I Asked for an Angel

angel-tree-800pxThere were two weeks now since we started to remodel the house here where we live. You can imagine the mountain of old carpet and floor linoleum that had piled up in the garage for the day when the special garbage truck was scheduled to pick it up. Many other useless items joined the party, pieces of furniture, sinks, toilets and old tiles.

I called the company again to add those things on their list and they planned our big day before Christmas. Meanwhile we barely could open the garage door from so much stuff.

The evening before the pick up day we put all the junk by the curb and at the end of our driveway. Next day at 7 o’clock in the morning I was waiting for the truck on the porch. The big vehicle stopped in the front of the house, blocking our narrow street. I went to talk to the driver and saw him scratching his head.

“Sorry, Ma’am, but I can’t take what you have here.”

My whole world shook.

“Why?”

“Because you have too much stuff. I have a list here with the items I’m supposed to pick up. A couch , a love-seat, carpet,” and he continued with the list I had given to his dispatcher.

I stretched my arm and showed him the pile. “Everything is here.”

He wasn’t convinced and kept staring at the hill.” I can’t do this by myself.”

“I will help you.”

He shook his head. “I have to call my office.”

While he was talking, I was praying. “Lord, make a miracle and have this company take all of this. And Lord, send an angel to help us.”

It was early in the morning and nobody I knew was passing by and willing to start their day with loading a truck with our garbage.

Keeping my eyes on the sky and continuing to pray, I saw the sun making its way through the clouds on top of our next-door neighbor’s  house. The driver was still on the phone, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. “Lord, help us with this and send us an angel.”

The driver opened the door and jumped down without a word. He grabbed one trash bag and threw it in the loading attachment. I did the same.

There was a noise on the road down the street from the opposite direction and I saw our regular garbage truck coming. The nice guy I knew stopped the car and came out. I couldn’t believe it. We always had a little chat when he stopped by the house to unload our trash bins every week. I remembered I gave him some of my children’s books last Christmas. When I baked breads, I made sure he got a loaf.

He greeted us with a smile. “Good morning!”

“Good morning! Are you here to help us?” I asked when I saw him picking up one of our trash bags.

“Yes.”

I couldn’t believe it, even though I asked God for help.

“I had prayed for an angel to come and help us, and here you are.” I said. “You are that angel.”

He laughed and continued loading the machine.

It took a while for all the junk to fit in the back of the truck, but I was praising God in my heart. Before leaving, I took out the two homemade French breads I had in the freezer and gave them to the men.

“You two were incredible. Thank you!”

 

 

 

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Her First Letter to Santa

Christmas Child Write Letter to Santa Claus, Kid in Santa Hat WrThis is what my granddaughter, who just learned the letters, told me she was going to write in her first letter to Santa.
“Buni, I’m going to ask Santa to bring you one thousand babies.”
I roll my eyes. How does she know that number?
“No, thank you. Ask something for yourself.”
She is unmovable in her decision. When she smiles, I can see that one of her new teeth is bigger than the others. She is adorable. I keep frowning and shaking my head.
“Don’t do it, Katelin Hope.”
She doesn’t care. She has the power.
“Then I’ll come and see you with all those babies in your arms. They will even pull your hair.”
“Noooo!” I whisper. I hold her hands and beg. “You need to help me care for all the babies.”
She takes a deep breath of satisfaction.
“Then I’ll go home.”
– THE END –

Parenting and War

On December 1989  I had a 6 years old, a 4 years old and I was 30 weeks pregnant. It was war on the streets. The people were fighting to overcome the communists. The men in our block-of-flats had blocked the entry and chained the gate to keep away the armed agents of the system. We could hear gun shots from our condo and the children and I were pretty scared. There was some food in the fridge and, with all the madness in the city, I was thankful that we still had water, electricity and heat.

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The children were playing all day long since the hard situation was prolonging from days to weeks. Every time when we went to buy the basics from the store at the end of the street, I knew it wasn’t safe to be out there. People were killed everywhere, even in the hospitals. There were cars riding on the streets with armed killers who would shot anybody. My husband was a guard for a new politician in the city and I had to buy the necessities for us. I walked and prayed.

We had a Christmas tree in the living room and nothing to decorate it. We didn’t have gifts for the children.

On Christmas Eve I wrote a note on a paper with “Santa couldn’t come this year because of the war,” and put it on in the bare tree to read it to my little ones. Of course they were disappointed, but I had saved some flour and eggs and made a cake for them. That was it.

We celebrated Christmas with our hearts and hiding from bullets in the bathroom.

 

 

From One Single Mother to Another

Tricia-Somers-and-Wesley_1It’s Christmas Eve. Families everywhere get together. You may or may not have loved ones around. Even if you have them, one place would still be empty. The warm spot in your soul. Children, and then our parents, siblings, friends if we have, fill our life, or not, but at least they make it whirl.
There are times like this when we might have an acute feeling that something is missing.
We are still in our pjs at midday on Christmas Eve and trying to figure out how to fix the stove or unplug the toilet. The kids, full of sugar, fight over the iPad.
Ah, if there would be a land for single mothers where we could hide instantly by opening the door of our closet.
Until then, we need to hang on. The help is on his way.
Merry Christmas!

That Night Called Wonder

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I couldn’t understand how I’ve never stumbled over our Christmas tree while it was hidden behind our pantry door waiting for the big day. My parents used to put me early to sleep on Christmas Eve with, “Santa is on his way with the tree.” It was an enigma how they managed decorating it in perfect silence, three feet from my bed, without waking me up.

There were no carols on the radio, since the regime didn’t allow that kind of music. The only sound in the house was of the firewood crackling in the stove.

When the gifts were under the tree on the table and everything was ready, my parents started caroling in a low voice. Deep inside my sleep I could hear the melody. My head was still heavy and I felt tired, but the excitement pulled me to the edge of the bed.

Dad had lighted small candles attached to the tree and the glitter kept me in awe.The mystery was so sweet that I didn’t want to disturb it. And I was just sitting there and breathing in the fragrance of oranges. while my parents were singing with tears in their eyes.

Sometimes Santa knocked at the door, but that’s another little story.

 

I Was Santa

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Years ago it was a shortage of “Santas” at the school where I was teaching. The elementary teachers were trying to find somebody to play that role for their students’ Christmas pageant. A year before they hired a Santa from a cab company but, with his jeans sticking out under Santa’s pants and with not so many skills to fit in “Santa’s shoes,” the school didn’t want to take that risk again.

I didn’t know how that happened, but I decided to be Santa. My colleagues received my idea with enthusiasm, so I went and bought a Santa suit for myself. They said I looked “good.”

The school celebrations with me as Santa turned out hilarious. None of the children nor their parents recognized me, as I performed my role with a deep voice. I remembered this little girl looking at me in awe.

“Santa, you are so beautiful.”

I barely could keep from laughing and was thankful for the long beard that covered my face up to my eyes.

A few parents waited for me at the end and hired me to drop by their house on Christmas Eve. One of them planned to be my driver for that evening. When some of my friends heard about my new hobby, they put their names on my list, too.

It was Christmas Eve and we were singing carols at my church. After a while I rushed in one of the rooms and changed into Santa’s suit. A car was waiting for me outside in the snow.

We rolled from one address to another. The children were delighted to have Santa come by with gifts. They recited poems and sang carols and I had a blast.

I kept being Santa for the next few years until we moved far away.

There are still former students among my friends on the social media who greet me with “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Merry Christmas!