As I turned the corner, I saw it; half tin, half brick, my friend’s house stood on the estate, unassuming. For years I had heard every derogatory word used to describe him and his family from the other kids…but he was nice and despite getting some stick, I thought it rude to refuse a dinner invitation.
So here I was, straight from school walking up to the front door.
As soon as it swung open a beautiful woman stood there and warmly welcomed me into her home. I stepped inside. It wasn’t until the door closed behind us that I noticed the cardboard boxes piled high along one of the walls.
As I took off my coat, curiosity got the better of me and I couldn’t help but peep inside an open one which sat there, tempting. There before me lay a veritable feast of teeny Christmas cracker novelties; puzzles, dice, magic tricks, key rings, mini tool kits, fortune telling fish, plastic rings, Tidily Winks, tiny playing cards and colourful whistles – all the good stuff that used to put a smile on my face as they came flying out with a paper hat and witty joke. To me, his mum officially had the best job in the world.
After a short while she came out of the kitchen and proudly put bowls of food down in front of us. “This is Frankie’s favourite”, she declared with a warm smile.
And then it hit me…
The love that was present in that room was far greater than all the things they didn’t have. They really didn’t own much at all, but in spite of that, I was sat at their table sharing their food. It was a lovely evening.
Years later I look back at that moment and realise something; in life, we may not be financially abundant or have all the latest shiny must-have gadgets, but as long as we have love in our hearts and a generosity of spirit, we will always be wealthy beyond our wildest dreams.