A Gift for Mrs. Thompson
June 12, 2000
The day was like any normal day and the widow Mrs.
Thompson was out weeding her flower garden when a small figure plopped
beside her. It was little Tim from the house across the street who had
just moved in a few weeks ago. Tim was your typical little boy all of 7
years old and full of excitement and mischief. As Tim approached, he
startled Mrs. Thompson. This being their first encounter with each other,
things didn't exactly get off to a good start. Their conversation started
something like this...
"Good Heavens Young Man, where are your manners don't you know any
better than to sneak up on an old lady like that?"
"Sorry mam, I saw you kneeling down like that and thought that maybe
you were praying or something?"
What the widow Thompson was doing was far from praying. She could often be
found out in her flower garden uttering things that in terms of
"manners" were quite inappropriate for a lady of her age to be
saying. She had only a month or so ago lost her husband of 48 years and
was not taking kindly to the fact that God had chosen to take not only her
husband but also her dearest friend. For this she blamed God. Life as she
knew it had changed. Her one and only love of her life had been taken from
her. Her only means of support now, being a small pension check and the
occasional call from her daughter who had abandoned her to move out of
state for her husband's job promotion.
Well if this little rascal thinks he can just pop in to invade my day and
disturb my work, well he's wrong, she thought.
"I think you best be going home young man, I have a lot of work to do
here and I think it may rain soon so be off with you," said the widow
"Well that wouldn't be the neighborly thing to do now would it mam, I
mean if I leave now and I don't know your name and you don't know mine you
won't know who your mad at and I won't know who I'm praying for tonight
when I say my prayers," reasoned Timmy.
Prayers, thought Mrs. Thompson. A lot of good they did me a month ago when
I lost my Harold. This little man has much to learn.
"My name is Mrs. Thompson and I don't take kindly to boys stopping in
unannounced and as far as your prayers this evening you may leave my name
out of them I will not be needing them now or ever. It seems to me God
will do whatever he wants anyway!" she touted.
"Oh not so Mrs. Thompson, why just the other day God answered one of
my prayers. I prayed that my doggy Fletch would get better and God healed
him," Tim said.
"Well I hardly think a sick dog getting better would take an act of
God." was her reply.
Timmy was thinking in the back of his mind that he didn't care if she
wanted him to pray for her or not he was going to do just that and if need
be he was going to pray for her 2 times a night just in case God didn't
hear the first time.
"Well, I have to be going now anyway mam, it was nice meeting you I
hope you get done with your flowers before it rains," he said as a
distant thunder cloud sounded off.
This wasn't the last of their conversations. It seemed every time the
widow would do her gardening or get her mail the lad would be right at her
heels pelting her with questions and once in awhile he would even hand her
a card he had made or some sort of trinket he had found.
No matter what Timmy would say, the embittered widow would respond as she
had on the day they met: cold and condescending. This didn't matter at all
to Timmy he still loved doing things for Mrs. Thompson. He couldn't help
but feel that all she needed was just a little time and her gruff exterior
would melt away.
Several months went by and Timmy had yet to stop by one time. She thought
little of it at first and in fact she sort of enjoyed the reprieve from
the constant barraging of questions and worthless trinkets. Secretly she
had saved every one of them and down in her cold, bitter heart a sense of
warmth had begun to flicker. With each passing day Timmy's absence had
started to trouble her.
On Timmy's last visit to her he said that he had something very special
for her the next time that he saw her and that he couldn't wait to give it
to her. As he told her this, the boy seemed to glow with excitement.
One day on her way out to the mailbox she noticed what she believed to be
Timmy's dad pulling into the drive. It took all her courage to stop Tim's
father but she had begun to miss the daily visits and thought maybe
something was wrong. Her concerns were heightened as she saw the look on
Timmy's father's face as she enquired about the boy's absence.
"Hello, I'm Mrs. Thompson."
"Yes mam I know you well, you are all Tim talks about these days, it
seems you have made quite an impression on our Timmy."
How so? Thought the widow in the back of her mind.
"Well, it has been quite some time since I've seen the lad and I
couldn't help but notice that he hasn't been playing in the yard,"
she said. Her heart was in her throat by this time.
"Yes something has happened to Timmy. It seems he has a rare illness
that the doctors can't quite pinpoint but it appears that it may be cancer
and he has had to stay indoors when he's not in the hospital that
"Where is he now?" she asked.
