Perfect stranger offers gift, leaves writer wondering – last in a series of three

Perfect stranger offers gift, leaves writer wondering – last in a series of three
Continued from "Unplanned visit to Humane Society produces more gifts" Jan. 17, 2008 Plain Talk.

The second stranger who entered my life in 2007 came about quite mysteriously. With the previous stranger in this series, at least I knew his dying wish was for his two Dauschunds to be adopted together.

But I knew nothing about this second stranger. Well, let me take that back. I did know that the stranger identified with the recent loss of my mother and my father. That much I did know.

The stranger's gift came on Christmas Day. It was neatly but plainly wrapped. When I peeled back the paper, I could see that it was a frame of some sort.

Turns out it was a photo of Allison Krauss sitting poised, wearing a teal taffeta evening gown and a poetic smile. Matted in the same frame was a swatch of a white cotton t-shirt with Allison's autograph sprawled across it.

Slightly overdone, her signature was in a flare of large letters in royal blue felt-tip – ALLISON KRAUSS. Wow! I glazed over with questions as I considered this gift.

Why me? Why was this keepsake now my keepsake? How long was the line of fans waiting to meet her and to get her autograph?

I enjoy Allison Krauss' music and the stories she tells through song. But unless you knew me, I mean really knew me, you would not know this about me. How did the stranger know?

I was completely puzzled when I opened the gift. I still am.

Who was the stranger? What was it about my story that prompted this gift?

I felt slightly sorry for not knowing, yet very grateful for the compassion and generosity of this perfect stranger.

A resident of Southeast South Dakota for more than 30 years, Paula Damon is a popular columnist, keynote speaker, and freelance writer. Her columns have won first-place national and state awards in The National Federation of Press Women competitions. Most recently, Damon's writing took second place statewide in the South Dakota Press Women 2007 Competition. For more information, e-mail

© 2008 Paula Damon

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>