Dianne Monteith still tears up when she thinks of one random act of kindness that has summed up her holiday season.
On Dec. 1, Monteith, a Port Alberni resident, and her husband parked on their vehicle on Argyle Street to attend a bank appointment at the Bank of Montreal. Before heading into the bank, Monteith saw in the window of Le Cut Hair Salon a familiar doll dressed in a red and white dress.
She told her husband that as a young girl she had that very doll.
After their bank appointment, Monteith and her husband went into the hair salon to ask the owner, Darlene McGarry, for a photo of the doll.
“She was happy to comply and took the doll from the window display, handed it to me, and her co-worker took my photo with the doll,” Monteith wrote in a letter to the AV News.
McGarry stated that the doll was 60 years old and that the shoes she was wearing were the originals.
As a child, Monteith had the very same doll, and she cherished it deeply. She can still remember her doll’s dress with two buttons on the front, three on the back, the heart-shaped lace and shoulder straps.
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“I loved that dress so much that I asked my grandmother and mother if they would make one for me so my doll and I could look the same,” Monteith wrote. “I was only a couple inches taller than that 32-inch walking doll.”
After chatting with McGarry about her memories with her own doll, Monteith said what happened next demonstrated the true spirit of Christmas.
“This wonderful woman looked me straight in the eyes and said ‘Merry Christmas.” She gave me the doll,” Monteith wrote. “My eyes filled with tears at this kind woman’s spirit of Christmas.”
McGarry asked Monteith if she remembered her doll’s name, which she did not. McGarry said the doll’s name was Katie.
“I have two sons but had either been a girl they would have been named Katie,” Monteith said. “”Now we all had tears in our eyes.”
Two weeks after experiencing the random act of kindness, Monteith still gets emotional she tells the story.
“I think people need to hear something as uplifting as that this time of the year,” she said. “That’s a very meaningful and selfless thing that [McGarry] did. She has no idea what that meant... it was probably more about the act than it was about the doll.”
Katie the doll has been sitting under the Monteiths’ Christmas tree since Dec. 1, where she will remain throughout the holidays.