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Fwd: A very "Special Christmas Story".

From: "Joseph C(dot) Fisher" <jxfish2(at)uswest(dot)net>
To: sa(at)bismark(dot)bcs(dot)lucent(dot)com, lug(at)lug(dot)boulder(dot)co(dot)us, pgsql-interfaces(at)postgreSQL(dot)org
Subject: Fwd: A very "Special Christmas Story".
Date: 1998-12-09 08:46:04
Message-ID: 366E38CC.4DDB4773@uswest.net (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-interfaces
The reason for the season....always remember it..

"A Christmas Story"

It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our
Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has
peeked
through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not the true
meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of
it-overspending...the
frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry
and
the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because
you couldn't think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts,

sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for
Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level
at
the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a
non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church. These

youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be
the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our
boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling
shoes. As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was
wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a

wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not
afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class.
And
as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his
tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't
acknowledge defeat. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I
wish
just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of
potential,
but losing like this could take the heart right out of them."

Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league
football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present
came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought
an
assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to
the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the
tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his

gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that
year
and in succeeding years.  For each Christmas, I followed the
tradition---one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters
to
a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose
home had  burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.


The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the
last
thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new
toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the
envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but
the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas
rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the
tree
up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in
the
morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope
on
the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand
even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with
wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope.

Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and the
true
Christmas spirit this year and always. God bless---pass this along to
your
friends and loved ones.

Merry Christmas to all...


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