A Precious Gift

by Erin L. on September 14, 2011

Today a truly amazing thing happened.

There is a bit of a backstory so please bear with me.

A few weeks ago, my mother, sister and I piled in the car with Miss E. for a girls weekend at my grandmother’s.  It was her birthday and having just lost her brother to cancer, it was extra important to us to go and see her.  (It’s my father’s mother.)

While we there, my grandmother brought up my father’s old train set and remarked that she thought my mother had it.  My mom said that she had honestly never seen it and didn’t think that she had it anywhere in her house — which was sad as it would have been a nice memory of him.

On Friday of last week, my mother and sister were here and told me that something really cool had happened.  A former neighbor of ours told my mom she had something for her…a box that a new neighbor had found in our old house.

It wasn’t labeled with anything other than my father’s name.   A name my neighbor only knew in passing.

It was the train set.

My father had apparently packed it up in 1981 (said the newspaper it was all so delicately wrapped in) and put it into our garage.  When we moved to Raleigh in ’89, many many years after my father had died, it became just another box in the move.  My grandfather built a shelf up in the rafters of the garage, and there the box sat.  My mom didn’t know it had been left behind in the move a decade ago…and didn’t even know that it existed.

Until now.

Today this happened.

My son played with his grandpa’s train set.  A set that is probably 50+ years old.   A set we thought was lost forever.

He played quietly, gently, almost as if he knew that this train was different than his others.  Special.

I didn’t really have words…and find even now…I’m choked up.  My son is able to experience a piece of my father.  A man he’ll never meet, never have the chance to know.  Some days it pains me to no end.  Days like today, I experienced a sort of  peace.

He’s here.


I believe in heaven.

I know he is with us….with my grandmother, my mother, my sister, my son and my daughter.  I believe he can see us, watch over us.

Because he gave us a present.  An amazing, wonderful present.

One that I’ll treasure forever.


Thank you Daddy.  We miss you.


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