Open Hands Make Richer Hearts / by Roni Delmonico

Check out this kiddo - my youngest son, Eric.  He's a pretty great little boy... who, like most boys I know.. loves video games and riding his bike, basketball, bowling, and playing in the snow. But I will tell you, he is anything but typical and he gave me a moment at the fair yesterday, that I... and a few stouthearted marines, will never forget.

There are lots of informational tables all over the fairgrounds where people are looking for donations or a sale of some kind.  We stopped at this particular table yesterday, as my brother is now a Marine, in service to our country.  We lingered for a minute, talking with the guys there and one Marine really stood out.  His name is Cameron, and he lost his leg in the Vietnam War.  He lifted his pant leg and showed the boys his prosthetic leg and the Marine standing next to him said, "He's our bionic man."  We continued to talk to him about his experience and to thank him for his service and hug him in appreciation.  Eric was quietly taking it all in and processing it in his own way, unbeknownst to us.  On the table in front of him, there were rows of tiny silk roses being given to those who donated to the cause.  Each one of them had a label commemorating our fallen soldiers and those who had risked life and limb to protect the freedom and ideals of this country.

We had given each of the boys $20 to spend on whatever they wanted throughout the day, and my son reached into his pocket, took out his last $10 bill and handed it quietly to Cameron.  When asked if he wanted change, he shook his head and said.."No, you keep it."

I will never, as long as I live, forget the look on that man's face, just before the tears began to fall.  And I have never, ever been prouder of my little boy.  There was no fanfare, it was just a quiet moment, unnoticed by all but a few misty eyed Marines. (and his mom).

For some incredibly rich food for thought, take a look: How rich am I?