gift to exchange. You don't get to take a gift from the gift exchange until you bowl a strike. Naturally, this results in the gifts with the most appealing appearance being chosen first.
This year there was the usual mix of candy, booze and silly Christmas decorations. As the evening wore on and the pile of gifts disappeared, there came a moment when one last person finally got his strike. However, there seemed to be no gifts left. But no, there was something left there on the counter- a plain white envelope, with 10 lottery scratch tickets in it.
The person who got this last gift was exactly who you might have guessed would be the last to bowl a strike and get to choose a present. He's a middle aged guy who doesn't bowl real well. He actually gets dropped off and picked up by his parents because he is somewhat impaired. He lives in a trailer on his parents property.
He took his envelope and went quietly off to a corner to scratch his lottery tickets.
He came back with the BIGGEST SMILE on his face! "I just won $100", he said, with much gusto! Then he proceeded to give us the play by play. He ended up winning on the last two tickets. The 9th ticket was the $100 winner and he got an extra $2 on the last ticket.
Nobody could believe it. We were all just so happy for him. Nobody else would have been as excited as he was about winning this $100. It just wouldn't have meant as much to anybody else. That money ended up exactly where it was supposed to.
He really wanted to thank the person who had put the lottery tickets into the gift pile, but nobody would fess up. Of course a few of us were able to figure out who it was, but nobody told. It was obvious that they really wanted to just remain quiet about it. It was like the person who bought the tickets got a gift just by seeing this guy's reaction and that was more than enough thanks in itself.
The guy who won the money really wanted to spend some of it on something special for his Mom. He mentioned that he would like to get something like the stuffed snowman that I had gotten in the exchange, because his mother collects snowmen. He really wanted something to give her when she came to pick him up as a way of sharing his good fortune. I was more than happy to give it to him. It was a privilege to be a part of such a good moment for him and a sign of all the beauty that was to come for me this holiday season.