Sueli de Aquino, “What Little We Had Was Enough,” Ensign, Dec. 2008, 60
Christmas was coming, but this year we were not going to celebrate with an abundance of food and toys. Papa had passed away, and Mama had begun receiving a small pension as a widow, along with a little rent money.
We were in the living room of our apartment, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The room was quiet. Then suddenly we heard a sound as if someone had arrived outside the building.
I got up and looked through the blinds of the window, from which I could see the entrance to our building. I saw a homeless woman. She had a few bags and wore tattered clothes. I observed her for a few moments, curious to see what she would do. She opened a small paper sack, took out a few cookies, and began to eat them. Soon afterward she opened another little sack that contained a few coins and began to count them.
My young heart was moved, and I softly called to my mother, “There’s an old woman outside. Come and see.” My mother looked, and she also was moved. She asked me to get the can where we kept a little money, and without making a sound, she left our apartment and silently dropped the bills from the building’s hallway window.
I stayed by our window and watched the bills fall. The old woman saw one fall and then another and another. Trying to discover where the money had come from, she looked at the windows of the building. They were all closed. Then something wonderful happened. She looked to heaven and extended her wrinkled hands. Then she placed her hands on her chest and gave thanks for the gift she had received.
Behind the blinds of the window, we wept in gratitude that the little we had was enough to give joy to someone who had less.