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.


{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrea September 14, 2011 at 1:56 am

I am all teary eyed now. What a beautiful story. So very special.


2 Shana D September 14, 2011 at 2:26 am

Oh my goodness, that is such a touching story. What an amazing gift for your entire family, especially you, to see your little man play with your dads train set.


3 julie/just precious September 14, 2011 at 3:12 am

beautiful. Absolutely. And said with such love.


4 Kimberly September 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm

What a touching story. It’s good to know that there are still people like your old neighbor who would make this possible. Too many people would have put the train on ebay without thinking twice.


5 Nanette ~ AMomBlog September 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm

What a beautiful story. I can see it choked you up just reading it brought tears to my eyes.


6 Chris Huff September 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm

A beautiful tribute


7 Jessica Lieb September 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm

What a blessing and beautiful story.


8 Kelly September 14, 2011 at 10:59 am

I’m tearing up reading this. What a wonderful story.


9 The Maven September 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Totally teared up. What a wonderful story.


10 IlinaP September 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Oh Erin, that is simply astounding.


11 Kathy September 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm

That is so cool. He must have been listening and sent the new owners to find the box. Glad you have it now.


12 Laura S September 14, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Wow. Just wow. Totally amazing and definitely brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing blessing.


13 Emily September 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Wonderful story, Erin!


14 Melissa {adventuroo} September 15, 2011 at 9:32 am

This made me tear up. What an amazing story and what a gift to you AND your little guy.


15 Jacki September 15, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Wow, just wow. Tears were welling up as I read this piece. I am so glad that the train set was found. What a wonderful way to create a connection between your son and father.


16 Crissy September 16, 2011 at 9:42 pm

What a sweet story, how awesome that the train set reappeared in your life like that!


17 suzanne @ pretty swell September 16, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Oh wow. What an incredible and beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it with us!


18 KeAnne September 17, 2011 at 10:01 am

What a beautiful story! I know that train set will be treasured.


19 ConnieFoggles September 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Very touching. I believe that our loved ones send us messages of love and to me this is more proof.


20 Kate, aka guavalicious September 18, 2011 at 6:50 pm

What a beautiful story. Life really comes through for us sometimes!!


21 insurance for Super visa December 29, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Nice blog it was a worth reading. this as I have read other online views on the same. It was good to spend evening going through internet I’ll visit again to read more on this website.


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