What can you buy an angel? I have a day to figure something out. I walk aimlessly around the crowded mall. Sure, I could go inside the jewelry store. It’s beckoning me inside with precious metals and sparkling jewels. That just won’t do. She is precious enough and her eyes sparkle brighter than any of the jewels in the window. How could they ever compare? My angel deserves better than that.
I continue on my quest. The crowds are thick. I’m finding it difficult to walk through them. People are so rude and unsmiling. Why are they so angry and what is their hurry? I see it before me beckoning me inside. The Bath and Body Shop. The aromas are heavenly. The many colors are so cheerful and fun. This just won’t do. She already smells so sweet and is the most colorful and cheerful person I know.
I continue on my quest. I’m getting tired now. I wonder if I will ever find the prize I am in search of. I walk further pondering as I go. I know there has to be something here that is worthy of my angel. There it is, over there The Precious Memories Store.
I go inside enjoying the precious silver and china gifts. I read the beautifully worded inscriptions. All so wonderfully said. All so thoughtfully packaged. This just won’t do. There is just nothing that I could possibly say that would make my Angel come back to me. Our precious memories have passed us by all too soon.
My Angel is in heaven My time with her was too short. There’s nothing I could buy that would ever change this fact. There’s nothing I can do this year that will ever bring her back. I sit down on a bench and cry. I watch as people fly by oblivious to my pain. They’re busy with their Christmas lists. Too busy and blind to see the pain of life in anyone's eyes.
I drive home with a heavy heart. How will I ever get into the Christmas spirit? I pull into my driveway. My house beckoning me into its warmth. I struggle to get the key into the lock. That’s when I hear a sweetly forlorn sound. A kitten, I find a sweet little kitten sitting in a box. A red bow around her neck. I pick her up, she smells so sweet. She is a soft fluffy white. Her blue eyes sparkle like jewels as they look into mine. She is wearing a golden collar with an inscription on her tag. My name is Angel.
I carry the kitten into my house as she purrs happily in my arms. I take her into the kitchen and pour her a saucer of milk. She finishes the last drops of milk and saunters into the living room to lay by the warm fire. She looks so small curled up there on the hearth. I sink, exhausted into my easy-chair and quickly fall into a deep sleep.
What? A rapping comes from somewhere in the house and pulls me from my slumber. I walk quickly toward the front door, opening it a crack. The night air stings my face. I can't see anyone there. I open the door wide as flurries of snow come whipping in sending shivers down my spine. I look from right to left. There is nobody there. I must have been dreaming. I close the door, locking it quickly. I turn to return to my chair.
I stop short. My mouth drops open. My angel, Sarah sits in my chair. On her lap is the kitten. They both stare at me, Sarah strokes her soft white fur. I shake my head, blinking my eyes wildly trying to decide if I am asleep or awake. I fall to my knees as I notice the iridescent wings and golden halo.
I can’t speak. I try to form the words but the words come out like babble. Sarah rises from the chair, still holding the kitten. When she speaks it sounds like music to my ears.
Don’t be afraid. I am here to bring you a message. Every year at Christmas you come in search of me. I watch you as you search for the perfect gift in malls and department stores. You cry as you desperately search for the Christmas spirit to fulfill you. I am here to tell you where you can finally find everything you’re searching for.
She reaches out and takes my hand. The memories from our lives together flood my mind. My body feels light as all of the sadness leaves me. I feel a moment of euphoria as our life together passes in a whirlwind of happy memories that we once shared together. Still, I can’t speak. I smile at her and she nods as if she read my mind.
Cherish these memories. They are yours to keep. They will never leave you. This is my gift to you. She says sweetly.
She reaches out again and takes my other hand in hers so that we face each other. I can see our children. They are so little. We are all together. It is Christmas day and we are at the table enjoying a feast. I can taste the delicious food. We were so fortunate. Our children were so happy. Sarah looked beautiful. I felt tears roll down my cheeks.
Your children are healthy and happy. They are grown now with children of their own. They miss you. You must come back to them this year and end your search for me. This is a gift that is yours to take.
I start to sob. I want to tell her that I can’t face them. I feel as if I failed them. I let their mother die. I couldn’t save her. I couldn’t bring her back to them. No words would escape my lips. She smiles at me and shakes her head as if to say, you've been so foolish.
She gently hands me the kitten. I take her in my arms. My mind races as I see Sarah in the hospital bed. She was so pale and looked so weak and fragile. I was holding her hand as she gasped for breath. It was Christmas day. I prayed to God to take me instead. My children stood next to me crying silent tears.
I’m gone now. I’m in heaven with the angels. There is nothing you can buy for me. There is nothing that I need. Give yourself the gift of love and give yourself to others. Go out today and feed the poor and you will see your gift in their eyes as they fill the emptiness inside of them. Go out today and give a smile to those who have none. They will share that gift with the next person they meet. Go out today and give someone your coat and you will give the gift of comfort. Go out today and find your children and bring them all your love. They need you more than ever.
She reached out and stroked Angel’s beautiful white fur. This is the gift I give to you this Christmas morning. A gift to cure your loneliness. Give her love and kindness and she will give it back. When you stroke her lovely coat, think of me and feel my love. I will always be with you. I love you, Merry Christmas.
It was then that I found my voice. Merry Christmas, my love.
This day I learned a lesson. Each year I make it true. It’s not about the gifts, you see it’s about the love you give. Slow down, what's your hurry? Savor the moments with the ones you love. You never know how long you will have them before Jesus calls them home. Enjoy the season It’s you that is the gift. Give of yourselves freely. It doesn’t cost a penny but is worth a fortune.