In this excerpt from Godwink Christmas Stories, a widower receives a sign from above in the form of cherry pie.
- Posted on Nov 13, 2019
For more than thirty years, Greg Glauser has been a dedicated teacher at the Brookwood Community west of Houston, where 125 adults with disabilities joyfully live and work.
He organizes all the social activities for the citizens, leads the Sunday chapel services, and—his biggest job of the year—organizes the annual Christmas Open House performances.
That weekend, thousands of visitors flock to Brookwood to buy their Christmas poinsettias and gift items, have lunch at the café, and attend one of the citizen performances.
Of course, most people agree that whenever you visit Brookwood Community during the year, you feel something akin to the Christmas spirit.
Once Christmas Open House weekend is over, Greg rests a little and just focuses on enjoying the Christmas holiday.
A widower, he eats most of his meals at fast-food restaurants and therefore welcomes being invited to homemade meals with family and friends at Christmastime. “I particularly love it when they serve green bean casserole and baked macaroni and cheese,” he says.
But the highlight is dessert.
Greg explains, “My dear wife, Andrea, who passed away many years ago, used to bake one cherry pie and one apple pie, every Thanksgiving and Christmas.” With a melancholy look on his countenance, he continues, “I fondly re- member our dessert time. We would always have a slice of both and go over the many blessings of our lives.”
One holiday weekend Greg was invited to two dinners. He was excited. He was given the green bean casserole at one person’s house and the macaroni and cheese at the other.
Yet, for dessert, he felt a twinge of disappointment. “They served wonderful homemade apple pie—but no cherry pie.”
When he returned home that evening, he scolded himself. Perhaps it’s just a silly tradition, having both apple and cherry pie in remembrance of the wonderful times I had with Andrea.
The next day, Greg told one of his colleagues, Mary, about his experience. Trying to laugh it off he said, “Perhaps cherry pies simply aren’t ‘in’ this year.”
That day Mary was working at one of the homes for citizens. She perked up when someone said that a nice bakery in town had sent some pies to share with the Brook- wood Community. She watched carefully as the cart was unloaded. She saw all kinds of pies. But no cherry pie.
Then, at the last moment, there it was! One cherry pie!
“Please, can we give that to Greg?” she asked.
Greg was so excited when Mary knocked on the door and handed him the cherry pie. “I took it to my kitchen, sat down, and cut into it immediately,” he later said with a smile.
But he knew that that cherry pie was very special; it had been delivered as a Christmas Godwink. “With each bite I counted my blessings, looked up, and said ‘Hello’ to my wonderful wife in Heaven.” He then added, “I savored every thought of her. And every bite!”
Copyright © 2019 by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt. From GODWINK CHRISTMAS STORIES: Discover the Most Wondrous Gifts of the Season by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt. Reprinted
by permission of Howard books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.