Well, it seems that I’m on a “Book Tour”. Over my career, I visited 45 schools in our board, to work with visually impaired students. I decided a few weeks ago to drop into a lot of them, to see who would like a copy of Jody’s book. So many people are saying yes, and even if the answer is no, it’s wonderful to see old friends again.
Months ago, I was trying to decide how many books to have printed. The number “500” bubbled to the surface, to be immediately squashed by my small mind: “Oh, Bruce. You’re going to end up with 480 books in the basement.” As of tonight, I’ve given away 432, and last week I ordered another 500. I’m so happy that people are touched by our story.
Today I was at St. Vincent de Paul School in Strathroy, Ontario. As I was talking to a teacher in the hallway, a young girl came up to me smiling and said, “You gave me your ring.” I’ll call her Bela. Three years ago I was working with a low vision child in a Junior Kindergarten class. A student I didn’t know (Bela) approached me and said, “I like your ring.” (It’s a large gold band with a red garnet … a gift from my lovely wife Jodiette.) I didn’t think. I just did. I twisted the ring off my right pinky finger and put it in Bela’s hand. I smiled. And then I walked back to my student. A few minutes later I glanced over at Bela, and she was cupping my ring in her open palm … just looking at it. A bit later I took it back.
That was then. This is now. Bela in the hallway, now a Grade 2 student. I did what any normal human being would have done: I twisted off Jody’s ring and put it in Bela’s hand. Big smile from her. Later in the classroom, she said, “I hope I see you again. I want a hug.” So we hugged. I know I’m not supposed to, but gosh, there was a human being in front of me.
At the end of the period, as the kids were leaving the room, Bela looked back at me, smiled, and spoke a sentence with the word “God” in it. I wish I could remember exactly what she said. My guess? “God loves you.” And she was gone.