The Color of a Christmas MiracleBy: Julianne MacLean
A Color of Heaven Novel
It’s Christmas Eve, nearly midnight, and I am on my knees in the snow, praying for a miracle.
To be honest, I have been praying for this miracle every day for the past few years, but never quite like this. This is different. This time, I would really love for things to work out. Not just for my own sake, but for my husband’s, because he is the kindest, most generous and compassionate soul I’ve ever known. He deserves this gift, and I would love for him to receive it.
So I could really use your help.
Let me assure you, I am not asking for a handout. I am not the type of person to feel sorry for myself or expect good things to simply fall into my lap because I prayed for them. To the contrary, I am a realist, and I’ve learned how to pick myself up and dust myself off when I get knocked down—and I’ve been knocked down quite a bit in this life. But I’ve always had faith that everything will work out in the end, exactly as it’s meant to—as long as I am willing to do my share and never lose hope.
So I will ask again….
Say a prayer for me tonight. I am a good person, and so is everyone else involved in this. I may not always have felt that way. I might have been angry and judgmental about certain people who caused me pain recently, but the situation has changed.
I have changed.
Although I suppose it would help if you knew what, exactly, you were praying for. Or rather, what I am praying for.
So let me rewind a bit and tell you where I am tonight, and how I came to be here.
Merry Christmas, by the way. I hope all of your dreams come true, and that this is the best Christmas ever. For all of us.
It’s rather remarkable, don’t you think, that so many of us can enter adulthood believing that most roads ahead will be straightforward, and that we will step onto a straight path in pursuit of our dreams, and everything will go according to plan.
I don’t know why in the world I embraced this idea, considering the fact that I’d been thrown some curveballs in my childhood—curveballs that resulted in heartbreak and loss. Maybe I believed that—because I’d already suffered so much disappointment in my younger years—the odds would be in my favor moving forward.
Or maybe I was able to cling to this surprising sense of optimism because my childhood hadn’t always been difficult. The early formative years had, in fact, been rather wonderful. For the first twelve years of my life, my younger sister Bev and I were fortunate enough to have been blessed with a loving family—which included two responsible parents who adored us and taught us how to be good people, how to always be considerate of others and place value on family and community. They treated us like angels, and we were as close as any family could be. Our cozy little home in a small, friendly town in rural Nova Scotia was a happy one, full of laughter and love. Bev and I never wanted for anything.
But then it all came crashing down one day when I was twelve and my father went outside to trim the hedge while Bev and I played in the sprinkler. He slipped and fell into the ditch and impaled himself on the clippers. My mother called an ambulance, but my father died before he reached the hospital. He was only thirty-six.
We were all traumatized and devastated, especially my mother who had called him her ‘knight in shining armor.’ They had been together since the eighth grade and he was the only man she had ever loved.
Suddenly, she was alone without the love of her life to help her raise her two grief-stricken daughters. That first year was full of pain, anger and tears, and over the next few years, we struggled financially. My mother—who had never worked a day in her life—took a waitressing job to support us. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to get by on and we eventually sold our cozy little home in a tree-lined neighborhood and moved to a less desirable part of town. Life was never quite the same after that.
Though my mother strove to be strong for Bev and me, I knew how broken she was on the inside. My father’s death left a gaping hole in her heart, and she was dismayed by the loss of him.
Sometimes she cried in her bedroom at night when she thought Bev and I were asleep. Whenever I heard her sorrow, I tiptoed to her room and crawled into bed with her, and held her close to comfort her. Bev would come in, too, and we would comfort each other.
I had loved my father with all my heart and soul. He taught me how to ride a bicycle, how to swim, how to build a campfire, and all the other things fathers do for their daughters—which I didn’t appreciate nearly enough when he was alive. I was simply too young to contemplate the possibility that he might be taken from me, violently and without warning.