Tom’s one week post-op eye appointment brought good news; the eye is healing well, better than expected, actually, and especially considering all he and his eye have endured. With a few less eye drops to be administered daily, we remarked on how nice it was to be given 30 minutes back in our days. We both said “Merry Christmas” for it was a gift, indeed, and felt just a wee bit of weight lifting from our shoulders.
As I backed the car from its parking nest, I mentioned that it was closing in on the noon hour and wondered aloud if Tom would like to have a nice lunch to celebrate the good news at Francesca’s in Forest Park?”. Cleaning out my wallet a little earlier, I came across a gift card I had been given as a thank you for someone I helped out a few winters ago. The Francesca restaurants are a delicious chain of Italian restaurants across the area and Francesca’s Fiore in Forest Park was on our way home.
As we looked for a parking place along the busy, city avenue, it seemed the only option was a paid city lot. It’s hard to haggle over such things when lunch has already been paid, so, into the lot I turned, parked the ever faithful mocha VW with latte interior (I’m going to miss this caffeinated car some day). Tom, with those blackened glasses one needs to wear after cataract surgery, and I looked about to pay. Perplexed, we wandered a bit when Tom of the afore-mentioned glasses and dilated eyes, said “it’s free“. There was the payment post, all wrapped up like a present, informing whomever that Forest Park was lifting their parking fees during the month of December. As we walked, we saw meters up and down the street with their meter mouths all taped up, on a coin diet for the season, and our steps were just a bit lighter at this gesture – a gift of free parking. Quite a nice municipal gift, don’t you agree?
We had such a delightful lunch, chatting and chewing and caressing the moments of bliss on a cold but sunny afternoon with good news, good will, and good food the generous gifts of the day, all reminding me that gifts aren’t always those wrapped up in pretty paper with bows. They are the simple gifts of life. My wish is that you find one of them today.