Sparkly Brown Eyes

Do a kindness for someone and some day, somehow, it circles back to you. I can’t get enough of stories like this one. It’s by Robert Reynolds of Huron, Ohio. and appeared in the December 2009 issue of Guideposts.

Huron, Ohio, was where I’d spent my twenties, working on a steamer out on the Great Lakes. My wife and I started our family there, and later we came back to Huron to retire.

Then, during the final stages of construction on our new home, I had difficulty breathing. The doctor determined I needed open-heart surgery. I was admitted to a hospital in Sandusky. Everything was put on hold.

The night before my surgery, I was so worried I couldn’t sleep. I lay in my hospital bed, praying and thinking about the events in my life that had led me to this point. I remembered how I had fallen in love with Huron and its people. I remembered a Christmas many years ago…

The shipping season had been good to me, so that winter I decided to buy some Christmas gifts and help out a family in town.

“I know a family that would appreciate a visit from Santa Claus,” the owner of the marine supply store said. “A woman with six children just lost her husband.”

The store owner and his wife helped me wrap some presents and gave me the family’s address. That evening I delivered the packages.

A little girl with sparkly brown eyes and the sweetest smile answered the door. “Santa asked me to bring these gifts to you and your family,” I said.

The girl’s eyes lit up even more. “Tell Santa thank you from Dorothy,” she said. I never saw her or her family again, but they, and the other folks I met in town, helped give Huron a permanent place in my heart. A heart that now needed fixing, badly.

A nurse came in to check on me. “Will you pray with me?” I asked. She took my hand and held it until our prayer was finished.

“Where are you from?” she asked.

“Huron,” I answered proudly.

She smiled. “I grew up there,” she said. “I loved it, even though life wasn’t easy. I lost my father when I was just a child.”

I looked into her sparkly brown eyes and knew I’d seen them before. “Do you recall a sailor bringing presents to your door one Christmas?”

She stared. “That was you!”

“Yes, Dorothy,” I said, suddenly confident about my surgery. “That was me.”

See the reader comments below for a comment by Robert Reynolds, the author of this story! Robert stopped by my blog and mentioned a fact about the story worth noting.

Click here to view all my posts on the transcendent power of kindness.

Click here to view all the Guideposts stories on this blog.


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9 Responses to “Sparkly Brown Eyes”

  1. Kate Says:

    What a great story!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Glad you like it, Kate!

  3. Nequi Says:

    Life is a full circle. This story just shows it. It brought to tears to my eyes. I’m glad that i made a stop and read ur posts. They truly are inspiring. Thank u Phil. May God bless u and ur family.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Nequi. I’m glad the story touched you.

  5. Robert Reynolds Says:

    Phil, thank you for passing this story on. A fact that was not included: The time between the first meeting with Dorothy and my 2nd meeting in the hospital was 47 years. God never forgets!

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    It’s wonderful to hear form you, Robert! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, 47 years is but a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things!

  7. Jackie Hamilton Says:

    Bless you Bob! God is doing amazing things through your work:)

    Jackie H.

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Not sure if you mean Bob or me, Jackie, but either way, thank you!

  9. Mila Says:

    My husband and I recently had the honor of meeting Bob and Shirley. What a lovely couple. Bob has been writing poetry for many years, but this is the most beautiful poem I have ever read from him!

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