Thursday, December 11, 2008

Unexpected Gifts

Once in awhile, life brings with it some cosmic twists. The path we choose at the beginning may turn out to be only one in the maze of our lives. One of my sons, on an earlier path, was privileged to be step dad to two sweet little girls. For ten years, he helped their mother to raise them and give them a place to begin their own journeys. I was thrilled to have two precious Granddaughters. Then, as happens in so many mazes, Mom and Dad came to a place where they could not continue.

Just this year, my son has reconnected with his girls and we were able to see them this past Spring. They are beautiful, bright young women, with promising futures ahead of them. But the older girl told me she has only hazy memories of those early years.

The story that follows is one that I wrote just before that wall was reached. It had been intended as a Christmas gift that year but it was one that never was delivered. I dusted it off the other day and thought about it for a long time. I read it through and then sent it to the woman my son found, when he discovered the right path through the maze. I asked my daughter-in-law if she would mind if I published it for both
the girls and for her husband, my son. She encouraged me to do it. It should have been yesterday's blog.

But one more twist of fate-not cosmic this time-cyber! I lost it! It was totally gone from my computer. When I told her what had happened, this generous lady was able to send me back the copy I'd sent to her so I could post it for the girls. And so to make a long story short-(yeah like I will ever do that), here is a little present from Grandma... and Donna.


A Winters Tale
Marcie Hoye Cumberland

It was a dark and stormy night. Okay, it was a stormy night but it wasn’t as dark as it should have been because it was snowing pretty hard and you know how light the sky looks kinda grayish white when it’s snowing.

Anyway, this particular sorta dark and stormy night happened to be Christmas Eve. A young man was watching Christmas cartoons with two little girls and helping them wrap a present for their mom while she was at work. He hated the fact that she had to work on Christmas Eve but things were pretty tight since he had been laid off and he was fairly tense. He kept an eye on the storm hoping it would let up, but it continued to get heavier and heavier.

Checking the radio, he discovered the main high way was closed by the storm. He didn’t like the idea of her having to use the lonely back road to get home.
He finally convinced the girls it would be prudent to get to bed early that night and had them just about tucked in when the phone rang. Their mom’s car wouldn’t start and she was stuck at work. He would have to go get her in the pickup truck.

So he got the little girls up again. While the older girl helped her little sister into a coat over her fuzzy warmies, he warmed up the truck. Once he had the girls wrapped in blankets and buckled in, he set off cautiously down the back road .

Now, it really was dark and stormy. His headlights barely made a difference in the wall of snow ahead of him and the unploughed road was extremely treacherous. He was getting a little nervous. Naturally, he couldn’t show that in front of the girls so he began to sing Jingle Bells and they joined in.

After a mile or so of trying to remember the words to Frosty, and Rudolph, and even the Barney song, he suddenly saw something on the opposite side of the road. It was a bright red pickup truck and it had slid into a snow bank. There was someone inside. Cautiously he slowed down, knowing he still had a ways to go and that the girls’ mother was waiting for him. Still, he couldn’t leave the man stranded on this road on a night like this.

Telling the children to sit tight he got out and grabbed his snow shovel from the bed of his truck. Approaching the red pickup, he looked into the drivers window and gasped, blinking at what he saw. This wasn’t something he was prepared for.

He told the driver to stay right there and under no circumstances to get out of the truck. Then he went back to make sure the girls were wrapped warmly. “Try to go back to sleep, this is going to take a little while.” he told them. He settled them down farther on the seat and tucked the blanket around them.

He dug the snow from in front of the truck and then again from behind. He sprinkled the kitty litter he carried in case of emergency in front of the tires and in back of them too. As the old man with the long beard, tried to ease the pickup onto the road again, he pushed with all his might. Almost an hour later, after the young man was soaked and chilled to the bone, the tires finally gained traction and the driver achieved the road once again.

The old man stuck a red sleeved arm out of his window, shook the young man’s hand, and thanked him for his help. Carefully he began to pull away but slowed once more and shouted back at him, “Merry Christmas to all“.

Getting back into his truck the young man noted the older girl was staring at him with wide eyes. The little sister was asleep with her head against Sissy's shoulder. “Go back to sleep, Honey. Happy dreams.” he said. He looked at the hundred dollar bill in his hand and shook his head. Adjusting his rear view mirror, he began humming "Jolly Old St. Nicholas", and watched as Santa Claus drove his red pickup down the road.

This is a true story. I know that, because my Granddaughter took me into the bedroom and secretly told me all about the very next day.

© 2002 MHC

See ya down the road,


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful christmas story. Precious memories that will never be forgotten, thanks to the love of a very special grandma.

spiritualastronomer said...

That's definitely a story to remember. Thank you,

Lee said...

Wow i love true Christmas stories.
This was a good one.


Karen said...

It is times like those that make us still believe long after we are grown up. I have a few "Santas" in my life along the way.