On the afternoon before the Model Train club meeting, Sam called me to ask me if I was going to be at the meeting. I am sure he wanted to remind me it was to be the initial night of Toby’s membership.
“Of course I plan to be there.” I told him, “I wouldn’t miss it for anything”
I arrived a few minutes early like I usually do for the monthly meeting. It is held at the basement of the Hobby shop. It appeared that many of the 20 members were already present, and early like myself. Sam greeted me and thanked me for coming, although he does this for everyone that attends the meeting, he shook my hand with an earnest reception.
I sat towards the back of the room. When everyone chosen a seat, there was no one sat by me What! do I stink or something? I thought to myself. I took a shower before I came to the meeting. Just then, in walked Toby with his mom and his uncle. They all sat by me.
Toby sat right next to me and introduced me to his uncle and his mom. We greeted each other then took our seats
Toby’s Mom, Helen, said, “I want to thank you Jim for making my son very happy.”
I nodded to her and said
“It is my pleasure.”
Toby faced his uncle and said
“ Uncle Mike, this is Jim... he’s the nice man that bought me the train set.”
Mike stuck his hand out and we shook hands. He asked me why I did this for Toby?
“Just because I wanted to” was all I said.
He looked me in the eye and smiled. Then he said, “That was very thoughtful of you to do such a nice deed.” “He now has everything he ever wanted in his Set-up, you sure did make him one happy boy.”
“I am very pleased that he likes the trains.” “He is one nice young boy, he reminds me of someone...” I did not finish what I was going to say.
Mike just smiled and did not push me to finish what I was going to say.
Sam called the meeting to order, He opened with an introduction,
“The first thing I want to say is, thank you all for coming.” “We have a new member that just joined the club.” “Toby come on up.”
Politely he asked, “Sir, can I bring my mom and uncle up with me?”
“Well yes you sure can bring them along with you.”
Sam asked Mom what her name was.
“It is our pleasure to have him in our club.” Sam beamed.
Then Toby’s uncle said, “I am his uncle Mike, this is a very special night for all of us.”
Sam presented Toby his membership card. Which, Toby proudly accepted, and shook Sam's hand, thanking him. Sam asked Toby to say a little more, “Now, Toby you have to tell us all about your train lay out.”
He spoke up quite clearly and announced, “The first train set I have is very small, it only has one engine, four cars and a tunnel that my uncle had made for the lay out.” “I always like coming into this store to look at all the trains and to play with Sam's trains in the basement.”
“I always hoped that someday I will have a train lay out just like this one.” “That some day came when I meet Jim.” “You see we met here, and we were just talking bout our trains, and I guess I told him what would make-up my ultimate lay-out, and well.... he made it happen for me.” “It was the best day of my life well almost the best day of my life.”
Sam introduced Helen and asked her if she would like to say something?
She stood and looked towards me, “Jim! we all know why you did this for Toby.” “Sam told us all about how you lost your nephew in a automobile accident.”:And thanks to your kindness, you have made my son a very happy boy.”
Sam looked at me as if he was inviting me up to say something. Then he motioned me to come-up front.
I stood and walked to the front, debating to myself what I should say. I was prepared to tell the whole room, but instead I looked only at Toby with his mom and uncle.
“First let me explain it to you how this all started.” “When Robbie was a little boy we would always go to town and pick a name or two off the Giving Tree.” “We would buy everything that was on that list” “But often, he would also pick out an extra toy for whomever the random kid was.”
I continued my story, “When he was killed in the automobile accident, every year I would go and pick a couple of names on a giving tree and buy everything on those kid’s lists, and a extra toy or two.” “Except this year when I meet your son in the store and he was so polite, then he shook my hand not only once but twice.” “It just reminded me so much of Robbie, and that is when, I decided that he needed the train set.”
Toby said, “You bought more than I showed you.”
All I could say was, “If you’re going to have a train lay-out, you have to have a good one with everything to go along with it.”
Toby looked to his Mom, and smiled ear to ear. I reckon he knew the Giving Tree had bloomed a handsome gift for him to enjoy.
Helen gave me hug and thanked me and told me how much he appreciated what I had done for her boy. Toby had tears in his eyes and thanked me again for everything. He is a treasured soul, and I am quite proud to tell about him.