Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)
TITLE: Mr. Roy and His Ties
By Lisa Hudson
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I was almost finished with my shopping, but I knew I couldn’t go one step further unless I could sit down and just rest for a moment. My hands were cramping and purple indentations were embedded in them from the bag handles. It felt good to finally sit down and take a deep breath. A nice young man appeared like an angel and asked if I would like something to drink. I could have kissed him, but instead, I said, “Oh, thank you! Yes!” I felt very warm from all of the walking, but a mocha-coffee sounded like heaven to me, so I ordered one for myself. “Be right back!” he smiled and walked away.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m shopping is to sit and watch people, especially during the holidays! Every walk of life seems to come out of the woodwork, all for my personal entertainment. A young mother was trying to pick up her screaming toddler who was lying right in the middle of the floor, when the young man returned with my coffee. I paid him for my order, plus a little extra. After all, it is Christmas! I looked back to where the mother and child were, and she had the little tyke up in her arms, wiping tears from his chubby, little face. “I remember those days…” I smiled to myself.
At the table next to me were two girls, obviously sisters by their conversation. “Let’s just get daddy a tie!” said the girl with a ponytail. “We can’t!” said curly hair. “We got him a tie last year, and I bet the year before that! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him wear ‘em anyway!” Ahh…The ‘what do we get dad for Christmas?’ dilemma! “Ties aren’t so bad”, I accidentally said out loud. As the two girls continued their debate, I smiled upon remembering ‘Mr. Roy, and his ties; His silly, crazy, wonderful, ties.’
I remember when we first visited our church, and there he was. He was extremely tall and he had the most welcoming smile and laugh. His salt and pepper hair stood on end from where he had pushed his reading glasses up, resting on top of his head, and he was wearing a bright, blue tie with a picture of Scooby-Doo right in the middle of it. It was an adorable picture of the silly, cartoon dog, yet it matched his personality perfectly. It was obvious the children of the church loved this man who was really just one big kid himself!
Mr. Roy’s ties were a natural part of his character. Christmastime was especially festive, because his ties might have a big and jolly Santa, or a Santa Mickey Mouse, or Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo in the snow. On more serious occasions like Easter, his ties would be toned down a little, and he would wear a more subtle colored tie with multiple crosses or one of my favorites, the lion and the lamb lying down together in a field. They say some of us wear our hearts on our sleeve. Mr. Roy wore his on his ties.
This giant of a man was at every church event if he was able. He was also the leader of a special summer camp for handicapped children, where he would take his home-made, automatic water-balloon-filler, and super-powered air gun that would shoot water balloons fifty feet into the air! No wonder the kids loved this crazy child-man. As he would share stories about camp, he would openly wipe away the tears that would well up in his eyes and roll down his cheek. His love for the Lord and for the children was something to behold. One of his favorite outreaches during the holidays was filling Christmas shoe-boxes through Samaritan’s Purse. One desire he always had was to be able to personally hand out the filled boxes to the children who were going to receive them. Again, the tears flowed freely when he started talking about the possibility of seeing their little faces when they received their gift.
Mr. Roy was called home in September, so he didn’t get to prepare the shoe boxes, or get to pass them out to the beautiful children so far away. The children of our church miss him terribly, as do we adults who probably took him for granted because he was so faithful. I bet he loved receiving ties on Christmas morning.
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