"He's in intensive care right now at the hospital and I just stopped
home to get my wife's things she hasn't left his side"
"May I go and visit him?" she asked.
"Certainly but I can't guarantee he will know who you are, with all
the medication he's not always able to tell who it is that's talking to
him." He explained.
Mrs. Thompson immediately went to work. She hadn't been out in so long she
wasn't even sure she could still drive. You see her Harold had always done
all the driving.
"Oh and what to wear?", she thought as she pilfered through her
closet. She had lived in a house coat and slippers since Harold's funeral.
2 hours later Mrs. Thompson pushed the button to the 10th floor of the
elevator that would take her to the intensive care unit of the children's
hospital. She enquired at the nurse's station as to what room Timmy was in
and the nurse seemed a bit sullen as the widow mentioned the boy's name.
Her heart began to pound in her chest and her stomach was in knots.
As she entered the room the mood was heavy and death seemed to permeate
through out the ward. Conversations were silenced upon the family seeing
Mrs. Thompson's entrance.
Tim's mom was the first to greet her with hushed tones she explained the
now seemingly hopeless situation. The curtain surrounding Timmy's bed was
pulled back and there lay the frail figure of a boy who was fighting for
his life. Monitors and regulators all sounding their eerie pulse as she
approached his bedside. Slowly his eyes opened as if he sensed her
If it would have been possible one would have thought the boy was going to
jump out of the bed and give her a big hug. See, Timmy didn't have
grandparents so the closest thing he believed he had was Mrs. Thompson.
Huge tears began to well up in the widow's eyes as she looked at the boy's
almost skeletal frame. His skin was yellow and his features were drawn but
beneath all of that Mrs. Thompson could see the boyish mischief she has
grown to miss.
Timmy tried to speak but all that would come out were whispers. He was
trying to say something to his mother as he pointed to a small rectangular
gift that was lying at his bedside. The only words he could muster were
"FOR YOU," as he directed his glance at the widow.
Mrs. Thompson was flooded with guilt and shame as the gift was handed her
way when she had brought nothing for the boy not even a get-well card. The
guilt was quickly overridden by grief as she viewed the contents of the
package. It was a small Bible and on it's inside cover were written these
words in Timmy's writing:
Dear Mrs. Thompson,
I am not sure if I will ever see you again in this life. I found out today
that I may have cancer and mommy and daddy are pretty upset. I got you
this Bible with my allowance that I saved up for almost 2 months. I hope
you like it. Everyone in our church has one and they all seem so happy
that I thought maybe this would be the thing that may bring a smile to
your face. At first, I thought all my little treasures that I have been
saving up to trade with my friends might bring a smile to your face but
that didn't seem to do the trick and with so many smiling faces at church
I knew I couldn't go wrong with a Bible.
I underlined some things in it with a crayon that my Sunday school teacher
told me you might enjoy. I was afraid that maybe you still felt like God
didn't answer prayers so I wanted to let you know that he did it again for
me. I asked him to let me see you one more time and although I haven't
seen you yet my Sunday school teacher taught me if I have faith and
believe my prayers will be answered.
I love you Mrs. Thompson and Jesus wanted me to tell you he loves you too.
The tears had found their way down Mrs. Thompson's cheek and onto the
small passage she was reading. She couldn't contain them any longer nor
could she contain the flood of emotions that began to pour out of her. She
gently reached down and hugged and kissed Timmy and thanked him for his
kind words and for the gift.
Upon leaving Mrs. Thompson had no idea that it was the boy's last breath
that was used to speak the words "FOR YOU."
They laid Timmy to rest but a new life had started as a result of the
young boy's friendship. Timmy's life was short but his legacy will far
outlive him. Mrs. Thompson began attending the local church and soon
became the Sunday school teacher of the 7 and 8 year boys and girls. In
addition to the widow Thompson's new found calling she has found a new
companion as well. It seems Timmy's last wish was to give his doggy Fletch
to Mrs. Thompson. Now it's all Mrs. Thompson can do to keep Fletch out of
her flower garden but she doesn't mind. It was in that very same garden
she met Timmy and not a time goes by that she doesn't look at that garden
and not think of all the beauty Timmy had brought back into her life.