The Lady in White
By DANNY MINTON
I met her close to seventy years ago. I don’t remember her name, and the only thing I can remember about how she looked was the white dress she wore. The day I met her was Christmas Day, and it was on that day she became the hero for a day of a small pre-school child.
The story unfolds the night before, Christmas Eve, in North Central Texas. My younger brother, sister and our mother were in Howe, Texas, waiting for my dad and uncle to arrive from Dallas. My dad had to work late and was bringing them to Howe for a family Christmas. Somewhere between Dallas and Richardson along old Plano Road, a drunk driver ran a stop sign and rammed the side of my dad’s car, sending it into the ditch and severely injuring my dad, aunt, uncle, and infant cousin.
The family, as I remember, were impatiently waiting for the family to arrive. They were well overdue when there was a phone call. I remember the panic and my grandparents and mother rounding us up into the car, delivering my siblings and me to my grandmother’s home in Garland, and heading out again. It was somewhere in the panic that I learned about the accident and that my dad was in the hospital.
I was scared and wanted to see my dad and make sure he was okay. I remember crying and hiding under the bed, begging to see him. Hospitals at that time did not allow small children to visit the rooms. However, my mother decided to take me to the hospital and try to help me to see my dad.
The lady in white was a nurse on the floor where my dad lay injured. The rules said, “No Minor Children,” but my family spoke with the nurse while I was downstairs. I remember next being escorted by my family up a back stairwell and quietly stepping to the floor that had my dad’s room where I could see him. The nurse had told them to quietly come up the back way to avoid resistance from anyone and make our way to the room. She went out of her way to show kindness and break the rules to allow a small child to be comforted by seeing his dad on Christmas Day.
Heroes in our lives come in many different forms. Some people do things that go above and beyond to help others who can’t help themselves. Most heroes that we think about are those who give their physical lives for others, men and women who offer the ultimate sacrifice. However, some heroes do little things that may go unnoticed by everyone except the one involved. An act of kindness, breaking the rules, and giving comfort to a small child made one nurse a hero to that little boy.
Kindness to one another and strangers is an easy act to perform, and it doesn’t require great resources or talent. It is a gift given by treating others like you would like them to treat you. Simple words and actions are easy to share but cherished by the one who receives the gift, sometimes years later.
Take time to be kind to each person you meet. Go out of your way to do something nice for someone who needs lifting up. Make it a point during this Christmas season to leave everyone you meet with a feeling of warmth and good feelings. In your words and actions, show kindness to others. Hopefully, you won’t have to break the rules to show your heart, but if you do, remember you may be somebody’s hero for the day.
I am thankful for the lady in white from decades ago who showed me kindness on that Christmas Day. I pray that one day someone will look back on something I said or did and remember someone who showed them kindness in their hour of need.
“Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand. What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And, it is better to be a poor man than a liar.” Proverbs 19:21-22 (NASB)
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