Rudy stood in the small kitchen, bent over, one hand resting on his hip, the other wiping away the tears in his eyes. Brad had just presented him with a laptop computer.
Not long before that presentation, Brad and I arrived for a our two-week visit with Rudy in Arkansas. After setting our luggage in the appropriate rooms, and grabbing a hot cup of coffee, the three of us sat together on the couch and simply talked. Feeling excited, both about seeing his dad and the unexpected surprise hidden inside my backpack, Brad began a conversation about the necessity of a new computer for Rudy to stay in touch because, for months, Rudy would casually mention that the 6 year old laptop he'd been using was beginning to malfunction, making it difficult to even log on.
"Dad, seriously, you need a new computer."
"No I don't. I only used that one to check on sports," Rudy answered as he pointed to the now nonfunctioning, old laptop. "Plus, that's an expense we shouldn't spend right now."
"But, you should have a computer that you can use for anything, right Mom?" Brad looked my way, using his eyes and smile to coax me to chime in, to play along.
"Yeah, Rud, you should have a working computer to keep in touch with the world, and especially with us. One with a camera so we can Skype."
"Skype? What's that?"
"Anyway, Dad, you do need a new computer. You really do," Brad stated as he walked out of the room.
Within minutes Brad bounded back into the kitchen with outstretched arms and said, "Merry Christmas, Dad."
That's when Rudy's eyes suddenly filled with tears.
"For you, Dad. From all of us."