I think I was eleven or twelve. My mom and I went out to eat at The Galley. Those were the good old days when we had one close by. We were greeted by the adorable hostess, Pat and her warm, enthusiastic smile. I don't know if she was naturally super short, like me, or if she was one of those old ladies that sort of shrunk with age. It didn't matter, because she was as sweet a person you would ever want to meet and bursting with personality.
I think the thing that stood out to me most about Pat was the pin on her lapel. She was one of those ladies who liked lots of jewelry, but there was one piece that drew my eye. It was a rather large rhinestone thing that spelled out a word in careful cursive. Jesus. How simple. How bold. This dear woman proudly wore her Savior's name right there on her shoulder for everyone to see. I admired her gentle testimony. I wanted her to know. “I like your pin” I told her. She smiled. I think she said something grandmotherly, “thank you, honey,” and she seated us so we could enjoy our meal.
We didn't eat out often, but eventually we came around again. Mom and me and The Galley. Again Pat was there to bless and smile at us. Again she wore her Jesus pin. Again I told her I liked it, but this time she didn't thank me. Pat remembered me and asked me if I were “that little girl that liked her pin before.” I told her, yes, that was me, and she did something amazing. Pat took the pin off of her shirt and held it out to me. I hadn't noticed, but this pin was smaller than the one she had worn before. It was for me. She had bought another one and worn it waiting for me to come back. I was so touched. What a lovely thing to do.
And yes, I still have my pin. I took it out to look at it when I was reminded of this gift last week. My lovely, quirky, friend doesn't need her pin anymore because now she has the Real Thing. I didn't get to attend her funeral, but I was told that she was laid to rest with her Jesus pin on her lapel. I really didn't know her well at all, but it doesn't matter. I am a small part of her legacy. Pat is a beautiful reminder that our witness for Christ doesn't have to be something loud or extreme. For me her legacy is a warm hug, a sweet smile and a rhinestone pin. I love you, Pat. Not even in my wildest imagination can I picture your reward.