Each year before winter break, my students and I read “The Gift of the Magi.”
This year we read it along with the recent obituary of Kim Annette Shepherd-Garcia, a Philadelphia hairdresser.
Both texts share a tonsorial theme, but more importantly, both are heartwarming accounts of marital devotion. Jim and Della would have understood the following:
When Kim was stricken with multiple sclerosis and years of slow decline followed, [her husband] Greg was there every day to care for her. He had a simple explanation for why he did it: “I loved her.”
Each text also includes examples of quid pro quo, a term we learned from her obituary:
Kim also taught [her husband] Greg how to work in her beauty salon… Greg taught Kim how to drive, and she got her driver’s license.
One student pointed out that Ms. Shepherd-Garcia must have been a canny practitioner of quid pro quo, obtaining Greg’s help in exchange for his help!