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the courage to give

December 24, 2013

Apparently I had met Andy before but I couldn’t remember where or when. In just two verses I knew it would be a long time before I forget him.

There were four of us there one quiet Sunday night. Two board games. A six-pack of beer between us – three of us had to drive home. A packet of chips and a stern language warning from our host in an attempt to ensure that his young daughter (sleeping nearby) would not acquire a single new word in her vocabulary as a result of our efforts that evening.

My sudden (but not unexpected) victory in the first game of the evening created a natural break in events. And while it is  not unexpected these days for people to excuse themselves from a conversation to make or take a call, it is if they excuse themselves to sing a song.

So there, at the table in front of his boss, his colleague and guy he has met once before Andy made a call and started singing:

If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…

Girl hugging a teddy bearHe doesn’t sing well and to be fair, from the conversation that followed there was an allegation that he had left out a verse …  but we both know that doesn’t matter.

Andy’s daughter is eleven. He says she cannot sleep unless he sings to her (although I suspect he sleeps better as well). So every night, where ever he is and whoever he is with, Andy sings Teddy Bear’s Picnic to his daughter.

There are many times throughout the year when gifts are purchased and given  – Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid, Diwali – but the privilege of listening to Andy reminded me that there are  countless opportunities in each and every day to give much more valuable gifts to the people we love – if only we have the courage to take them.


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One Comment leave one →
  1. Beth Stubberfield permalink
    January 14, 2014 1:16 pm

    What a lovely message Paul, I aspire to think more about your inspirational story.

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