One last Christmas

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Christmas this year finds my daughter living in Colorado and my son in Oregon but you learn that if your children are happy, then you are happy. I have always been able to entertain myself and being alone, even on holidays, does not bother me.

I’m thinking of one special Christmas though. It was the Christmas of 1983.

I had been laid off in October of that year and the unemployment rate was pretty high. Fortunately my son was already working out West and I just had my daughter to be concerned about financially. She was 15 at this time.

Now, we all teach our children not to lie. There was one exception though – I instructed her not to mention to her grandparents that Mom was out of work. Yes, my parents would gladly have sent me money to help out, but I was too proud to ask them.

The first of December my Dad called and said that it had been 10 years since I had been home for Christmas and would I please come that year. Of course I said yes.

Well, I don’t need to tell you that I was beginning to have to live on thin air and a whole lot of hope and prayers.

Nevertheless, we headed 750 miles north for Christmas and the promise of my daughter she would not tell her grandparents our plight. You know, she needn’t lie – just don’t tell the truth.

Things went well, and when my folks asked how were things at work, I replied everything was just fine. O. K., I didn’t want my daughter to lie, but it was all right if I did.

We came back and it was six more weeks before I found work. It was at the Peachtree Conference Center, now the Wyndham. A few days before I started to work, it snowed quite heavily and my daughter was home from school. Julie wanted to call her grandparents and tell them about the snow and in her excitement also added that “Mom finally found a job and she starts tomorrow.” Realizing what she had just said, she looked at me in a panic. I gave her a hug and took the phone, explaining everything to my folks.

My parents died within four months of each other that year, and I never go to spend another Christmas with them. God answers prayers before you even know you need any answered .