And Marley did. She went out the next day and looked a little harder than she had been looking. Everywhere, she saw people working hard, building things, talking, singing, reading and helping others. She smiled at everybody, and they smiled back at her.
That next day, after the visit from her grandmother, there seemed to be more brightness in the world, and Marley swears that everybody seemed cheerier and more generous-hearted. People are never done, she thought happily; they are always growing.
Now, you may not believe in ghosts. You may doubt this tale. But I know Marley, and she told me this story not so long ago. Furthermore, she said that that Christmas was her best ever. For she had received the best gift that a person can receive, and so — without really thinking about it — it was the same gift that she gave to everybody else that Christmas.
Brian T. Watson is a Salem News columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.