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Posted by on Feb. 23, 2008 at 2:40 PM
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Santa's Prayer

      Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa
      at Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin . The child climbed up on his lap,
      holding a picture of a little girl. 'Who is this?' asked Santa,

      'Your friend?' Your sister?

      '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.'

      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
      Children's 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

      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 on 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
      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 that 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 Mayfair 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

      '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 Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee
      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
      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!'

      If you believe in miracles you will pass this on. I did!!


by on Feb. 23, 2008 at 2:40 PM
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