Exhaustion, weakness, intravenous medication offered him sleep. Baley lay strewn across his hospital bed all of Christmas Day, 2000. She held his hand, wandered empty corridors. Shuffled into the cafeteria. Took her place among similar hollowed parents. Sat surrounded by scrub clad hospital staff. Guiltily nibbled strands of grilled cheese, diet Coke. She telephoned, updated Daren. Heard blood-drops fall from his eyes.
Elizabeth returned to her sleeping son. Stared silently at intravenous beads fall thinking, “Peculiar, how they resemble teardrops.” She questioned why an innocent child deserved teardrops dripping into his body on Christmas Day. Why there were tears at all.
She prayed in the ambulance on Christmas Eve for God to keep him with her, here on Earth.
Since then more tears have fallen than oceans hold saline. There are more ways than one to lose a child. She stopped praying. Believed God abandoned Baley, abandoned her.
The middle years are a muddle. Elizabeth stumbled into gratitude that her son is simply alive. This became her prayer. Every day. Twice, thrice daily.
Christmas is different now. But she’s been fortunate to spend Christmas dinner with friends, an immense extended family who exemplify the life of Christianity. They’re not perfect, they’re human . But they do their best to model the teachings, the life of Christ in everyday living. Last Christmas the family patriarch said Grace for a table of twenty-one. He has no idea that his words deeply moved Elizabeth.
They fell like diamonds, “Where there is life there is hope.”
Elizabeth’s pleas were answered on Christmas Eve 2000 in that horrific rescue ride through the Big Dig.
They’ve been answered every day since. She needed only to be able to see it. But who has ever seen Santa climb through the chimney?
Faith is the key.
Hope is the answer.
Life is the gift.
Merry Miraculous Christmas.