Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Best Gift of All

The other day I was editing some photos in my office, when my kids jumped up and said "Mom, you've got to come and look," as they stood by the window, "and see the cutest thing you've ever seen!"
"What?" I asked, a little preoccupied.

"Just come and look!" they exclaimed.
So I looked, and saw one of the cutest things I've ever seen. My sweet neighbor, Norris, walking across the street with a Christmas gift in his hands. I rushed to the door to greet him.
You might wonder why we would be so excited to see Norris walking across the street. Norris' eye was damaged beyond repair by radiation treatment, and is covered by a cool black patch. Since that first awful bout of Cancer, Norris has had several Cancer spots removed from the side of his head.
Just this year, Norris got very sick, and was rushed to the hospital. He was there for a week, while they did every test you could imagine to figure out what was wrong with him. Janice, his darling wife, was at there at his side during his every waking moment.

The doctors found scar tissue in his brain, also caused from the radiation treatments. Norris has seizures, severe nausea, and dizziness. About a month ago he was so sick, he had to crawl down the stairs to go to the restroom. But you'll never hear Norris complain. On the contrary, Norris is one of the happiest people I know.
Norris has a heart full of love and compassion. He prays for me whenever he sees me climb on my horse to go for a ride. He checks to make sure I've made it home safely. Norris has come to my rescue many times when I'm sitting on the porch swing, and he sees unsavory boys from down the road bugging me. He's caught our naughty dogs running amuck, and chased our lawn furniture down the street in hearty gusts of wind. He is our very own guardian angel.

Norris and Janice (who is also an angel) are sweethearts and best friends. They are so adorable together. It is almost like they are one person. Norris and Janice still hold hands, and are always together. If I don't see them just inside their front door, where they sit side by side every single day, my world tips a little bit. I love them both so much.

So when I saw Norris walking over to my house with a Christmas gift, it warmed my heart. It was difficult for him to walk across the street and up the steps of our front porch. But he did it with a smile on his face. I couldn't wait to give him a great big kiss on the cheek.

He came in to my office and sat on my mother's couch. I sat next to him, while Rick and the girls hovered over him in delight. The gift that Janice and Norris gave us was very thoughtful and sweet, but the best gift of all was when Norris delivered it.

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