A grieving daughter receives a beautiful sign of comfort on Christmas day.
- Posted on Dec 9, 2018
I was stringing the lights on the branches. My mother was on the other side hanging ornaments. The song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” was playing on the radio. Mom was humming along, as if she didn’t have a care in the world. Trimming the tree was her favorite part of the holiday.
“Isn’t this the most wonderful time of the year?” she said. I was glad I was on the other side of the tree. There was no way I could hold back the tears.
“Honey,” she said, “put the lights down and come here.”
I could feel the bones in her shoulders as she hugged me. Ten months earlier, Mom had been diagnosed with cancer. Recently, she’d been given a poor prognosis. Yet, even during the hardest times, she had a way of sprinkling sunshine in the saddest moments. She sat on the couch, patting the seat next to her.
“Listen,” she began. “I know this will be my last Christmas, but I want you to promise me that you’ll put up this tree next year. I’ll make sure you have a white Christmas. After all, I’ll have some pull in heaven.”
She squeezed my hand and smiled.
Mom passed away in July. I dreaded the holidays without her. How lonely it would be to trim the tree by myself. Still, I kept my promise to her. We decorated the tree just as she’d wished.
On Christmas Eve, I was missing her more than ever. After returning from church, I flipped on the late news on TV. There was a zero percent chance of snow on Christmas, the weatherman said. In fact, it was unseasonably warm. I went to bed disheartened.
About 5 A.M., my 5-year-old granddaughter shook me awake. “Nana, come downstairs!” she whispered.
“It’s too early for presents,” I groaned.
But she insisted, leading me to the living room. She pulled back the curtain next to the tree. Large snowflakes were coming down.
I dialed my best friend. She lived near where I was then living, in Sparta, New Jersey.
“Is it snowing there?” I asked her.
“What? No,” she said in a sleepy voice. “No snow.” I turned on the TV.
“Surprise, Sparta residents,” the weatherman said. “You’re the only ones getting a white Christmas this year.”
Since Mom passed, there have been only three times we weren’t able to put up the tree. And those were the only times we didn’t get a white Christmas.