The Perfect Christmas Gift
This holiday season I would like to take a moment and graciously thank you for your gifts – time, talents and treasures – in support of Holy Angels. It is often said the greatest gifts are not wrapped in paper, but in love. Join me as I share a parent’s quest for the “perfect gift” for his child.
Barry rocked his newborn daughter, Helen, on her first Christmas Eve. What should have been a joyful time for him and his wife, Susan, had turned to one filled with frustration, disappointment and despair. Parents look forward to baby’s firsts and marking milestones. Instead, all Barry could recall were the doctor’s words – small head, seizures, cortical blindness and developmental delays. He and Susan were facing a different world – one that wouldn’t mark milestones like other parents. There were no instruction books – just two parents doing the best they could – hanging onto hope that their love would be enough.
He had no idea what his daughter’s abilities were, but he was determined not to let her down. It wasn’t fair that Helen was born this way. Barry had a strong desire to do something – he couldn’t fix this situation for his daughter, but he could fix the moment by finding the perfect gift– one that she would cherish and love.
The day before, Barry apprehensively entered the toy store. He felt if he picked out the perfect gift, it would bring her joy. His eyes caught a brightly colored toy with multicolored balls on silly springs – a music box! In his excitement, Barry found himself sharing with the sales clerk all about Helen and his hope for this gift. But when he flipped it over his heart fell; it was too expensive. Defeated, he left the store.
As he rocked Helen that Christmas Eve, he thought of how he couldn’t even get a Christmas gift right! How unfair it was – Helen already had so many things taken away from her – her sight, her mobility, who knew what else. Sadness was interrupted by the doorbell. Opening the door, Barry gazed upon a brightly wrapped package. Tearing away the paper, he discovered the music box! How did it get here? Barry would later discover the sales clerk was so moved by Barry’s love for Helen and the hope that she would be able to interact with this toy, she shared with the store manager his inability to purchase the gift. The manager decided to give the gift - a piece of hope on his doorstep.
Years would go by and another daughter joined Helen – Emily – and despite assurances Helen’s disabilities wouldn’t happen again, they did. There were two special hearts to love and double the burden to their family. Holy Angels joined these two hearts several years later in one home – bonded by love for all God’s special children. Barry feels Holy Angels gave his family the “perfect” gift – the ability to be a family.
The best gifts are the ones you give – won’t you kindly make a “perfect” gift to Holy Angels today? With increasing costs and reductions in governmental funding, Holy Angels is challenged with raising even more funds to be able to continue to provide a home with innovative programs and compassionate care for sisters Helen and Emily, and all their friends. Each gift that is made conveys the power of promise that parents, families and staff desire for each of God’s children. As Christmas envelops us with all its glory, may we give the “perfect” gift of our tender, giving hearts to those in need.
Regina Moody, CEO/President