The Christmas Miracle

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With Christmas coming up the past few days has got me to thinking of how not only do seasons change but so do our lives.When we were young parents Christmas was so important to me because I wanted my kids to have a good holiday.I know that sounds bad but there is a reason.

My Dad was killed when I was eight years old.He was in a car accident on September 8th,my sister Linette’s birthday.We were sitting at the table getting ready to eat birthday cake when a police officer came knocking on our door.I can’t remember how the whole thing went down but I know they took my mom to my Uncle Ralph and Aunt Charlene’s that lived around the corner because we didn’t have a car for Mom to get to the hospital.We were farmed out to family as my Mom stayed at the hospital with Daddy.He died of head injuries on the 13th of September,my cousin Elaine’s birthday.Some of the things I remember so vividly and some of them are sketchy.Eternal sadness was the worst because our laughing Daddy was never coming back.Reality set in and with it came responsibility shoved on a big sister way to soon.I felt the world change in an instant and took my sisters in my aching heart never to be taken out.As kids are I soon got the new normal down pat and we got to living this hard life.After September came October and no Halloween for us.I think Mom was just used up by then.I can’t imagine having five little girls and no job not driving you stark raving mad.

We went to a little church school and as Christmas came up started to practice for the pageant at church.It was the light of the school year for me and my sisters.We always had a pretty dress and my Mom fixed our hair and had us smelling pretty from our baths.We would come home from church and Santa would have come and left our presents.This year was going to be different I knew because Mom wasn’t acting right.I would hear her crying in her bedroom at night and wonder what was wrong but too scared to go ask her.How I wish I would have went in there now and comforted her.She needed me to hug her now I know.To tell her everything was going to be OK but I never did.

The night of the Christmas program came and we went to church.Mom was so sad I remember and I couldn’t imagine why.After the program was over she packed us up and we went home.Mom was crying.We lived in a big farm house that belonged to my Grandpa Jahr.It had a sun porch that you had to enter before you went into the kitchen.When Mom opened that door she got the biggest surprise of her life.It was stacked from front to back with presents for us.More than we had ever had in our life.I really don’t remember what we got but I remember the look of disbelief on my Mom’s face.

That night we stayed up late playing and it was my old Mom back for a while.I found out many years later that she was crying because she had nothing to give us for Christmas.To this day we don’t know where the presents came from.I wish I knew so I could tell them that as a grandma now I still am thankful for the little girl in myself.That is why I think Christmas is so important to my sisters and me.That picture above is of our little kids that were about the same age as we were when Daddy was taken from us.We never wanted them to feel the sadness of a parent like we did and for the most part most of them haven’t.

What I want to leave you with today is this.Don’t be afraid to do a random act of kindness for someone.I have heard people grumble about so and so not having any money because of this or that,but the little ones are not in charge of the money.They are the innocent in all of it.You never know what kind of a Christmas Miracle you can create at any time of the year.I know the one my sisters and I got that day long ago is something I will never forget.Was it a person or was it something else,a vessel God used,I don’t know,but it is something I will always be thankful for and I will never forget it.

To my Grandkids when they read this after they get older I want you to always remember that giving is a part of growing.Kindness is one of the things that is so important to your Nana.Try not to judge.It is something your Nana has struggled with and if there is anything I want you to remember about me it is that I want to be kind.You already know that I love you now I want you to take it out into the world and pass it on.

47 thoughts on “The Christmas Miracle

  1. This is beautifully, achingly sad, and wonderfully written. Thank you for sharing this story. My heart hurts for your mom. I can’t imagine what she went through (and you chidren) and then to be thrust in to “holidays’ with no cheer in her heart. And someone gave it to her. Wow.

    • My mom is an incredible woman that is for sure.She had all five of us and no money what so ever to give what was left of a shattered family something for Christmas.Through the kindness of someone we didn’t know we did have a Christmas we will always remember.Just know that your words touch me.I am thankful for kindness even in words and I consider yours a blessing

      • LexiesNana you have just made my morning! Thank you, as I consider you and your sharing a blessing. I think back on kindnesses from others over the years and I am touched by them still. I can’t imagine how that must have helped in some way with your mom’s healing at that time.

