This plea for help is a difficult one for me to make; there are so many desperate requests here for medical relief, funeral expenses, and a myriad of other tragic, life-altering situations. It makes me feel that my own appeal is a bit silly by comparison. Nevertheless, this problem is very close to my own heart, and has haunted me for over a year. I don’t know where else to turn, and the kindness of strangers has proven to be my last refuge. Hopefully somebody here will read this and take pity upon me.
My favorite book in the world is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. For various reasons, it has had a profound and lasting effect on my life from the time I was a small child. For years–most my life, in fact–my dream was to own a true first edition copy of it. A few years ago that wish was granted, at the expense of something even more dear to me: the life of my grandmother. She died of pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2015, a single illness among many which finally carried her off to her eternal rest after a period of long suffering. Suffice it to say, she knew her time was coming before it did.
Christmas was always my grandmother’s favorite time of year, and she was a generous gift-giver; i’d be hard pressed to think of something that made her happier. In the final year of her life, she became pretty certain that she would not make it to the next Christmas, and wanted to do something very special for her grandchildren. She and my grandfather (he had passed a few year prior) had amassed a fairly respectable amount of money over the course of their lives, and rather than leave a sum of cash to her grandchildren, or leave it to her children to decide what the successive generation would receive when she was gone, she endeavored to get us each the one gift which we had always desired, but was too extravagant to hope for. She wanted us to have these gifts and see our happiness in receiving them before she died. In my case, it was a beautiful first edition copy of A Christmas Carol. I don’t know how much, specifically, it cost, but most comparable copies go for between $10,000 and $15,000. I know this without doubt, because last year I made the most regrettable decision of my entire life.
By autumn of last year, I found myself without a running car, stuck in a cramped one bedroom apartment, and with a baby on the way. My spouse and I both have massive student loan debt and poor credit (a story which is sadly familiar to many, I know), and rather than take on more debts or run up credit cards and the like, we turned to selling off some of our more valuable possessions. I am not a materialistic person by nature, and parted with many items which were dear to me and have never looked back or questioned the decision. But in a bid for quick cash, I sold the gift my grandmother had so generously given to me.
And now it haunts me. I have lost sleep over it, I have had periods when I have become physically ill at the thought of what I’ve done. This book was more than a thing, and I didn’t realize that fact to its truest extent until it was already out of my hands. At the time, I was in a bad way and thought that what my grandma would have wanted more than anything else is for my family and me to be financially secure while starting a family. And I might have been correct in that assumption, but it certainly doesn’t feel like I did the right thing. It eats away at me, it pervades my every moment, and it nags at the back of my mind even during moments of joy with my dearly loved spouse and precious new daughter.
My hope is to track down the book and try to buy it back or, failing that, to replace it with a copy of comparable quality. My grandmother wanted me to have that book, and I’m determined to reclaim her final gift to me. The problem is, though we are in slightly improved financial straits, we certainly don’t have the funds to make such a grand purchase.
I made a horrible mistake. My mental and emotional state suffer as a result. If anyone out there has the power to do so, please donate to my cause and help me with this. I know that my plight pales in comparison to those of others seeking help for far more pressing dilemmas; but know that for me, this is imperative, I need this; I can’t move on from it, and I fear that this regret will consume me.
Please–help me raise the money to re-purchase A Christmas Carol and set my weary mind at ease. Thank you and best wishes!