It was his birthday, and 13-year-old Kelvin was expectant of his birthday parcel when he opened his eyes. He had told his parents exactly what he wanted and knew they would get it for him, a hoverboard. He looked around his room and saw nothing; maybe it’s under his bed. He jumped onto his knees to peer under his bed; nothing. Maybe they left it on the dining table.
“Kelvin!”, he heard his mother shout. “Get into the shower now as you’re running late for school”, Let me do just that, he thought. By the time he was done dressing up, Kelvin was certain that his gift was in the car.
“Happy birthday, Kelvin!”, his mother and older siblings chorused as he sat down to his breakfast. “Thank you”, Kelvin said, beaming with smiles as chomped down on his doughnut, slurping his porridge noisily. He couldn’t help himself; “Mom, did you get me my present?” “Finish up your breakfast; we are running late”. “Where is Dad?”, Kelvin asked, as he hadn’t seen his dad all morning. “Finish up and let’s go, Kelvin!”. His mother’s voice had a hint of sternness.
As he slid into the backseat of their family car, his heart sunk. No sight of any birthday gift; his eyes begun to sting. They must not love me enough, he thought. They didn’t get my present even though they asked me what I wanted; he was so into his thoughts he didn’t hear his mother talking to him.
“Did you hear me?”, his mother asked. Kelvin was wrapped up in his own thoughts and disappointment. He looked up and his eyes met his mom’s through the driving mirror; “Your father isn’t feeling well and is on admission at the hospital. When I drop you off, I will go and see him”.
“Does this mean I will not get my Hoverboard present?”, he asked, still looking disappointed. His mother wasn’t looking at him through the driving mirror anymore; she focused on driving. Kevin got down from the car when it pulled up at the school gate, and without as much as a goodbye to his mom, slammed the door and walked off, He was upset. How could they?! They had asked him, and he specifically told them what he wanted for his birthday so why didn’t they get it for him? He was in a foul mood all morning, and no one could cheer him up. At lunch time, his teacher told him the principal wanted to have a word with him in her office. “Take your belongings with you”, his teacher added.
Maybe the Principal is in on a birthday surprise for him; his Hoverboard is in her office. The thought put a spring in his step as he walked briskly to the principal’s office. As he opened the door, his mother’s back was facing him, whilst the principal welcomed him into her office. Why is his mother here at lunch time? Or she brought his Hoverboard? “Your mother is here to take you home”, Principal Mills said. And with that, his mother got up, thanked her and reached for Kelvin’s hand. Her grip on his hand got his attention; something is wrong, Kelvin sensed. “Your father’s condition’s gotten worse; he wants to see you,.” was all his mother muttered.
At the hospital, his father had cords hooked to many parts of his body; this was not an unfamiliar sight for Kelvin. His father’s existing health condition was known to them all. But this time, his dad wasn’t speaking or moving, and his mother was now fully weeping. Kelvin got it; his dad was gone. “He had wanted to see you, but we got here too late…he’s gone”, his mother said.
Kelvin saw a note with his name near his dad’s bedside, it read; My son, your Hoverboard is in my wardrobe. Enjoy your 13th. Love you, Dad.
Kelvin broke down into convulsive tears; so, his father remembered! But his dad was gone; how was he ever going to thank him? For all he had done for him. Suddenly the Hoverboard meant nothing to him. His mom drew him in, and they both sobbed together. How I wish I could have my Dad back, Kelvin thought to himself.
We have so many blessings around us that we should be grateful for and yet, we take them for granted. Our family, friends, the food we eat every day, the clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads, the air we breathe… When we are grateful for the little but important things in our lives, everything else will pale in significance. Count your blessings, name them one.by.one