      • It really did even though we went through horrible times as we were growing up I will always remember that kindness and the kindness of others like yourself.My stepdad that passed away this year kind of erased a lot of pain for me and I will be greatful for people like him in my life.Merry Christmas Colleen.Liz

      • Oh! Merry Christmas! 🙂 It’s amazing not knowing where our kindnesses will come from, and then how they carry us through the rest of our lives. Thank you so much Liz.

  2. What a horrible loss for you and your family.
    I think this says it all: “You never know what kind of a Christmas Miracle you can create at any time of the year.”
    We don’t have to confine our kindness to the holidays.

  3. What an amazing story and so heart-wrenching! I can’t imagine what your mother must have gone through at this time, but those presents must have seemed like a Godsend. Thank you so much for this timely reminder on ‘giving’ – absolutely beautiful

  4. Thank you so much for the kind words.I want my grandkids to know how important any kind of ‘giving’ is.That’s why I write.Someday I hope to be a reminder to them long after I am gone.Blessings Liz

  5. Pingback: A Kindness Past « The Chatter Blog

  6. Dear Sister – Tears is all I can feel running down my face when reading your blog!The year of Dad’s death so long ago but yet I still can see him and feel the love for him as if it was yesterday. I feel the day the Lord takes me home he will send Dad to come get me, so I can scratch his back, just as we did when we were little (a memory I so Loved) so we could stay up longer than our bedtime. I bet mom is glad he won the battle at times so we had a little more time with him = yet she would of love to have had that time also I’m sure. Life can change in an instant as it did for us long ago. Christmas to me that year was truely knowing that it was Jesus birthday and a miracle had come to our house = I hope who ever did that for us knows we were thankful. I thank the Lord my God for giving me a Mother that brought me up in the Church so we know even after death we will someday be together again. I love you dear Lizzy!! Blessing always! Linda

    • My Sweet Sweet Sister that was a Christmas to remember for sure.God in His Wisdom was so good to our mom.You know us, we would have been happy with any little thing.Now that I am older I think the presents helped Mom more than they did her little girls.I was so happy to have her smile that night.Daddy will always be missed by us bigger girls because of his kindness and how much he never got sick of us.I also am expecting Grandma Dad and Ward to meet me at the golden gates or how ever they do it.I hope all of them get the chance to know each other and brag about us.We deserve it. I love you and am sooooo glad you are my sister.Blessings right back at ya! Liz

  7. Oh my goodness Liz – thank you for sharing this story – so beautifully written. I too am going to share this story on my Facebook page. Everyone needs to hear this. wow, where is my kleenex?! Love ya!

  8. there is nothing as good as a family at Christmas, so remember those who do not have a family or a home, or any gifts to unwrap or a friend to say Happy Christmas to you…your post was great and I do hope that Grandkids will take good note

    • You are soooo right.We are certainly blessed to have our family and I hope my grandkids do care about people that don’t have one or are in need.Thank you for the nice comment.

  9. I’m so sorry you lost your father like that. I’m sure that’s something you never “get over.” Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of your first Christmas alone with your mother. I’m sure God has blessed that person many times over. And how beautiful to see how their kindness is still giving to many others so many years later as you tell the story.

    • Thank you so much for the kind words.That first Christmas was very hard and something I will never forget,but you are right,it affects how I am today and for that I am greatful.

  10. Kindness and compassion are the essence of love and it is a wonderful thing that there are people in this world who keep expanding that circle of love with their thoughtful generosity. Beautifully written story – I’m so thankful you shared it. As you pointed out, the greatest gift that you received that night was to have your old mom back for a little while.

    • It sure was.My mom has went through a lot in her life but she is a trooper that is for sure and I am so thankful that we still have her.Blessings and thank you for such a nice comment.It touched me.

