Now, I know my thoughts on Thanksgiving Eve should center on all the wonderful things for which I’m thankful but, I admit, all I can think about is “retail”. I just saw on television that Kohls is opening at 4am on Friday…4 AM!!!! Wow! I do love to shop but THAT is commitment. I’m actually not a Black Friday shopper…I got up early several years ago to experience the festive hustle and bustle of the day and returned home 45 minutes later in tears after witnessing a mob of crazed shoppers literally trampling people in a race for some deal…seriously out of balance.
My enthusiasm for shopping has actually waned since moving to the Santa Barbara area. As perfect as our community is on so many levels, shopping venues are limited. Believe it or not, we don’t have a WalMart (yes, it may not be politically correct, but I am an unashamed WalMart shopper) OR a Target! (I KNOW! I can hear the collective gasp from you all!!) Oh, I suppose it’s for the best in the long run but there are those days when I long for that therapeutic trip to Home Goods 🙂 Well, it was one of those days shortly after we brought Rudy home from the hospital when I wandered into our Tiffany & Co. (to window shop…really!) thrilled to finally be “out and about” with Rudy in tow…I must have been pretty excited to show off our precious one as well because I gave sales manager Chelsea a pretty detailed account of Rudy’s journey when she gushed over how cute he was. Ha She was sweet to show interest in Rudy so I gave her the blog address and off I went.
Fast forward 5 months…”Mom, there’s a man in a suit holding a bag in the front yard and he wants to talk with you” I heard one of the kids yell from the back door. “Rolf will take care of it” I said to myself thinking he was a door-to-door salesman of some kind but a couple of minutes later I hear, “Uh, Trish, there’s someone here to see you”. Confused, I walked to the front door to find a man in a suit holding NOT JUST ANY BAG…a trademark blue TIFFANY bag. I shot a “what are you up to?” look at Rolf but it was clear he had no clue what was going on. Our mysterious visitor quickly identified himself as a Tiffany & Co. associate who stopped by on his way home from work to deliver a gift on behalf of the store!!!! He’s WHO?…from WHERE?…and WHY? I was so excited when (my new BFF) Paul handed me the bag you would have thought I was accepting a Publisher’s Clearing House check from Ed McMahon! Paul added that he and his co-workers had been following RudysBeat and how pleased he was to meet Rudy in the flesh! Equally touching was the note that accompanied the bag…”Dear Trish, You and Rudy left such a great impression on me and the entire staff here at Tiffany & Co. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us and we hope that you and Rudy are in good spirits. I know you are heading back to UCLA soon so I thought this “Courage” pendant would be appropriate for you to have on behalf of Tiffany & Co. La Cumbre Plaza….Sincerely, Chelsea V.” (So sweet!)
Fast forward another month…We ran into Chelsea and her family at a local eatery when she told me to stop by the store because they had a gift waiting for Rudy…from the Tiffany & C0. LAS VEGAS BELLAGIO team!!!! WHO?…from WHERE? Again, I was blown away!!! Sure enough, the Bellagio team had been following Rudy’s story as well and sent him a beautiful Tiffany football piggy bank with a card addressed to: Our Inspiration Little Rudy! (Super sweet!)
Okay, so my little pre-Thanksgiving story isn’t O Henry’s Gift of the Magi but it is a fun and unexpected (and MUCH appreciated) reminder that Rudy is known, loved and shown extravagance not because he can give anything in return but simply for being himself AND that the kindness of strangers goes a LONG way in bringing encouragement and lifting heavy hearts…
I pulled out a stash of papers from Rudy’s files this week…an 11-page, single-spaced list of people to whom we’ve written thank you notes on Rudy’s behalf this past year…a list of kindnesses from both strangers and those close to our hearts…a pretty remarkable list of some remarkable people for which we are forever and deeply grateful. Happy Thanksgiving dear Friends of Rudy! May this holiday season be marked by abundant joy, extravagant love and “fear-eliminating” hope for us all!