I Met A Little Boy
Every time I switch out purses, I come across my dingy old crucifix. It’s a silver and gold-colored crucifix with green gemstones, and made of some sort of plastic material. It is missing one gemstone. A spunky 5-year-old Caucasian little boy with beautiful green eyes gifted the crucifix to me. His name was Timothy.
It was the year 1981. I worked as a cake decorator at Baskin-Robbins. Timothy came in with his Mom every day and ate a French vanilla ice cream cone. Neither Timothy nor his Mom spoke Spanish, so I would tend to them since I was fluent in English. Timothy was not shy at all and asked many questions about ice cream.
Timothy loved the cake decorations and complimented my cake decorating skills. He especially enjoyed the ice cream clown cones, which were nothing other than a vanilla or chocolate upside down ice cream cone with a cherry as its nose, icing as its eyes, mouth, and decoration. His Mom didn’t buy those since Timothy liked French vanilla and I never made French vanilla ice cream cones.
One time on their usual visit, I said to him, “Wow Timothy, you are so lucky to have a Mom who brings you to get ice cream every day!” Timothy replied, “I sure am,” while licking away on his ice cream cone and chatting as he usually did. There was something about that little boy that made me stop what I was doing just to listen to him talk. If I was very busy, his Mom would prop him on the counter closest to my decorating area, and he’d continue to talk to me while I worked. He always made me laugh and smile. Timothy made me happy.
I had not seen Timothy in about a week. One day, Timothy’s Mom dropped in by herself and purchased a pint of French Vanilla ice cream. I asked her about Timothy; she responded he was ill. I thought maybe he had a cold or something like that and asked. Her response left me in shock. She said, “Timothy has cancer and doesn’t have much time to live.” She told me he knew, but didn’t understand it too well.
She told him he could have whatever he wanted in the world and all Timothy requested was a French vanilla ice cream cone every day until the day he went back home to God. I was speechless and other than “I’m sorry” I didn’t know what else to say. She smiled, thanked me and told me that most likely she could bring him on Friday or Saturday if he was feeling better.
Expecting to see him that weekend, I made a single French vanilla clown cone for Timothy and wrote his name on the clown’s hat. It would be my little gift to him.
Friday came along and in ran Timothy with a massive smile on his face. I could hear him yell, “Hi Miss Debbie” in his sweet child’s voice. I turned around from my decorating area and went to greet him. He asked for his usual French Vanilla cone, and while he ran to the fridge where the cakes and clown cones were, I told his Mom about the clown ice cream cone I had made especially for him and asked if it was okay.
When she gave me the authorization to give it to him, I walked over to where Timothy stood and asked him if he knew how to read his name. He responded he did, so I motioned for him to look towards the clown cones. When he saw his name, he got very excited and asked if it was for him. I responded it was and gave it to him. I will never forget that look of happiness on his face over an ice cream clown.
The Old Dingy Crucifix
The next day, Timothy and his Mom returned. Timothy had a gift for me. He brought in an old worn-out, thin cake decorating ideas book and a small gift wrapped by him. He handed me the book and gift, and I unwrapped it. It was the crucifix. He told me he wanted me to have it, so I would never forget him. For the first time since I knew Timothy, tears rolled down my cheeks. He was the sweetest little boy I had known. I thanked him. He ate his usual French vanilla cone, and they were on their way. That was the last time I saw Timothy.
A few months went by when his Mom dropped in by herself. I didn’t need to ask. I already knew that she wasn’t there to buy ice cream. She was very sad. She looked at me and said, “I just want to thank you for your kindness towards my son. Timothy passed away a month ago.”
The rest of my day was a blur. I didn’t know Timothy that well, but he was such a delight that it was easy for anyone to feel love for him. Remembering that the crucifix was on top of the counter where I decorated cakes along with the cake decorating booklet, I walked towards it. I took the crucifix in my hand and vowed that I would never part from it or forget Timothy, and I placed it in my purse.
So as of today, every time I switch handbags, I transfer the crucifix into my new bag. And every time I come across it, memories of Timothy flood my mind. I will never forget him. Thank you, Timothy. May you rest in peace. With Love, Miss Debbie.