Friday, November 27, 2015

The Christmas That Almost Wasn't

Photo: Francisco Farias Jr

Tragedy is Hard to Deal with at Any Time, But Christmas Time is Much Harder


I recently found this article on my hard drive. It was written in 2003, at a time when some friends were having to deal with a tragic accident in which they almost lost their oldest son.

The reason the article was saved and forgotten is that I really did not know what to do with it. Now, with this blog, I finally have a place to put it.

Over the years, after several moves, I have lost touch, with these friends. If you ever read this, Joe and Maryanne, thank you for the example of your inspiring and unflagging faith.

I listened and heard the pain of a parent who,
through no fault of his own,
could not provide for his family a Christmas.

Today, I Am Not A Hero

Photo: Don from Murfreesboro, TN
Today, I was told I am a hero. I did not do much. I did not rush into a burning house to rescue someone, or snatch a small child out of oncoming traffic, or even talk someone off a building ledge. No, I did none of those great things. All I did was listen.

I listened and heard the pain of a parent who could not provide for his family a Christmas due to the severe auto accident his eldest child barely survived. I listened and heard the indecision of a man who wanted to buy his children at least one small gift, but knew that the only gift he could give them this year was the propane it would take to keep them warm through the cold months ahead.

I listened and heard the anguish of a father who wanted to celebrate this year more than any other, because months after emergency room doctors suggested organ harvesting, his son was alive and growing stronger every day. I listened and heard the silent, jarring sound of a breaking heart.

I listened. I was not able financially to do much to help. So, I listened. Then I told someone who was able to pull together the resources that were needed to make this Christmas special for a family in pain.
My petition was that this family not be forgotten in the rush of the holidays, and the petition was granted. An abundance of gifts and food were bestowed upon my friend and his family. For this I am thankful.

Today, my friend called me a hero. But I am no hero. The real heroes of this story are the family that knelt in prayer, the thirteen year old son who stayed home and cared for the farm while his parents were away wresting his brother from an early grave, the daughter that took on the responsibilities of running a household while her mother was spending her training and knowledge to keep her oldest son alive.

The real heroes of this story
is the family that knelt in prayer.

But the bravest hero is the young man who pulled himself up from a wheelchair to walk his way back into the life fate had tried to destroy, the young man who daily faces adversity such as few will ever know, the young man who will someday play racket ball with his dad, and maybe even win.

I'm no hero. All I did was listen and hear what my friend had no words to say. I was on the sideline. The real heroes were part of the action--fighting death and bringing a loved one safely home.

The heroes are the parents who never gave up, who refused the plea of doctors for organ harvesting, who had faith that their son would live to walk and talk again.

Originally written January 7, 2003, by Linda Pogue

Holiday Grief: How To Cope
With Stress, Anxiety and Depression
After a Loved One's Death

Holiday Grief: How to Cope with Stress, Anxiety and Depression After a Loved One's Death

Death or major illness or injury at a holiday can cause stress for years to come during the 
holiday season.

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