She came running into the bedroom so excited about Christmas. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that Santa could only bring her a few gifts this year. How could I explain it to this amazing child who has been so good this year that for all the good she’s done I could not properly reward her?
This year has been the hardest I’ve ever had to face. The year started with my company downsizing. Fifty employees let go right at the start of the New Year. My husband and I went through our budget and worked it out. We would just be able to get by until I found another job. It’s hard to find a job however in a town that is dying. But we were happy and our daughter was healthy so we focused on that. Times were tight but we were doing it. We were making it. I took a part-time job at a small grocery store while I continued my search for full-time employment. We were happy.
Three months later my husband was out for a jog when he was hit by a drunk driver. The driver of the car passed out and swerved off the road. He hit my husband and pinned him against a tree. He died moments later. I never got to say goodbye. The driver had some minor injuries. He’s sorry, so that makes it all ok or at least that’s what the judge thought. The judge felt that he showed real remorse and since it was his first offense he was given the minimum sentence.
The life insurance was barely enough to cover the funeral cost. I had to sell the house. My daughter and I moved into an apartment that was too small for us. My daughter had to leave her friends and change schools. She did all of this without one complaint. She just accepted the changes and went with them.
I looked at her now. She looks so much like her father with her big brown eyes and her short brown hair that was suffering from a serious case of bed head. She was so excited about Christmas. She jumped up on the bed and shook me. I sat up and gave her a great big hug. We both climbed out of the bed and started toward the living room.
Our fake tree was sitting in the corner of the room lit up. The three presents sat under the tree waiting to be opened. She walked over to them and asked if they were all for her. I nodded and told her to open them. She tore open the first one and was super excited about it. It was the next book in a series that she was reading. She thanked me and set it to the side. She opened the next one and it was just a new pair of shoes. However, you would have thought these shoes were filled with money. At this point, I thought she was just humoring me. To be honest I appreciated it. Although the guilt I felt didn’t diminish. She opened the third and final gift and her eyes filled with tears. And here it was the sad disappointed child that I was waiting for. She came over and gave me a great big hug. Then she handed me a small gift. I opened it and began crying also. I hugged her so tight. The third gift that I gave her was an 8×10 framed picture of her and her dad. It was the last photo they took together. The gift that she was me was the same photo in a 4×5 frame. This was the second-best gift I could have hoped for. I already had the best gift. The day God gave me her.
I’m a writer… I love to write! I’ve been writing since I was eight years old. I can’t imagine life without stories. My life, and your life it’s a story that we are writing everyday.