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This, Among All the Other Gifts You All Have Given Me, Cannot Stand for All but It Is of All All

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,
to give unto them beauty for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord,
that he might be glorified.
— Isaiah, 61 3

The cardboard box is open on the floor. Olive the editor cat investigates it as cats do. Around the box, her many simple furred, feathered and belled gifts are strewn like a child’s on Christmas morning. Olive still looks in the box as if it is, as boxes often are, a favorite cat toy.

On the couch to my left are my gifts from the box. A new bible and the means to read and remember it. A box of “Texas Chewie Pecan Praline.” Other items of the gift are small and beautiful; all of the season. Then there is the mother’s long and heartfelt letter telling of how she took her daughters out of school to watch the funeral train of GHWB pass by them in their Texas town; a day that will make a memory to last a lifetime, and not a trivial one.

Then, enclosed, but not least, is a letter from her youngest daughter, written in that freely formed printing that we learn to write in and sadly forget, “Hello my name is Isabel and my mommy, sister, and I want to get you and your kitty some things. down below I will list the things we got you. PS. God bless you *” A note in the upper left corner as an afterthought reads, in smaller print, “I am sorry if I didn’t  get every thing.”

But it, the letter itself, is itself every thing; every needful thing. It stands, in its simple elegant beauty, for all the things you have all given to me over the last few weeks. Your gifts, here and in the mail and elsewhere, have been such a waterfall of blessings, such a rainstorm of revelation about all of you and the humanity your gifts represent that should I work from dawn to dusk for years I will never be able to thank all of you, known and unknown, enough to be equal to it. But I will, in my halting way, try to do so.

In the meantime, I will, as I did in these last few moments, weep with gratitude and feel overwhelmed by these unexpected and unbidden blessings that have rained over me. I did not know this sort of love existed. I did not know.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • NealinNevada December 18, 2018, 2:12 PM

    Gerard, the feelings you describe and your over-flowing sense of gratitude are exactly the feelings I had when I read what that little dear of a girl wrote to you. Thank you for sharing my friend and all that was given to you was given out of love for your honest and thoughtful writing. God bless you.

  • Rick December 18, 2018, 3:24 PM

    This sort of love has always existed. When the need is the greatest people step forward and fill it. Perhaps you’ve seen this but I think it’s indicative of the love humans have for one another. There is never a tragedy so bad that there aren’t other people there to help.


  • Terry December 18, 2018, 6:16 PM

    American Digest has been my Home page for almost as long as it has existed. Take care Brother. We need you.

  • David Spence December 18, 2018, 9:10 PM

    The gifts you have received pale in comparison to the gifts you have given us. It has been an absolute joy to help in a small way to the restoring your material goods. God has truly been at work here in the last month. May he continue to bless you, your mom, Olive and all of those who frequent this wonderful site!

  • Mary Ann December 19, 2018, 7:17 AM

    Small coincidence that I just finished Roger Daltrey’s autobiography last night. He, like you is a very thoughtful man and grateful for all the blessings life has given him. You, sir, are a blessing to all of us who have come here over the years.

  • Dirk Williams December 19, 2018, 1:00 PM

    Now that you’ve had time to think it thru. How can we help. You said books, over on wrsa. That’s fine but you need everything. My wife and me would like to send down a gift card for 100.00 you can get what you need.

    If you will provide an address, or a PO box number we’d like to get it in the mail today, tomorrow.

    Dirk and Carole.

  • theduchessofkitty December 19, 2018, 5:42 PM

    Dirk Williams,

    His address is written on the right column of this page, towards the top. The Chico, CA address. That’s the one.

  • Teri Pittman December 19, 2018, 6:12 PM

    Isn’t it amazing? And it’s from people you never met. I had so many people help me, after my husband died. I was both shocked and amazed. I am still trying to pay it back (or forward as the case may be) to others, after ten years.

  • Dirk December 20, 2018, 3:07 PM

    Guys I’m a computer retard, ” many would say just a retard” I don’t see the address?


  • Dirk December 20, 2018, 3:11 PM

    Got it, sent via pay pal.

    Merry Christmas.

    Dirk and Carole

  • Suburbanbanshee December 20, 2018, 4:21 PM

    Hugs. You have been a big help in hard times to a lot of us.

  • Dirk December 20, 2018, 5:16 PM

    My wife’s family lost everything aswell, her cousin her aunt and uncle lost all their businesses.their going to be fine. I’ve been going thru the pics for an hour. While you mention your loss as ” just stuff” I disagree, your stuff, was your treasure.

    We would like to do a bit more for you , if you will except our offering.
    I just found my loaner copy of Ross’s: Unintended Consequences. I’d like you to have it.

    Also it appears you love music. I do aswell. I’m really into vintage stereo gear and speakers, got Shit everywhere. I’d like to gift you one of my tube stereos, with a set of Dynco A-25 speakers, out of Europe.

    I can offer up a
    Dynaco ST-70 tube amp.
    Dynaco PAS-3 tube pre amp
    Dynaco Tube tuner amfm
    And a kenwood KD2055 turntable

    I’ve not been thru this gear, never ran it, the entire setup is in the 1500/2000.00 range. May require some tech time unless your handy with a soldering iron, and a colt meter.

    This is not something I’d give to anybody if I thought they would not use it often. The old tube kit, just takes me back to a time a much simpler time. I need the simplness of that era in my life.

    So if you will use this gear, Carole and me are honored to gift it to you.

    Lastly I noticed that your garage had classic cars. No you can’t have my rat rod, however I do have a motorcycle project I’d give you. It’s a 1970 or 1971 Yamaha DT-1 250 motorcycle. One of my other passions is vintage motocross, I love the hunt, for these old bikes. And I love tinkering on making these old bikes come back to life. And then racing them. In fact I’ve got three friends their in paradise, who I race with. I’ll be gifting them a couple bikes aswell, they also lost everything.

    If you would prefer I’ve also got some heathkit SS receivers these were kits sold by heathkit. Mush simpler then the tube gear. You can have either. ” I think you will really really enjoy the tune stereo gear much more. It’s magic music, as my grandsons call it.

    Kick it around, get back to me. We’re coming down to Colfax roughly next month. I notmally come thru Reno. If you would except our officer, we will come down Five, and deliver the stereo kit to,you I’m Chico, or wherever works for you. I’ve got one other item I want to give you, that would require speaking directly with you first.


    Merry Christmas.

    Dirk and Carole Williams
    Klamath Falls Oregon.