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The Gift That Keeps Giving

These three shoppers got a lot more than they bargained for…

Roberta Messner 


I was shopping downtown when I saw a sign in the window of one of my favorite stores: “Last Chance! 75% Off!” Pass up a deal like that? Not me! I ducked into the shop and made a beeline for the sale section. On a table near the back, I found the sweetest little carousel charm. I didn’t have a charm bracelet. I wasn’t particularly drawn to carousels. But I knew someone who was: Alexandra, a writer who lived in Connecticut.

Alexandra and I weren’t especially close, but she’d written about her love of carousels. I headed for the register and shipped it off to Alexandra. I didn’t hear back from her until several months later, when a thank-you note arrived in the mail. “Roberta, you have no idea the joy this carousel brought to my family,” Alexandra wrote. Her ninety-something husband had been quite ill when she received my gift. She’d been so busy tending to him that she’d put the package aside and forgotten all about it. After her husband passed away, she found it again. “Before my husband died, he promised a sign from heaven,” Alexandra wrote. “Can you guess what it was?”

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December/January 2018