I was there to look for an extra chair to pull up to the dinner table during the holidays. Although I am usually a little annoyed by people who sing mindlessly along with the recorded music playing in a store, I didn’t mind that she was singing along with the Christmas carols. Her voice was unforced, pure, and soft. She was completely engrossed in what she was doing, which was picking out gifts. Her cart was lined with her selections, which ranged from figurines to several spoons. She was completely and purely happy, and for a few minutes, she was safe.

The store staff knew her, I was certainly no threat at all, and there was nobody else around to spoil her moment. Her physical handicaps, which were many, were not hampering her enjoyment. She said to me, “I have $20 to work with today. I think I can find something for everybody.”

I answered her, “I am sure you will.”

I found a chair, took it through the line, and paid the $4.98 that was printed on the tag. In back of me, I heard her singing softly to herself as she thought about the ones she loved, and picked out their gifts. “…all is calm, all is bright.”

 All was bright, indeed.