The Christmas Miracle | By: Rachel Baker | | Category: Short Story - Christmas Bookmark and Share

The Christmas Miracle


The Christmas Miracle


Anna was tired of being treated like a child. Her mother
didn’t seem to know the difference between six and sixteen.
Christine, Anna’s mother, was tired of being treated like the enemy.
Why couldn’t Anna understand that all she wanted was for her daughter
to not experience the pain and heartache she had gone through? Of
course, she was too ashamed to tell Anna about her past.
Friday night had rolled around again and Anna and Christine
were decorating the Christmas tree and arguing about curfew … again.
“Mom! You are so old fashioned. My friends stay out until
one.”
“Can I ask you a question?” Christine said. “What do you do
until one o’clock in the morning? You’re not old enough to go to
clubs, you can’t drink, you can barely even drive …”
“We hang out. Either at the coffee shop or other kids
houses,” Anna interrupted.
“Are their parents home?” Christine asked.
“Not always. Most of the time though.”
“Well,” Christine said, “at least your honest with me.”
After a moment of hesitation she added, “I’ve just experienced some
things I don’t want you to go through, but I’m going to trust you.
You can stay out until one tonight, but absolutely no later! I want
your butt in bed at 1:05. That gives you five minutes to get into
the house and get in bed.”
“Thanks Mom! You’re the greatest!” she said, giving her mom
a hug. Anna didn’t give a second thought to her mom’s past. She
assumed she was talking about having a child at eighteen. Well, Mom
doesn’t have anything to worry about, she thought. I can’t even find
a guy I’m interested in dating.
Anna’s best friend, Daphne, was in the driveway at 9:30 pm
honking on the horn as usual.
“Can’t that girl ever come in and say hello?” Christine said
as Anna walked into the room.
“I’ll be home at one,” Anna said, ignoring her mother’s
question.
“Thanks again, Mom. I love you.” She leaned over and kissed
her mom on the cheek.
“I love you, too. Have fun.” Anna practically ran out the
front door. She’s so full of life and energy, Christine thought.
And I am not going to sit around all night worrying about her. She
popped a movie in and settled down on the couch, looking forward to
a quiet, relaxing evening at home.
Anna hopped into the passenger side of Daphne’s car with a
huge grin on her face.
“What are you so happy about?” Daphne asked.
“Guess who got her curfew extended?”
“You didn’t!! So did I!” They screamed together the way
teenage girls do.
“So, what are we doing tonight?” Anna asked.
“Ethan is having a party. His parents are out of town.”
“Cool!” Anna leaned over and turned the radio up. Their
favorite song was playing. The two girls belted out every word on
the top of their lungs.
Christine had put in a second movie and was finally
getting in to it when the phone rang. She paused the movie and
grabbed the cordless phone off the coffee table. “Hello? … OH MY
GOD!! … No!! … I’ll be right there.”
Christine pulled up in front of County General Hospital.
She’d made it there in record time. This isn’t right, she thought
as she parked her car and headed for the entrance. I should be
coming here for work like I do everyday, not to see a patient, not
to see my daughter. She rushed up to the nurse’s station totally
unaware of the tears streaming down her face.
“Can you tell me where they have Anna Fair, please?”
“She’s in Rm. 105. Are you her mother?” Christine was
headed for the double doors that lead to the ER. “Wait a second.
You can’t go in there!” Christine flashed her staff badge and
didn’t even turn around. She entered Rm. 105 with her heart in her
throat. A nurse was leaning over a heart monitor, adjusting the
controls. Christine glanced at her daughter. A pale faced, little
girl with a bandage on her head laid there in a bed that looked ten
times to big for her body. Christine felt her knees give out.
A couple of moments later, Christine opened her eyes and
tried to remember where she was. Then she saw Anna and it all
rushed back to her. The ER nurse on duty turned around when she
heard Anna stir.
“I’m so sorry, Christine.” It was her good friend,
Gabrielle.
“How is she? What’s wrong with her?” Christine tried to
stand and felt dizzy, so she sat back down. “What happened?”
“They were hit by a drunk driver. He died on impact.
Daphne has a couple of broken bones, but otherwise she’s okay.
Anna’s in an induced coma. The other car hit the passenger side.
Anna has swelling in her brain. Dr. Harland induced the coma to try
and bring the swelling down.”
“Oh my God.” Christine sat silent for a moment. “So, what’s
supposed to happen now?”
“We wait.” Gabrielle walked over and gave Christine a long
hug. The two women cried on each other’s shoulders. “The doctor
will be in in a minute to talk with you. I’m praying for her, Chris.”
When Gabrielle had left the room, Christine pulled a chair close to
her daughter’s bed and held her hand.
“I love you so much, baby.” She squeezed her hand three
times, their family symbol for ‘I love you.’ Then she put her head
down on the bed and wept. She sat up suddenly when she thought she
felt three squeezes back. She did it again. There was no response
this time, but she knew she had felt it. “I’m right here, baby.
Wake up. Wake up, please, wake up.”
Christine spent every waking moment with Anna for the next
two weeks. Talking to her, singing to her, praying for her, and
crying for her. It was Christmas Eve and Christine had decorated
Anna’s room with lights and a miniature tree. She turned on the
radio and tuned into a station playing Christmas carols.
She sat down in the chair next to Anna’s bed. “I need to
tell you something, honey,” she began. “I was eighteen and 9 months
pregnant with you. It was 10:00 at night when I started having labor
pains. My boyfriend, your father, had been drinking, as always. I
woke him up to let him know it was time to go to the hospital. He’d
been sleeping for a couple of hours so I assumed he’d slept off his
buzz. I asked him anyway. He said he’d never do anything to put our
family in danger. Of course, I was thinking, except your drinking
every night.
We got all our stuff together and headed for the hospital.
It was dark and rainy and the roads were slippery. Not that that’s
an excuse. I told you the truth when I said that your father died
before you were born. We were in an accident that night. He hit
another car head on when he swerved into the wrong lane. He killed
the other driver.” Christine was crying so hard she was barely able
to finish her story.
“Your father was killed as well. The cops and ambulances
showed up and they rushed me to the hospital. You were born two
hours later. I’ve never had a better or worse night in my life.
You entered it and I lost your father. I’ve never been able to get
over the guilt I’ve felt for that night. The other driver was young
mother with a baby. Thank God, the baby wasn’t with her. I still
send apology letters to that women’s husband. He’s never answered
me, but I believe God forgave me. He gave me you. And now … here
you are, lying here. Hit by a drunk driver. Why couldn’t it have
been anything else, anyone else?” Christine was worn out. She’d
never told her daughter that story. She’d always felt to ashamed.
It had felt good to let it out. She put her head down on the bed.
Her tears were gone for now. All that was left to do was pray.
She held her baby’s hand and squeezed it three times.
“I … love … you …too, Mom,” Anna answered. Christine looked
up, amazed. God had once again answered her prayers. He did care
about her.
“Oh, Anna. You’re awake. Oh, baby, I was so scared!”
“I’m okay, Mom,” she answered quietly. “I’m so sorry.
I didn’t mean to get in an accident.”
“Oh, honey, it wasn’t your fault. I love you so much. I
couldn’t stand the thought of not having you in my life. You mean
so much to me.”
“I love you too,” Anna answered. “Mom?”
“Yeah, sweetie?”
“I think we should move my curfew back to 11:30.” Christine
started laughing … and crying. She had an amazing daughter.
“Anna, I have so much to tell you…”
Click Here for more stories by Rachel Baker

Comments