I can’t go any further! How can I stop? This little girl needs to get somewhere warm. We’ve been walking all night in this freezing weather just to keep from freezing to death. I thought I heard someone say it was going to be one of the coldest nights of the year with temperatures below zero. The feeling in my hands and feet left several hours ago. Sara has been shivering for hours. How could we possibly go on? She hasn’t had anything to eat since yesterday at the shelter. I wish they would have had a spot for us so Sara could be comfortable on this Christmas holiday. Just a little bit further. There is a mall near. I just need to get her inside for awhile.
Look at all these people hurrying to finish their Christmas shopping and get home to be with their families. Oh how I would love to be with family but they’re all gone now since the fire destroyed our house and took my mom and sister with it. And then a car accident killed dad a few years ago on his way see Sara at the park. I just don’t think I can go on. Resting in this snow bank wrapped around this child I can feel the snow and cold slowly taking our life. Is there a reason to resist any longer? Of course, she deserves better than this. I need to get up and move again. Just a few more steps. But nothing seems to move.
Ah warmth. Are we dead? I pry my eyes open to see someone has put a jacket around Sara and placed a blanket around me. Why is this person helping us? With the glow above he must have been an angel. There are sounds coming from his mouth but I can’t make out what he is saying. Finally I hear “eat?” and know this child needs some nourishment to continue on. So I accept the offer and with his help get Sara and myself into his car. What a glorious feeling of heat! Still unsure of where we are going I look back towards her and see a small amount of color entering her cheeks. For a quick moment I feel a sigh of relief and offer a prayer of thanks for this angel sent to help us in this time of desperation.
Arriving at a nearby sandwich shop I can begin to feel my fingers tingle. Something I have not felt in hours. Unsure if this was a kind person or cruel individual, we order something to eat. Maybe he should have left us. It would probably all be over now. Has his kindness just extended our misery? A little bit of heat will make it torturous to trudge back into the frozen white earth for another night of wandering just to keep some life. This must have been our fortune at this moment so I will take in some food and get Sara all she can eat to prepare for this night while I continue to figure out what we’re going to do.
Steve began to talk, asking us questions about where we’re going and how we got there. First asking Sara for her name and how old she was and offering the information that he has two daughters of his own. After finding out we had no where to go, he eagerly invited us to stay with his family on this Christmas night. I could possibly accept. He has done so much already and how could I face new people while wearing the same clothes for the last week and in bad need of a shower. No, we just need to get through tonight and hopefully a place will open up at the shelter. We’ll be ok I promised myself. Ouch! what’s that. Hey I can start to feel my tows again. I didn’t think I would ever feel those again. By this time Sara had taken off Steve’s coat and began to bounce around a little as the heat and nourishment entered her body. My face started to get a little wet as I realized we couldn’t give up. She has so much life in her.
After declining a few more offers to join Steve and his family he made another offer. A night at a hotel to recuperate. How could I possibly accept this? Beginning to again turn down his generous proposal I looked at this little child and realized I could not decline again. Hesitantly we joined him in his car and drove towards the nearest hotel. Holding Sara close I could see this gentleman talking with the person at the front desk and then another person entering the lobby. After several minutes Steve was escorting us to our home, carrying Sara, on this Christmas Eve. Unlocking the door, we entered a beautiful room with a bed for Sara and one for me. With all this space I couldn’t tell if this was a dream or if it was really happening.
Sara was laid in her bed and fell fast asleep. Steve wished us a “Merry Christmas” and disappeared through the door. I didn’t know how to thank this kind and generous person. Without him I would not be able to hold my little child again. Just as I was about to take a soothing bath there was a knock at the door. Oh no, it was too good to last. Will we need to leave this place? Slowly answering the door it was Steve again holding several packages. He quickly placed them near each bed explaining which ones where for Sara and even left one for me. Again he wished us a Merry Christmas and disappeared again.
With tears beginning to fill my eyes I glanced towards this beautiful sleeping child and noticed his jacket. Grabbing it I raced down the hall towards the exit to catch this angel. I met him near the door and offered the best hug I could thanking him for saving us tonight on this Christmas Eve. Tears were rolling off of both our faces as we waved good bye. I could hear Christmas music playing in the lobby which I hadn’t noticed before. That helped complete a day I couldn’t have imagined. Better get back to Sara and wait for her to awaken Christmas morning with gifts to open. Yes, Santa brought us both more than words could describe!
Exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. Soon I began to dream – of a house for Sara to grow up in, people to share our lives with, and angels watching over us. A new beginning On This Christmas!