  11. The love of a grandmother cannot be explained other then they have the biggest hearts and their souls live forever in you from the time you are born to infinity. ❤

    • Oh,Honey Child I think you hit the nail on the head.My grandmas were my most prized possessions,and I know you and your siblinngs feel the same way about yours.Now to be somehow linked to a group like that makes me feel very special indeed!.Love you my sweet girl.Mom

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this very touching story. I have tears in my eyes. I think you sound like a wonderful mother & grandmother – your family is very lucky to have your wisdom & generosity of spirit. Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  13. What a beautifully written heart-tugging testimony. My best friend growing up lost her dad at 8 years old too. I felt like I was reading my friend’s testimony from your words. Wow, I never knew how her mom raised them all, but she did. Just like your mom. Thank you so much for putting down on paper your legacy of generosity to your grandchildren. It’s truly priceless. Merry Christmas!

    • Thank you so much for the beautiful comment.My mom has had a very full life and we are so thankful to have her.Merry Christmas and have fun with those little darlings,they grow so fast.

  14. I lost my Dad when I was 10 and I remember how distraught my Mom was for a long time. My two brothers were already out of the house so it was just me. This brought back some very sad memories. My Dad was buried on my 11th birthday. That night the funeral director came with a birthday gift for me. It was the canary my Dad was going to buy me for my birthday. What a wonderful surprise for a young child on such a sad day.

    • I guess you know what we felt like that Christmas.How wonderful of the funeral director to do something so sweet and help make that day a little easier and now your memory includes that gift.Blessings and thank you for sharing this with me.

  15. My husband embarked on a 30 day season of giving this year that neither of us were too sure about, but he felt he was being led to do it. It has been hard. We have both wondered if it was worth it. This morning I prayed, “should we keep this up for another week?” He just answered me through you. Nothing we “need” is more important that giving.

    • You are so right my friend.I have been doing a lot of things I don’t usually do this year for other people and it is so much fun.Yes,fun.God has shown me compassion I never knew I had and I am so thankful.I needed this spirit I seem to have and I hope God continues to let it grow in me.Merry Christmas to all of you hippies and God’s Blessings as well.Liz

  16. My heart did a few strange flips when I read this as I never really heard your perspective on this tragic event. I love to hear from you on this because it amazes me how in tragedy the armor comes on with you just as it does with me. I also see how through suffering Christ has moulded my loved ones so delicately. Through suffering He brings people into our lives that otherwise might never cross paths like the person who brought those gifts and gave grandma hope to move forward. During my divorce I met a patient (he was an elder of a church) that once gently guided me along with a small but substantial piece of advice. He said that if I ever met someone to consider a relationship with it should be someone that is giving because you know they will sacrifice like yourself, or better yet like Christ. In all my relationships I pay attention now to Christlike character. And so all this brings me to a special message: Chuck asked me to marry him and now we will have another Charles in the family 🙂

    • Jami,I am so happy and excited for you and Chuck.Know that I love him and welcome him and his kids and grandkids into this crazy family with open arms.Also you are right,we are molded by our past to a certain extent but it is our future that is important to me now and a bright one I see indeed.I love that you read my thoughts and are interested.I want people to remember our past as it is a part of our families history and all of us need to be thankful for where we came.Love you very much.Aunt Liz

  17. I sit here with tears in my eyes after reading your story. I am so glad that your mom got a bit of the help she needed that day and that you have taken what you learned in the past and paid it forward.

    • That Christmas so long ago is still so fresh in my mind.I want my grandkids to always be kind and to learn from my past.It taught me that kindness is something that doesn’t cost a penny and it gives the giver and the one that recieves such a blessing.Blessings to you and yours.

  18. What an incredible story, Lexiesnana! I felt as if I was right there while it was happening. Can’t imagine what your mom must’ve felt like with the weight of responsibility on her in the midst of her loss. Thanks for the beautiful reminder that our acts of kindness can make an enduring difference in others’ lives!

    • Thank you for the kind words.That story was hard for me to write even though it was so long ago.I want my grandkids to know about all goodness in life and how they can do anything with God’s help.One simple thing can change a person forever if is done with kindness.

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