The Garage Sale Giveaway

“Why am I doing this?” she muttered to herself while pounding the sign into the front lawn. Finishing the task, she went back up the driveway to the garage. Plopping down in a lawn chair, she thought about the events leading up to this day.

She was having an estate sale. Her father had passed away five years ago and her mother was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. Recently she had placed her mother in an assisted living facility. She remembered the tears in her mother’s eyes when she had left. In fact, she would never forget them. She cried all the way home.

She had no choice. He parents weren’t wealthy. They did all right and had some money in the bank. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to cover an extended stay in the facility. She had no other option but to sell the property and its contents. Being an only child, it was an excruciating task, and it had fallen to her to take care of it.

She had spent two weeks trying to get the sale ready, two weeks a of pricing her parent’s prized possessions. She had gone through four boxes of tissues while doing so.

“How do you put a value on memories?” she kept asking herself, “How do you sell what you grew up around?”

It tormented her. The vase her father had given her mother. It had always been full of flowers. The oak secretary her mother had seen in an antique shop. Her father had surprised her with it that Christmas morning. How do you value his accumulation of smoking pipes? His tools? Fishing tackle? She had no clue, her mother’s jewelry box she had kept. She just couldn’t bring herself to part with it. She remembered, as a child, watching her mother pin rhinestone brooches to her dress and then head for church. She couldn’t sell them. Every time she looked at them she saw her mother.

She had talked to her friends who had gone through the same thing. They understood what she was going through and sympathized with her. That was all they could do. They knew she had to deal with it just as they had.

Now she sat in the lawn chair and thought about tomorrow and dreaded it. The sign said the sale started at 9:00 A.M., which meant there would be early birds. Her children were coming to help which would be a relief.

Up at dawn, she fixed her breakfast and went to the house. And as expected, there were cars lined up at 7:00 A.M. There was a cluster of people standing outside the garage door. her children arrived and they talked about who would do what. She was designated the cashier. She nodded her head yes and they were ready.

“Lord, please help me do this,” she prayed, “Give me strength like I have never had before.”

The garage door went up and it began.

A man grabbed her father’s fly rod and reel and approached her to pay for it. She broke down and began to weep. Taken back by it, the man silently stood and watched.

“Ma’am, are you all right?” he softly asked.

Nodding yes through her tears, she answered, “It was my father’s favorite. Mother gave it to him on their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.”

“I am sure he loved it. He has taken good care of it,” he answered.

“Yes, and I’m sorry. I didn’t know how hard this was going to be,” she replied.

“I know, I had to do the same thing for my parents. It wasn’t easy but I got through it. Try to think of it this way. Imagine the happiness your parent’s things will bring to others. That’s what I did. It was the only way I could do it. You have a sensitive spirit just like me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing to have. You may not think so but it is.

She looked at the man and smiled, “Thank you, you have made me look at it as a blessing instead of an ordeal.”

"May I make a suggestion?” he asked.

“Yes, what is it?”

“Give something away. You will have people here who are not as financially blessed as you are. Choose someone to give it to. You’ll know who it is.”

What should I give them?”

“You will know. I remember a young couple who came to mine. They had a daughter around eight years old. I gave her one of my mother’s dolls. The look on her face was priceless. I will never forget that face. Ma’am, I don’t know if you are a believer or not. The Bible says it is far better to give than receive. You think about it and see what you are prompted to do.”

He paid for the fly rod plus reel and left.

The sale took on a whole different meaning. She put a smile on her face, greeted everyone and her parent’s belongings flew out of there.

Her opportunity came that afternoon. A young couple came up the drive with a little boy in tow. He immediately locked onto her father’s train set he had when he was a little boy. She knew it was an antique and had some value. She rose from her seat and approached the couple.

“My! What a good-looking young man you are,” she said while kneeling down before him,  “what is your name?”

“Jason,” he shyly answered.

“Do you see something here you like?”

He immediately pointed to the train.

“Ma’am,” his father said, “we can’t afford it.”

Let me see,” she said, “why, I think there has been a mistake made here.”

“A mistake?”

“Yes, this train is supposed to be in the “Free” pile over there,” she said while pointing.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I am quite sure.”

They grabbed the train set and through tears thanked her profusely and left.

Later, while sitting at the cashier’s table she thought about it and smiled. Her parents would have been proud of her. And so would Jesus.

May 7, 2022