It’s been mentioned that Christmas is the season of miracles. Foremost among the many latter is the miracle of the Christ youngster’s start. The Immaculate Conception. How concerning the “Miracle on thirty fourth Avenue,” that 1947 flick starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, the unforgettable Edmund Gwenn as ole St. Nick and Natalie Wooden because the younger youngster. Ship for it on Netflix, collect the household collectively and go the popcorn. Then there’s the miracle, or moderately miracles, of 2020.
5 year-old Jamie and his sister Annmarie, aged 4, (pseudonyms for apparent causes), have been actually wanting ahead to Christmas and a go to from the bearded man in crimson who, they hoped, would convey every coloring books, crayons and puzzles together with a automobile for him and doll for her. However the probabilities of that occuring have been slim to none. Their single mom was unemployed, and whereas she did her greatest and showered them with love, her children have been missing in these materials possessions commonplace amongst most preschoolers. They lived everyday.
If having to outlive in a difficult surroundings wasn’t dangerous sufficient, Jamie was affected by a severe coronary heart ailment.
Two days earlier than Thanksgiving he underwent open-heart surgical procedure in Syracuse and due to the miracle of contemporary drugs, it was profitable.
However he’s not out of the woods. Sadly, a gap was found in his lung requiring additional surgical procedure. However due to the Gram Lorraine Youngsters’s Christmas Program, Jamie and Annmarie could have these Christmas needs granted. The previous has brightened the Yuletide mornings of an estimated 30,000 kids over the previous 40 years, its beneficiant sponsors offering their assigned kids with a minimal of 4 gadgets of clothes, new coats and boots and a toy, e-book or sport of CHOICE. Children who’ve so little deserve the one factor they yearn for a lot. And the Kringle man has insured me that there will likely be stuff in his sack for the youngsters’ mother as properly. (for more information on Gram Lorraine, try hchungercoalition.org)
Life hasn’t precisely been a bowl of cherries for my grandson, Andrew James. His high quality of life has been diminished by not one, not two however 5 maladies. Autism-Neurofibromatosis (a illness of tumors referred to by some as Elephant Man’s Illness); P.A.N.D.A.S., two tick borne sicknesses (Bartonella and Babesiosis); C.I.D.P. (just like MS); and C.V.I.D. (an immune deficiency dysfunction making remedy of the aforementioned extraordinarily tough). Having to deal with the bodily and emotional ache coming within the wake of the above was one factor, being subjected to the taunting and mocking of heartless classmates and mistreatment by some academics at his first college was fairly one other. Fortunately, the bullying has been non-existent at his current college, New Hartford.
Andrew has extra proper than most to bitch and moan, however he doesn’t. Thanks once more to the miracle of contemporary drugs, his sicknesses haven’t prevented him from doing properly academically (e.g. 96 in English) nor from maturing (he’s 13) right into a loving, caring, empathetic younger man. Final week whereas discussing Gram Lorraine’s relationship with the BOCES Migrant Employee Program, he requested if migrant staff have been like slaves. “A step above,” I answered.
He was quiet for some time after which he supplied this. “Pappy, do the kids give their dad and mom a gift?” Earlier than I answered, I recalled these fond recollections as a toddler of watching my mother’s face mild up when she opened my Christmas present every year-often a Fanny Farmer field of candies — and questioned if that nice vacation custom was nonetheless in vogue. “I don’t know.”
“I’d like to provide them one thing to provide their dad and mom,” he mentioned. After catching my breath, I advised Andrew how proud I used to be of him for such thoughtfulness. Then we mentioned the what’s and the way’s and developed with the next.
This 12 months 12 of the neediest dad and mom within the MWP will obtain a Christmas card signed by their kids and containing a $50 present card paid for by cash Andrew James has saved over time. He desires no recognition. “If the dad and mom ask the place the present got here from, what ought to we reply?” “Santa Clause” he responded as he completed rolling up the quarters. His concern for these dad and mom who work so long and hard for therefore little, and his concept for brightening their Christmas mornings only a bit, have resulted in what I imagine will grow to be an annual custom for Gram Lorraine.
Andrew’s selflessness would have warmed the cockles of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s coronary heart. It was the good essayist, poet and thinker who said-“Don’t go the place the trail could lead, go as an alternative the place there isn’t a path and depart a path.” My grandson has definitely left a path.
The sponsors and coordinators of the Gram Lorraine Program want you all a wholesome, joyful vacation season. And its founder asks that on Christmas Eve, after the laughter has light, the fireplace within the fireplace however burning embers and the room darkish save for lighted candles within the window, take a second to say a prayer for the well-being of the Jamie’s and Andrew James’ of the world. Earlier than your amen, give thanks for the miracle makers who’ve given them, and so many others like them, that almost all valuable of gifts-the present of life. God Bless Us, Everybody.
Ray Lenarcic is a 1965 State College of New York at Fredonia graduate and is a resident of Herkimer.