Home » Blog » Positive Living » Friends and Family » Friends » The Gift Shop Doll


Share this story

The Gift Shop Doll

I missed Linda terribly—but what I found at the rest stop that day was evidence of God’s love during a difficult time.

Linda was more of a best friend than a sister-in-law. We shared nearly everything—except her passion for collecting porcelain dolls. Linda collected more than a hundred and thirty of them. I never understood her hobby, but I admired her dedication—how she displayed them so beautifully and kept them all so clean.

Still, I was surprised how much those dolls meant to me after Linda lost her battle with cancer. Her husband donated the dolls to the local historical society. I agreed it was best that Linda’s collection stayed together, but it pained me to see the dolls go. In fact, I wished I could have kept just one to remember her by.

Losing Linda was still fresh in my mind when one day my mother asked me to drive her, my grandmother and my aunt to the county fair. On the way home Granny needed to use the restroom, so I pulled off the highway at the nearest rest stop and she dashed into a fast-food restaurant. Next door was a gift shop. I only had twenty dollars in my pocket, but I figured I would browse around while I waited.

Inside were cards, snow globes…and one whole wall full of shelves and shelves of porcelain dolls. Just like Linda’s. For some reason, I felt drawn to one doll in the middle of the second shelf—with deep brown eyes, wearing a shiny pink-and-white dress embroidered with pink roses.

“Isn’t that the prettiest doll you ever saw?” I said to my mother. “I want it.” Silly, I thought. These dolls cost more than a hundred dollars, I bet. Then I glanced at the doll’s price tag: $14.99!

A sales associate assured me the price wasn’t a mistake. What luck! I plucked the doll off the shelf and brought it to the register.

I handed the doll to the cashier and fished around for my twenty-dollar bill. But I immediately started to question myself. What am I doing? I thought. I don’t collect dolls. Why this one? I almost cancelled the sale. Then, casually, I flipped the doll’s price tag over. There, printed on the other side, was the doll’s name: Linda.

Share this story

Community Newsletter

Get More Inspiration Delivered to Your Inbox

Scroll to Top