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Monday, 26 November 2012

Our Little Girls

By Herchel Newman aka Herm

Our daughter, Merit, was grateful for the prayers and assistance she had received from members of the church during her time of need. She came back to say thank you by volunteering her hands for service. To return to offer herself in appreciation turned out to be a blessing for the church and her.

They were looking to add to their custodial staff and offered her a job. She accepted and joined the team.

Merit, had dreams of doing other things and set a time table for moving on. Because she was such a good worker though, she had no idea they were going to offer her the position of staff supervisor. She accepted the promotion and stayed on another year.

Off from the main building was a wing which housed a child care facility: Kid’s Care Academy. She loved children, so made this area her personal responsibility.

She made a point of being in the reception area in the mornings when the children were dropped off. She’d greet sleepy eyed kids with a big smile and sing out morning cheer to make each one feel special.

Some she was especially close to would get picked up and twirled around. She said it charged their morning with a feeling of self worth.

She told me, "Dad, more and more of them reach up to me for a morning spin. However, there’s one little girl who wears a sad face. She tries to get by me without smiling so I give her a little extra attention. I haven't been able to get her to smile yet, but I'll get her one day. I'm sure of it."

The day came for Merit to climb to another rung on her dream ladder. I had a meeting to attend at church two weeks later. Entering the office, I was greeted by one of the secretaries. She's a pretty lady with a bright warm smile. She shares my wife's name, Lonnie, who is also a pretty lady with a charming smile. I call her Lonnie II.

"Hello Herchel, it's good to see you. How are you and Lonnie?"

"We're just fine and it's good to see you too," I said.

"And how is Merit?” Her smile faded and her tone had an off-key sound of sadness. “We miss her so much around here!"

"Merit is doing quite well on her new job. I'll tell her you asked about her."

"Tell her the children miss her - especially mine. You know my youngest girl always tried to get by Merit at Kid's Care without smiling. They were a challenge for each other.”

She went on to tell me, "Merit didn't come in on Friday of the last week she worked. She had twirled her last and didn’t think she could handle the goodbyes.

“When the children came in that morning, they stood around looking for Merit as if half expecting her to pop out and yell, SURPRISE! There was no Merit to greet them nor sing nor lift and twirl them around.

“It was hard to look at the disappointment in their eyes. What's more, I was the one who was going to have to tell them she wasn't coming back. Their faces were long and their eyes didn't sparkle with joy but with a sad mist.

“Where was the charge they were used to going to come from now? I admit, I was feeling exactly the same way. That was until Monday morning.

"I watched until the children were in the front door then proceeded to park my car. When I entered the arrival area, there was a commotion astir. Boys and girls alike had their arms out like propellers, looking to the ceiling while laughing and twirling around.

“I heard the surprise in my own voice as I asked, 'What's going on in here?' They said, 'Since Merit's not here, we have to twirl ourselves around.'”

She put a finger to the corner of one eye to catch a tear and said, "Herchel, only if Merit could have heard my little girl giggle and seen her twirl."

I told this story to Merit and it moved her to tears as well. If only Lonnie II could have seen the twirl in the heart of my little girl.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post

Comments

Hi Herm,

What a nice story and what a wonderful person your Merit is.

I really enjoyed reading about her and what a great rapport she had with the children.

Great Story and lesson for us all. The giving of time to others is far more important than the giving of money or 'things.' Thanks for sharing.

Very nice story, thank you. I am sure that many of those children will remember Merit throughout their lives.

Your daughter earned her merits when she helped others. Money can buy lots of things, but not happiness. That only comes from within, and I sure your daughter is full of it. A wonderful story, thanks for sharing.

Isn't it a joy when your children make the world a better place?

What a marvelously told story, Mr. Newman. Thank you and Merit for adding something special to our lives.

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