- Holidays and Celebrations
Christmas Wish - A Boy's Dream For Daddy
Enlisting Santa's Help To Bring Daddy Home
After several months of not seeing his daddy, Jared was starting to miss him very much. Jared's dad was a military man stationed in Afghanistan. He had been there for almost a year, but his letters stopped coming about 3 months ago. Jared's father was killed during a combat mission when the truck he was riding in was hit by tank artillery. Jared was told about his death by his mother but at his age he was not fully understanding the concept of death.
As Christmas was growing near, Jared's expectations of his daddy coming home have been building. He was getting more excited by the minute, especially when he heard about Santa coming to town. Santa was going to be at the local mall. It had been advertised in the paper and although Jared could not read yet, he recognized the picture of Santa and of the mall so he was clever enough to tie them both together and figure out that Santa will be there soon. He told his mom that he wants to see Santa. This was a good idea, his mother thought because he wasn't very forth coming about what he wanted for Christmas so this would be a good way to find out.
It was a week before Christmas when Jared went to see Santa at the mall. His mom was as excited as he was for him to see Santa so she could find out what he wanted. She knew he missed his daddy and so did she. She wanted to get him something special so he could take his mind off of his daddy for a while and be happy again. She just didn't know what else to do for him.
It was Jared's turn to sit on Santa's lap to give his list of all the things he has been dreaming about. Mom moved in close so she could hear what he was going to ask for so she could give him that surprise at Christmas. "Ho, ho, ho," said Santa as Jared sat on his lap with a big smile on his face. "And what do you want Santa to bring you this year young man?" , asked Santa.
Jared only had one thing on his mind and with little hesitation he responded back, "I just want Daddy to come home".
"Ho, ho; well," said Santa, "Where is Daddy?"
"Daddy is in (having a hard time pronouncing Afghanistan) Astanisdan." Jared answered.
Santa just glanced over at Jared's mom and noticed a tear rolling down her cheek. He knew that was one request that could not be filled. Not wanting to dwell on that subject any longer, he asked Jared if there was anything else that he wanted.
Jared quickly responded, "no, I want daddy to take a break. He is working so hard that he doesn't have time to write to me" Mommy is sad so this will cheer her up."
As Jared was telling him that a tear came to Santa's eyes as well. Before Santa could say anything to Jared, Jared jumped off of his lap and ran over to his mommy. She bent down and gave him a great big hug as she fought to keep the tears inside. All she could think of was that he wanted to give her the greatest gift of all and it is a gift that neither of them will get.
Watching and Dreaming of Santa's Arrival
For the next few nights Jared watched the sky to see if Santa was coming. He was so excited to surprise his mommy when daddy comes home with Santa that he could not go to bed right away. After not seeing his daddy for so long, he missed him very much but was young enough that he was not feeling the same impact of his father's death as his mother was. He just kept thinking that he didn't want to see mommy cry anymore.
Every noise that he heard, he would jump up with excitement and go to the window to see if it was Santa. "Santa!" he would yell excitedly, then go back to bed after a few minutes of not seeing him.
As the nights went on with the same routine, he was starting to dream of Santa arriving in his sleigh and after Santa lands his sleigh daddy would step out and Santa would fly away again. He wasn't dreaming of toys or anything else; he just wanted to see daddy come home.
Sad and Praying For a Solution
Night after night Jared's mother can only think of how hurt he will be on Christmas when his wish to Santa doesn't come true. As she worries about what to tell him to comfort him she cries. She thanks God for having such a wonderful and thoughtful son and asks him to look over him and help heal his broken heart on Christmas. It was at that moment when she thought of a solution to help Jared understand what happened to his daddy and why he cannot come home again.
A note from Santa is just the thing she needs to give him. "God, please guide me in writing the right words", she prayed. She got a pen and paper and sat down with her thoughts in mind. To her surprise the words started flowing as though God was writing the note for her. It read:
Thank you for coming to see me at the mall. I see many boys and girls each year and I always try to make their wishes come true, especially for the boys and girls that are good. Jared, you are a good boy, and if anyone should have their dreams come true it is you.
You left so fast after telling me your wish for Christmas that I did not have much chance to respond to you. This is hard to explain to you why I cannot bring your daddy home for Christmas but I hope you can understand. I cannot bring daddy home for Christmas because he is with God in Heaven. A terrible accident happened to your daddy while he was in Afghanistan being very brave to protect you and your mommy, and the freedoms that everyone enjoys. He wanted to continue writing to you and he wanted very much to come home to you and to your mommy so he could be there all the time. After the accident he was not able to do that anymore. You see Jared, I know that you say your prayers at night to God before you go to bed, so I know that you know that God is listening to you and watching over you. He takes care of everyone, and now he is taking care of your daddy in his home. Daddy is watching over you and mommy and will always be with you. Mommy is sad because she misses daddy, but daddy and God will make her feel better soon. Your wish to have daddy come home is a very good wish and I wish I could have made that wish come true, but he is going to stay with God now. You can talk to him when you pray to God and though you might not hear him answer, he will always hear you and watch you as you grow. You are mommy's greatest gift that she could ever receive so missing daddy is ok, and crying when you are sad is ok, but never forget that mommy is there for you and she loves you very much.
P.S. Since you did not tell me what else you wanted for Christmas, I picked a few things that I thought were just right for a great kid like you. I hope you enjoy them.
On Christmas morning Jared rushed down stairs to see daddy. He knew his mommy would be so happy and she would not be sad on Christmas. When he ran into the living room he was stunned to see his mommy standing there alone with her arms reached out to hug him. "Merry Christmas Jared!" she said.
"Where's daddy?" Jared asked sadly. I asked Santa Claus to bring daddy home.
Jared's mom told him there is a letter from Santa and asked him to sit down while she reads it to him. As she read the letter, Jared became sad and shed some tears but she could tell that he was understanding now. After she read the letter in full she held him close for a while as they both cried. As they cried, they not only felt a sadness but they also felt a joy filled with love as though they were receiving a hug from God and daddy.
"C'mon Jared, let's see what Santa brought for you" she said smiling.
Jared ran to the tree and started to open his presents. This turned out to be one of the most happiest and memorable Christmases ever. When Jared went to bed that night, he sad his prayers and this time he told daddy what he got from Santa and he prayed that he likes his new bedroom at God's house. From that night on, he talked to daddy in his prayers to God.