Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Can I show you Christmas again?

I know this post is a 're-gift' but it's crazy busy here with Grands out of school and the fact that I missed the fact a few weeks back that Christmas was this coming weekend.

Can I show you Christmas?

Technically her name is Riley, and she is our middle Granddaughter. Our dreamy, sweet, heart-driven, lovely Riley who is six years old. And who has one of the kindest hearts I've ever been around. Although she is wearing a pink and white dress and is holding a puppy in this photo, that's not why she is Christmas.

She is Christmas because of this drawing. And many others like it. Espcially because of who she has been drawing them for.

But I think for me it is this drawing in specific that whispers Christmas into every particle of my being. May I tell you about this picture?

This picture is drawn for a wonderful man who is suffering from so many awful things it would take me an hour to tell his tale. He is the son of one of the most loving friends I have.

This picture was drawn at Riley's own initiative. When she saw an envelope on my desk and asked who it was for and I told her "Mike" she immediately ran for the colored pencils.

This picture was drawn with two legs because Mike has had one amputated and Riley says he wants to see himself the way "his heart wants him to be."

This picture was drawn with the two of them getting onto an airplane because Mike goes back and forth between bedridden and the ICU unit at the hospital and Riley says he wants to see himself going on a trip. With her. To Disneyland.

One morning several weeks ago Riley was here in my office actually drawing a picture to send to Mike when my friend called to tell me her husband had suffered a stroke. All this in addition to dealing with the sadness and medical horrors that encompass every single moment of their life.

Riley listened to my conversation and then looked up at me to ask "Grandma, who is Bob?"

I replied "sweetie, that is Mike's Dad and he is very, very sick now, too."

And Riley said to me "oh boy, Grandma, I have a lot of drawing to do here."

And went to get another piece of paper.

Did I say that this picture whispers Merry Christmas to my soul.

It doesn't. It shouts "Merry Christmas!" to every atom that makes me who I am. It makes my heart swell with carols and pride and love and certainty.

Certainty that because this little girl exists there is still hope and love and joy and possibility and kindness in a world that sometimes feels otherwise.

And Mike, I hope this dream of walking sturdily and confidently onto an airplane to take a trip to somewhere wonderful soothes your soul and eases your pain for just a moment.

And Riley? Sweet, sweet girl.

Merry Christmas.

Since I wrote this post last year, Riley turned 7 and Mike lost his courageous battle, but this is one of my favorite posts and I hope you don't mind my sharing it again.

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26 comments:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am now crying! This post is so special and so is your girl. Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl said...

So sorry for your loss, Jenny.

To have the spirit of Christmas in your life every day is a miracle.

Blessings to you and yours.

Theresa said...

What a sweetie! I just love her to pieces! Thoughtful and caring child! Mike is smiling down from Heaven!

Have a blessed day my friend! HUGS!

Sailing Simply said...

Thank you for reposting this. It brought tears to my eyes too. I was sorry to read the update on Mike. You are truly blessed to have such a beautiful spirit as Riley in your family. Merry Christmas!

Ames said...

Children are truly examples of God's love in his most purest form. Riley has such a sensitive loving little heart. She's adorable! You are very blessed and you are right, she is Merry Christmas!~Ames

ImagiMeri said...

Dearest Jenny,

Thank you for sharing this story, and thank you for requesting a class for your granddaughters, in which, I get to experience your daily joy. Having had the pleasure of meeting Riley and younger sister Morgan, I am truly looking forward to spending time with such precious little ladies. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to bask in their special light.

Love ya'
Meri

Deb said...

as they say out of the mouths of babes..she is beautiful inside and out...

Jocelyn said...

Oh Jenny...what a heart warming posts...if only we could all have the innocence and warmth that children hold in their hearts!!! Your grand daughter is such a blessing and what a heart she has...just like her Grandmom!!

I am so sorry for you loss...but thank you for reminding us of this Christmas story!!!

Bookie said...

The story was new to me so I appreciate your reposting. A beautiful story reminding us that we all should like Riley in belief and deed...a child will lead....

Terra said...

a post worth regifting for sure. I am sorry for the loss but warmed by the grace and love of that cute little girl!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Gosh Jenny -- do you know how difficult it is to type with tears in your eyes? Thanks for sharing...what a precious Christmas angel you have!

Busy Bee Suz said...

I do remember this touching post from last year.
I do hope Mike's family is doing ok; finding some joy this year.
xoxoxo

Raspberry Lane Primitives said...

Wow, Jenny...I am tearfully speechless...tearful with joy because Riley is a true Christmas Angel all year round! Give her a kiss for me! Tell her that Patti says "Merry Christmas"...She has a special soul and has touched my heart!

BECKY said...

Very beautiful, in all ways possible. Thanks, Jenny..and Merry Christmas to you and all your lovely family.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Dear Jenny, I also remember this post from last year. The love of this child is beautiful and I am so glad you re-posted. Sorry for the loss of Mike and I hope his family is doing well. Merry Christmas dear friend.

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

Sweet re-posting.

Gentle Christmas hugs...

Judie said...

You know the old saying, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree." Well, Jenny, she IS YOUR granddaughter, after all.
xoxo

"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

I think Riley is an "old soul" and very very sweet. I am so sorry for the loss of your friends son and hope everyone is doing ok. Merry Christmas!

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful post, Jenny. I hadn't met up with you yet at this time last year, so I'm glad that I got a chance to read about Riley's loving heart.

And yes, she is the epitome of Christmas.

=)

Country Dreaming said...

A very sweet story indeed.
Sorry to hear of Mike passing.

Melinda

Tina said...

Oh how precious she is! What a blessing to you, and what a blessing to us that you shared this story. Thank you.

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

A wonderful story of Christmas love, Jenny. It should be told and shared over and over again...joyful and heartfelt!
Blessings for a glorious Christmas!
Coralie

Brenda said...

I remember reading this last year. It still gives me a heartfelt feeling.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Jenny, I vote that you share this every year! It's a beautiful story. It speaks the love and spirit of Christmas so very much! Yay for Riley! I'm so glad to know there are young folks like her these days. Thank you!

Annesphamily said...

Wonderful heart warming post. I missed last week so I combined my L and M post. I hope you have a moment to stop by and thanks for sharing the true meaning of it all. Anne

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

OH my yes, Thank your for sharing this post again...and it could be shared again and again and again. Such a sweet heart of Riley...

Blessings & Aloha!
Mele Kalikimaka, dear friend!
Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas with your family!