As the Christmas season of 1996 was quickly approaching, I wasn’t listening to Christmas carols, decorating the house or baking Christmas cookies.
As a matter of fact, I dreaded Christmas.
Two months earlier, my father’s doctor informed us that Daddy probably wouldn’t live another twelve months. If the doctor was right, this would be Daddy’s last Christmas. While I wanted to make the best of the holiday, the dread of the coming event filled my soul.
Because Daddy needed around the clock medical care, he resided in a long term care facility.
“Everybody needs to be able to go home for Christmas,” I told my husband, Roy. We evaluated how much money it would take for Daddy to spend the day at home. We would have to rent a hospital bed. Daddy would have to be transported by ambulance, since he couldn’t ride in a car. We would have to hire a nurse to come to stay with him.
After the figures were totaled, I realized I didn’t have nearly enough money to bring Daddy home for Christmas.
One morning, as I drove the sixty plus miles to visit with Daddy in his nursing home room, I heard an important announcement on the radio. The deejay mentioned that the station would be making twelve wishes come true that Christmas.
“My dream is simply too big,” I said aloud in my car. Then the Bible verse in Luke 1:37 came to my mind: “For nothing is impossible with God.”
As I drove the remainder of the way to the nursing home, I prayed. “Please God, help me to take Daddy home for Christmas.”
That night after I returned home from my trip, I wrote a letter to the radio station. I explained my father’s terminal illness, how we had always spent Christmas Eve together in his home, and how my greatest wish was to bring Daddy home one more time. I listed what it would take to make my wish come true. The next day, I said a prayer and dropped my letter in the mailbox.
Several days passed. I received a telephone call at work. “Your wish is coming true,” the deejay announced.
For a few seconds I was speechless. All the plans to bring Daddy home for Christmas were already made! A medical supply company would donate a hospital bed. A medical transportation company had agreed to take Daddy home that morning and then back to the nursing home that night. A nurse, who was also a young mother, agreed to spend Christmas Eve with us that year.
A few things happened health-wise with Daddy that caused us to worry that he wouldn’t be able to make the trip. Daddy spent several days the week before Christmas in the hospital. But two days before Christmas Eve, God performed a miracle. He made Daddy well enough to come home.
On Christmas Eve morning, I met the ambulance at the nursing home. I rode along humming Christmas carols. My heart felt like it would explode with joy. My greatest wish was coming true. My mom had gotten busy and decorated the house. When we arrived, I walked beside the stretcher as the technicians carried Daddy inside. When Daddy saw his home, tears filled his eyes. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including the eyes of the nurse and the medical technicians.
That Christmas Eve was a day that I will never forget.
I saw an awesome amount of love as it poured from the hearts of many people. The deejays, a young nurse, two medical technicians, and the owners of a medical supply company, gave freely of their hearts to make my greatest Christmas wish come true. I was then, and forever will be, grateful for their generosity.
I experienced what I already knew in my heart — that God uses ordinary people like you and me to make heartfelt Christmas wishes come true.
Maybe this is the year that God would like to use YOU to make someone’s greatest Christmas wish come true.
Are you willing to freely give of yourself to bring joy to another person’s life?
Nancy B. Gibbs [email protected]
Nancy is a mother, a grandmother and a writer living in Georgia. Her stories have appeared in over 50 anthologies, including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts Books and Stories for the Heart. She is the author of four books, a regular writer for TWINS Magazine and has been featured in numerous national magazines. You are welcomed to visit her website at: http://www.nancybgibbs.com or email her at mailto:[email protected]