I was 26 years old, and always hung out at my older sister's house. She lived across the street from this woman and her two kids, two girls ages 13 and 8.
On the evening of December 23rd, I was at my sister's
house. When I entered the door, she was sitting at the kitchen table
sewing a coat. The coat belonged to the 13 year old across the street,
Natasha. It had gotten ripped earlier that day and my sister was "patching" it up for her.
The coat looked old and worn. Natasha's mother struggled to pay bills,
and couldn't afford a whole lot although she did the best she could. She
was divorced and had a dead beat ex husband who provided very little
for his children.
Me, my sister and my mother had bought the
girls some Christmas items in fear of them maybe not getting much from
their financially strapped mother and dead beat dad. For the 8 year old,
we bought toys. For Natasha, we bought a portable CD player and some
As I watched my sister sew, I started to think
that Natasha could probably use a nicer coat. That's about as far as I
went with it at first although, my sister agreed, that old coat she was
repairing had seen much better days.
some reason, the next day at work, I couldn't get that old coat out of
my mind. I worked half a day when we got let out. On my way home, I saw a
car pulled off to the side of a busy highway on Christmas Eve afternoon. I pulled
over to help. It was a doctor with a flat tire. He was extremely well
dressed and me in my work clothes, he offered me fifty dollars if I
would change his tire for him so he wouldn't have to get his nice
At first I was hesitant but then, I said okay. I
changed his tire and he handed over the money. "I hope that money helps
you this Christmas." He said. I smiled. He must have thought I was poor
or something. I told him, "It will bring someone joy. I am going to use
this money to buy a young lady a coat for Christmas." I told him. Then I
told him the whole story.
The man liked my story so much that he gave another fifty dollars and said, "Buy her a really nice one."
I was suppose to go to my mother's that evening, but first, I swung by
my sister's. She had already left to go to moms house, but I was there
to see Natasha. I walked into the house and told her mother, "I'm
borrowing your daughter for a couple of hours." She looked at me. "Where
are you taking her?"
"Shopping." I said. "I'm going to let her pick out her new coat."
Natasha overheard and quickly jumped to her feet in joy. Her mother tried to argue. "No, I will not accept charity."
"It's not charity." I explained, then told her what occurred earlier
that day. The woman placed her hands over her face and tears started
forming in her eyes. She went to hug me. "Thank you."
long, Natasha and I were at the mall and she got to pick out her new
coat. It was green and went all the way down to her ankles. I also
bought her a neck scarf and gloves to match the coat, along with a
Christmas broach to pin to the coat. I never saw a girl so excited
before over a new coat.
It quickly dawned on me how much I
took for granted in life. Something like a coat never occurred to me
would be such a wonderful gift for someone. Natasha was so happy, she
wanted to put the coat on when we walked back to the car. Once she did,
she modeled it for a moment. "It's you." I told her, then she lunged at
me and hugged me. "I love it. Thanks so much, Carroll."
finally made it to my mothers house to see mom and my little sister and
as it was tradition then, I spent the night. I wouldn't see Natasha
again until school started back up in January and I went to pick her and
my nephew up at school one day to take them home. Something I would
sometimes do for my sister.
school let out, I was waiting outside the car when my nephew and
Natasha emerged from the building and they walked straight to me. My
nephew and I "high five" each other but Natasha, once again, approached
and gave me a monster hug. "I love this coat." She said yet again.
I didn't see much of her after that as I went to live in Daytona Beach
for a while, but I heard her grades went from D's and C's to mostly B's.
Sometimes I wonder if it wasn't because of the coat. She finally had
something to wear that wasn't old and worn and looking its age. Her
confidence level shot up after that Christmas. Or so I was told, which
was surprising because she was such a beautiful young lady as it were.
But it is amazing that something like a coat would mean so much to
someone as it appeared to mean to her. Sure, she liked the CD player and
CD's, but man, did she ever love that green coat.
That is my favorite Christmas.