Story Day 4 — Santa and Sarah

I hope you like today’s story.  It seems I’m not having to go very far to find stories to bring here to my posts!  Other people are sharing stories on social networks too, so I get lots of choices of stories to share with you!

Here’s one a friend shared on her FB wall.  Once again, it touched my heart….. probably because of the fact that we are dealing with a cancer patient in the story.  I guess it hits a little close to home!

Here’s today’s story:

santawithchild“Santa and Sarah”

Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at the McAllister Mall in Saint John. The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl.

Who is this?” asked Santa, smiling. “Your friend?

“Yes, Santa,’ he replied. “My sister, Sarah, who is very sick,” he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue. “She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!” the child exclaimed. “She misses you,” he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy’s face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

“What is it?” Santa asked warmly.

“Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you, Santa, but..” the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

“The girl in the photograph… my granddaughter well, you see … she has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays,” she said through tear-filled eyes. “Is there any way, Santa, any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That’s all she’s asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa.”
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Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do. Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do. “What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying,” he thought with a sinking heart, “This is the least I can do.”

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked the assistant location manager how to get to the Hospital.

“Why?” Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah’s grandmother earlier that day.

“C’mon…..I’ll take you there.” Rick said softly. Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa.

They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said, he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah in the bed.

The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl’s brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off her forehead. And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with a weary sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, “Ho, Ho, Ho!”

“Santa!” shrieked little Sarah, weakly as she tried to escape her bed to run to him IV tubes intact.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug.

A child the tender age of his own son — 9 years old — gazed up at him with wonder and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But, all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of, huge blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears. Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah’s face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room.

As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa’s shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering “Thank you” as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes. Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she’d been a very good girl that year.

As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl’s mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah’s bed, holding hands. Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels.

“Oh, yes, Santa… I do!” she exclaimed.

“Well, I’m going to ask angels watch over you.” he said. Laying one hand on the child’s head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that, God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing, softly, “Silent Night, Holy Night….all is calm, all is bright.” The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.

When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah’s frail, small hands in his own. “Now, Sarah,” he said authoritatively, “you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at McAllister Mall this time next year!”

He knew it was risky proclaiming that to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he “had” to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could — not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of HOPE.

“Yes, Santa!” Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.

He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.

Out in the hall, the minute Santa’s eyes met Rick’s, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.

Sarah’s mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa’s side to thank him.
“My only child is the same age as Sarah,” he explained quietly. “This is the least I could do.” They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa was again back on the set in Saint John for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

“Hi, Santa! Remember me?!”

“Of course, I do,” Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a “good” Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the “only” child in the world at that moment.

“You came to see me in the hospital last year!”

Santa’s jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest. “Sarah!” he exclaimed. He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy — much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before. He looked over and saw Sarah’s mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus.

He had witnessed –and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about — this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank you, Father. ‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!

I am Grateful!  How are You?


2 Replies to “Story Day 4 — Santa and Sarah”

  1. I have a true story for you for Christmas.
    I was in Phoenix, having been left out of work, with no $, lights, heat, phone, stove or fridge as I had worked for a small business who went out of business with 3 days notice, who hadn’t paid me for 4 months as their marketing firm had overpriced their wholesale product line, and it took us, myself and another manufacturer rep 4 months to convince them of this. The wife of the owner had finally had enough and told him to shut the doors, which he did, literally.
    This is a very long story, parts of which will go in my book…to come.
    My parents who had little money, sent me a bus pass to come home for Christmas, which I gladly acceped to try to return to look for work. I had just finished a stint with a sports group prior, and was writing a letter to a players wife at the Denney’s while we waited on a break. The bus left me.

    Now mind you this was at 2am, hardly anyone was around, and I was so upset, I was crying and visibly upset. My luggage, my purse, and all, were on that bus on it’s way to Vegas.
    This man at the counter, a truck driver no less, saw me and was asking what was wrong.
    He kindly listened.

    After I was done, he handed me a $20, went to his motel and came back with an Alaska coat with a furry hood, and insisted that I take both from him, as it was winter, and I had nothing, and no coat.
    He first thing he said to me was —you are a Christian, arent’ you?

    I was quite surprised, as I had been away from church for quite sometime. I, having been raised a Mormon, said yes.

    This kind man gave me his address to send the coat to someday, although he said not to worry about it. He lived in Bakersfield California. I don’t remember his name, and I lost his address. The coat was stolen from my home not long after, and I always regretted not finding him, although I did call the city offices and asked for his name, which I did know at the time.

    He had been telling me a story that his wife left him and took everything, and he felt sorry for me, and showed with pure Christian love how to really share the spirit of Christmas.

    I had to wait for the next bus to come through, and luckily, 8 hours later, arrived to find my things in Vegas before the next leg of the trip to SLC. I arrived home Christmas morning at 7am instead of Christmas Eve as planned, and I remember it was snowing.

    I will never forget this man, and hope to find him someday in heaven to thank him again.
    I always will remember the surprise I had when he said, “You are a Christian, aren’t you?”
    And I was able to say YES!

    1. Wow! Beautiful story LG! Thanks for sharing it! What a great addition to this post! I’m so glad you made it home…. and I know you have paid if forward many times! You never know when you may meet him again!

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