Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Don’t Know How to Love This Many Cars

"Long ago, the little son of my friends and I became quite good friends ourselves. A lot of the time we played with his two tiny cars, running them from windowsill to windowsill, parking them and racing them and telling each other all the while what we imaged we passed ‘on the road.’ Sometimes I would have the one with the chipped wheel. Sometimes he would have it. It was great fun, and I loved this little boy dearly.

At that time these little Hot Wheels cars were avidly collected by most six-year-old boys. Kenny dreamed of them and I yearned to buy him more, but I could not think of a way to do this without embarrassing my friends. Kenny’s father was an artist and a lay preacher, and his mother was a housewife who brought beauty to everything she touched. They lived very richly indeed but they had little money.

Then one of the major gas companies began a Hot Wheels giveaway: a car with every fill-up. I was delighted. Quickly I persuade the entire clinic staff to buy this brand of gas for a month, and organized all twenty of us with checklists, so that we would not get two fire engines or Porsches or Volkswagens. In a month we accumulated all the Hot Wheels cars then made, and I gave them to Kenny in a big box. They filled every windowsill in the living room, and then he stopped playing with them. Puzzled, I asked him why he did not like his car anymore. He looked away and in a quivery voice he said. 'I don’t know how to love this many cars, Rachel.' I was stunned. Ever since, I have been careful to be sure not to have more Hot Wheels than I can love.” -- Rachel Naomi Remen, MD "My Grandfather's Blessing"

The greatest gift you can give this Christmas is to be fully present – physically, mentally and emotionally – to those you love.

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