WARNING: HANG ON TO YOUR HANKIE. I WROTE THIS TRUE STORY ON CHRISTMAS EVE: NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO PROTECT THE BLESSINGS OF THE ANONYMOUS.
Life was not fair for Audrey. Everyone else was going to dances, concerts, work, school, Institute, and other fun YSA activities. Instead she had spent the last 15 months trapped in the house, laid low by a mysterious illness that the best medical minds could not accurately diagnose. Any physical or mental effort was met with debilitating dizziness and headaches. Recovery was slow, torturous, and unpredictable. She led a life dominated by despair, sparsely decorated by thin slivers of hope.
One of those slivers was the moment of accomplishment she felt immersed in building an elegant Victorian-style dollhouse from a craft kit bought at Michaels. She enjoyed crafting, and she embraced the hope that this hobby would distract her heart and mind away from more serious burdens. She thought she was approaching happiness along the way. Maybe she was.
Oddly enough, during her extended illness one of her few friends was a three-year old darling named Anna. Occasionally, health permitting, Audrey attended sacrament meeting and quietly entertained Anna, who always sat in the pew behind them with her family. Over several months of short, intermittent engagement with Anna, Audrey drew three critical conclusions: 1) Anna was the most charming, cutest little girl in the world; 2) Anna’s family was struggling to make ends meet; and 3) she would be much happier if the elegant Victorian dollhouse she had built over the months of her extended illness belonged to Anna.
Audrey populated the dollhouse with a few tiny dolls. She then enclosed the dollhouse in festive red wrapping paper, and on Christmas Eve had her father take her over to Anna’s house just down the street. Audrey surprised Anna and her parents at the doorstep with a big, red gift for Anna to open the next morning. The doorstep event brought tears of joy and gratitude to Anna and her mom and Audrey and her dad; everyone was happy.