Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2005

BEING A MOTHER

After 21 years of marriage, My wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie. She said, "I love you, but I know this other woman loves you and would love to spend some time with you."

The other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

That night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.

"What's wrong, are you well," she asked?

My mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a surprise invitation is a sign of bad news. "I thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you," I responded.  "Just the two of us."

She thought about it for a moment, and then said, "I would like that very much."

That Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous.   When I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding anniversary. She smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel's.

"I told my friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were impressed," she said, as she got into the car. "They can't wait to hear about our meeting"

We went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy.

My mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady.

After we sat down, I had to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print.  Half way through the entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me.  A nostalgic smile was on her lips.

"It was I who used to have to read the menu when you were small," she said.

"Then it's time that you relax and let me return the favor," I responded.

During the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation, nothing
extraordinary but catching up on recent events of each other's  life. We talked so much that we missed the movie. As we arrived at her house later, she said, "I'll go out with you again, but only if you let me invite you."

I agreed.

"How was your dinner date?" asked my wife when I got home. 

"Very nice.

Much more so than I could have imagined," I answered.  A few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack.  It happened so suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything for her.

Some time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from the same place mother and I had dined.   An attached note said: "I paid this bill in advance.  I wasn't sure that I could be there; but nevertheless, I paid for two plates – one for you and the  other for your wife. You will never know what that night meant for me.   I love you, son." At that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: "I LOVE YOU" and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve, because these things cannot be put off till "some other time."

Read Full Post »

WORD GREATEST HUNTER

pic08526.jpg

Read Full Post »

DOILIES

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything.  They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about it.  For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box.

When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He asked her about the contents. “When we were to be married,” she said, “my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily.”

The little old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were in the box.  She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst into tears. Then asked where the money came from. “Oh,” she said, “that’s the  money I made from selling the doilies.”

Dear Lord,
I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;
love to forgive him;
and Patience for his moods;
because Lord if I pray for Strength
I’ll beat him to death.
Amen.

Read Full Post »

THE SULTAN’S SON

Once upon a time, a Sultan was blessed with the birth of a son after years of hoping.  The boy immediately became the apple of his father’s eye.

Just before his son’s sixth birthday, the Sultan said to him, “Son, I love you very much.  Your birthday is coming soon.  What would you like?”

His son replied, “Daddy, I would like to have my own airplane.”

His father bought him American Airlines.

Just before his son’s seventh birthday, the Sultan said, “Son, you are my pride and joy. Ask what you want for your birthday. Whatever it is, it’s yours.”

His son replied, “Daddy, I would like a boat.”

His father bought him the Princess Cruise Line.

Just before his son’s eight birthday, the Sultan said, “Son, you bring so much happiness into my life. Anything you want, I shall get for you.”  

His son replied, “Daddy, I would like to be able to watch cartoons.”

His father bought him Disney Studios.

Just before his son’s ninth birthday, the Sultan said, “Son, you are my life. Your birthday is coming soon. Ask what you wish. I will get it for you.”

His son, who had grown to love Disney, replied, “Daddy, I would like a Mickey Mouse outfit and a Goofy outfit.”  

His father bought him the Democratic Party and the CBS news.

Read Full Post »

COUPLE IN RESTAURANT

This married couple was sitting in a fine restaurant when the wife looks over at a nearby table and sees a man in a drunken stupor. 

The husband asks “I notice you’ve been watching that man for some time now. Do you know him?” 

“Yes” she replies, “He’s my ex-husband, and has been drinking like that since I left him seven years ago.”

“That’s remarkable” the husband replies, “I wouldn’t think anybody could  celebrate that long.”

Services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Forever Green  Mortuary.   
                                                                           

Read Full Post »

SENIOR DRIVING & DRIVING

SENIOR DRIVING

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife’s voice urgently warning him, “Herman, I just heard on the news that there’s a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77.  Please be careful!” “Heck,”  said Herman, “It’s not just one car.  It’s hundreds of them!”

DRIVING

Two elderly women were out driving in a large car – both could barely see over the dashboard.  As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection.  The stoplight was red, but they just went on through. The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself “I must be losing it.  I could have sworn we just went through a red light.” After a few more minutes, they came to another intersection and the light was red again. Again, they went right through.  The woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light had been red but was really concerned that she was losing it.  She was getting nervous.  At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was red and they went on through.  So, she turned to the other woman and said, “Mildred, did you know that we just ran through three red lights in a row?  You could have killed us both!” Mildred turned to her and said, “Oh,  am I driving?”

Read Full Post »

CHRISTMAS EVE, 1881

Pa never had such compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.    Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t thnk of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this!  But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was t was not going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell.

We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.

Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood–the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting.

What was he doing? Finally I said something. “Pa,” I asked, “what are you doing?” You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d
been by, but so what? “Yeah,” I said, “Why?” “I rode by just today,”

Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.”

That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.

Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.

When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. “What’s in the little sack?” I asked. “Shoes. They’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning.

I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.”

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split
before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?

Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern. We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt. Could we come in for a bit?”

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it.

She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children–sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.

“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said. He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too.

In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of
these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true.

I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get.

Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug.

They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away. Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, brother Miles. I don’t have to say, “‘May the Lord bless you,’ I know for certain that He will.”

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough.

Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that. But on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children.  For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

Read Full Post »

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend all of the  parties and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ,  I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

-Author Unknown

Read Full Post »

Christmas Eve Story

Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby didn’t wear boots; he didn’t like them and anyway he didn’t own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold. Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour
already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother’s Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, “This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don’t have any money to spend.”

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn’t because his mother didn’t care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.

What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity. Bobby had two older and one younger sister, who ran the household in their mother’s absence. All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just wasn’t
fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.

Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn’t easy being six without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to.

Bobby walked from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach.

It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun’s rays reflecting off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime. Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment.

As he held his newfound treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when the salesperson told him that he couldn’t buy anything with only
a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother’s Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby’s shoulder
and said to him, “You just wait here and I’ll see what I can do for you.”

As Bobby waited he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers. The sound of the door closing as the last customer left, jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid.

Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before Bobby’s eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby’s heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box.
“That will be ten cents young man.” the shop owner said reaching out his hand for the dime.

Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime!

Sensing the boy’s reluctance, the shop owner added, “I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?” This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner was holding for
Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, “Merry Christmas, son.”

As he returned inside, the shop keeper’s wife walked out. “Who were you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?”

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied, “A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn’t sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway. Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime. “When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars. “When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen of my very best roses.”

The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn’t feel cold at all.

MERRY  CHRISTMAS!

Read Full Post »

Democrat & GOP Greetings

For My Democratic Friends:

“Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.”

For My Republican Friends:

Here’s wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Read Full Post »

A PC CHRISTMAS PARTY

Subject: Christmas Party

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employee

RE: Christmas Party

I’m happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon, in the private function room at the Grill House.

There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We’ll have a small band playing traditional carols …….. feel free to sing along!

And don’t be surprised if our CEO shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

A Christmas tree will be lit at 1.00pm.

Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over $10 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone’s pockets.

This gathering is only for employees! Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Patty

*************

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday’s memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees.

We recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, as it does this year.
However, from now on we’re calling it our “Holiday Party”. The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians or those still celebrating Reconciliation Day.

There will be no Christmas tree present, no Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy now?

Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Patty

***************

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table…………….. you didn’t sign your name.

I’m happy to accommodate this request but if I put a sign on a table that reads, “AA Only”,  you wouldn’t be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?

Forget about the gifts exchange, no gifts exchange are allowed since the union members feel that $10 is too much money and executives believe $10 is a little chintzy.

NO GIFTS EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.

Patty

****************

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party!

Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of the year does not accommodate our Muslim employees’ beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party – or else package everything for you to take it home in little foil doggy baggy.  Will that  work?

Meanwhile, I’ve arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms.

Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be a flower arrangement for the gay men’s table.

To the person asking permission to cross-dress, no cross-dressing allowed though.

We will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. Since we cannot control the salt used in the food, we suggest for those people with high blood pressure to taste first.

There will be fresh fruits for Diabetics, the restaurant cannot
supply “No sugar” desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?!?!?

Patty

***************

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All ****ing  Employees

RE: The ****ing Holiday Party

Vegetarian *****s I’ve had it with you people!!! We’re going to keep this at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the “grill of death”, as you so quaintly put it, and you’ll get your ****ing salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings too. They scream when you slice them. I’ve heard them scream. I’m hearing them scream right NOW!

I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drunk and die.(eeeeeeeek..I think she’s had enough..don’t you?)

The *itch from H_ _   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**********************

FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees

RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I’m sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy
recovery and I’ll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, Management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Holidays!

Read Full Post »

BELIEVE IN MIRACLES

Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl. “Who is this?” asked Santa, smiling. “Your friend? Your sister?”

“Yes, Santa,” he replied. “My sister, Sarah, who is very sick,” he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

“She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!” the child exclaimed. “She misses you,” he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy’s face, asking  him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas. When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

“What is it?” Santa asked warmly.

“Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you, Santa, but …” the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors. “The girl in the photograph … my granddaughter .. well, you see .. she has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays,” she said through tear-filled eyes. “Is there any way, Santa … any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That’s all she’s asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa.”

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do.  Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do. “What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying,” he thought with a sinking heart, “this is the least I can do.”

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked the assistant location manager how to get to Children’s Hospital.

“Why?” Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah’s grandmother earlier that day. “C’mon …. I’ll take you there,” Rick said softly.

Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed. The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl’s brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood by the bed,  gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off her forehead. And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, “Ho, ho, ho!”

“Santa!” shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him, IV tubes intact.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son — 9 years old — gazed up at him with wonder and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah’s face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room. As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing   Santa’s shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering “thank you” as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes. Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she’d been a very good girl that year. As their time together  dwindled,

Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl’s mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah’s bed, holding hands. Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels.

“Oh, yes, Santa … I do!” she exclaimed.

“Well, I’m going to ask that angels watch over you,”he said. Laying one hand on the child’s head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing softly, “Silent Night, Holy  Night …. all is calm, all is bright.” The family joined in, still  holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all. When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah’s frail, small hands in his own.

“Now, Sarah,” he said authoritatively, “you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!” He knew it was risky proclaiming that, to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he “had” to. He had to give her the  greatest gift he could — not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of HOPE.

“Yes, Santa!” Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.

He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room. Out in the hall, the minute Santa’s eyes met Rick’s, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed. Sarah’s mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa’s side to thank him.

“My only child is the same age as Sarah,” he explained quietly. “This is the least I could do.” They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap. “Hi, Santa! Remember me?!”

“Of course, I do,” Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her.

After all, the secret to being a “good” Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the “only” child in the world at that moment.

“You came to see me in the hospital last year!”  Santa’s jaw dropped.

Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest. “Sarah!” he exclaimed. He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy — much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before. He looked over and saw Sarah’s mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and  waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus. He had witnessed –and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about — this miracle of hope.  This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank you, Father.
‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!

ADDENDUM:  At the time I posted this email I did not know its source.  As the comment below shows, someone has found it and Santa has some very impressive pictures and a recent bio:

www.geocities.com/santa_mark/miraclestory.html

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 117 other followers