Grace was a middle-aged woman that had had a rough life. One wouldn’t guess that when observing Grace’s warm and giving personality. She certainly had the right name. It made one wonder if Grace’s mother had had some sort of premonition about the kind of person Grace would be.

The English writer William Hazlitt (1778-1830) wrote: “Grace has been defined as the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul.” Grace certainly seemed to be in harmony within.  Grace earned very little money, but what she got, she willingly gave to those she considered less fortunate than she. 

Someone begging for something to eat would be “blessed” with some money for food if Grace happened to pass by. Someone needing bus fare would have the fare covered if Grace heard or observed the need. If someone had to get off a bus because (s)he didn’t have the fare, Grace would get up, beckon the person back on the bus and pay the person’s fare.

When Grace was asked why she was so generous when she had so little, she would reply, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. I’m here to giveth to those that need to taketh.” Grace would then laugh and laugh, and the person asking her the question would end up laughing, too. Grace would then bob her head up and down as she sang, ‘God bless you, anyone! God bless you. If you haven’t got a penny, anyone, God bless you.’

I get my blessing every time I help someone make it through the day a bit more comfortably, whenever I help someone be a little more relaxed and feel that someone cares for them. I ’speck I’ll get another kind of blessing someday.”

  It is the holiday season, a time for more than material things. “A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.” (William Hazlitt).

Happy holidays to you and to those that give you opportunities to share “Goodings of Comfort and Joy.”

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...