Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I got a GREAT letter in the mail today. Just looking at it makes me happy, but you won't understand why unless I tell you the story.
A couple of months ago, I spent a ridiculous amount of money for two seats to an Andrea Bocelli Christmas concert. This impulsive decision was based on the fact that I'd seen a couple of amazing songs from the show on PBS a couple of nights earlier. When an advertisement for Bocelli appeared in my inbox, I ended up clicking "purchase." I wanted to see that concert like no other.
I broke the news to my husband, helped him through his near collapse upon hearing the price, then settled in to wait for the big day. When I went to print out the tickets, one night before the big event, I suddenly froze. You see, the tickets were not quite what I expected. Oh sure, they were for the right night. They were even for the right performer. The only problem was this: They were for the wrong arena! No, I am not kidding you. I had purchased horrifically expensive tickets to the Staples Center in LA, even though I happen to reside hundreds of miles away in the Bay area. "How did this happen," you may well ask? And I would love to supply a reasonable answer, except that there is none. Well, I guess maybe you could sort of defend my sanity by pointing out that I'm from LA (and a big Lakers fan), so the Staples Center does sound familiar to me. But, still. Kinda scary, right?
Even scarier was the fact that I had splurged on two very pricey tickets I could not use. My first thought was to give them to one of my relatives in LA as an early Christmas present. (Many were interested; none could make it.) Having struck out with the family, I put 'em on Craigslist, hoping for the best. After a few nibbles but no real bites, I facebooked my LA friends to see if anyone could take the goods off my hands. No such luck. As the concert drew nigh, I realized that it was either waste the tickets entirely or gift them to a stranger. And if I was going to give them away, I wanted it to be to someone who deserved a great big lucky break for Christmas.
With that in mind, I texted my sister. She works at a Catholic school near LA with a bunch of amazing women, and I asked her to pick one of them to receive the tickets. My criteria was that she choose someone who normally couldn't afford that type of thing. (After all, teachers don't exactly get paid what they're worth, right?) Anyway, she wound up choosing a young woman who was apparently over the moon to go to the concert. I sent her the tickets happily, and that was that.
Until I got her letter today, that is. I'm going to share an excerpt with you, because it's quite remarkable. Have you ever heard of tender mercies? (If not, you have now!)
"Dear Sue- You have no idea what a huge blessing the concert was for us. My mother-in-law passed away at Thanksgiving; she was a big fan of Bocelli. With our travels to Louisiana to take care of Dad, there is no way we could have afforded to go to Staples otherwise. With tears in his eyes, while they started to perform 'The Prayer,' my husband said he thought this gift was from his mom, and that our angel messenger was you. 'Thank you' cannot express our depth of gratitude."
"Thank you" can't express my depth of gratitude, either...that I got to be in on this heavenly gift exchange from mother to son. How cool is that? MADE MY DAY. And made me think that not all of these little mistakes in life are really accidents!
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