“Mom’s Present Was Missing!” Ensign, Dec. 1995, 56–57
Mom’s Present Was Missing!
Kathy worked her way through the holiday crowds. She considered the meager amount in her purse that was to cover Christmas gifts for her seven children and one or two close relatives. The year had not been good for her husband, who like others at the company where he worked had been required to take a pay cut to avoid losing his job.
With the shopping almost done, Kathy found a beautiful blouse, just the color, size, and style that she knew her mother would love. Best of all, it was on sale, and she could buy it and still stay within her budget. She purchased it and felt a glow of excitement, knowing the gift was exactly right.
Having finished her shopping, she gathered the twins and all the packages and headed for the car. Then she discovered that one of the packages was missing—the gift for her mother!
She retraced her steps carefully, but her unsuccessful inquiries brought a bitter realization of the truth: no gift for her mother, and no money left to replace it.
Standing amid the holiday crowds, the twins clinging to her package-laden arms, Kathy felt only the burden of the holidays and none of the joy. Her tears flowed freely.
A woman approached and touched Kathy’s arm, saying, “Dear, I noticed you talking with one of the clerks about your lost parcel. Please take this, and buy another blouse for your mother. You see, this Christmas I have no mother to buy a gift for. Please, it would mean so much to me.” The woman pressed a twenty-dollar bill into Kathy’s hand and slipped away before Kathy could speak.
Lost in thought, Kathy walked slowly toward the rack of women’s blouses. The crowds of men, women, and children still bumped and jostled her, but she was no longer bothered by them. She knew one of them might be another “angel in disguise.”