Contributor Two Contributor Two
Kathy’s Christmas GODwink
Contributor Two Contributor Two
How can you be expected to bear the joy of the holiday, when inside, you are crying out, I’m still in deep, deep pain. Doesn’t anyone know that?

God knows.

He’s right there walking quietly beside you and within you. He wants to embrace you. And often, He does that through GODwinks so astonishing, that you just know it has to be Him.

That’s how Ted Harris felt that Christmas Eve morning. Unable to sleep, he came downstairs by only the light of the dawning day. He thought, even a Christmas tree without its lights is lonely and cheerless.

Today was the anniversary — one year ago — that he had to do the hardest thing possible. He relinquished all hope and placed his “precious angel,” Kathy, into hospice. Three days later she succumbed to ovarian cancer.

He wished he could feel that he’d done all the right things. He thought he had. Still, her life was claimed at a young age, ending a joyful, 40-year marriage.

Oh, how he missed her.

What a terrible way to forever remember Christmas, he thought, reaching to switch on a lamp.

As the room barely illuminated he surveyed his decorations. He had tried to replicate his wife’s extraordinary talent to fill every available space with a sign of the season. Just as he’d remembered she’d done, he placed the stockings over the fireplace, draped the garlands here and there, and very carefully, as she’d always reminded him, he threaded every special family ornament onto a branch, making sure they were secure.

Kathy had made it a habit to purchase personalized ornaments for Ted and the children every year. They’d multiplied to dozens. Each was given a prominent spot on the tree except for the ornament she’d bought Ted that one year—the little ceramic picture frame. Kathy was afraid the frame was a little too heavy, so she always put it on a side table, next to a Christmas candle.

Ted gazed upon the ornament.

Inside the frame was Kathy’s smiling countenance — just the way literally everyone remembered her — always with a smile. Her photo was flanked by replications of red and white candy canes, and on top was “Merry Christmas.”

One other feature of that picture frame ornament was a recorded greeting, which could be activated by pressing down, very directly, on a tiny button with your fingernail. He didn’t think he could bear to hear it right now.

Ted looked around the room. Without Kathy, it was still empty. Then he recalled how she always talked of the warmth of Christmas lights. From the semi-darkness he flipped the switch and the tree illuminated.

More was needed. The flickering of live candles.

He picked up the fireplace lighter and began lighting the wicks atop white, red and green candles, here and there, on side tables.

He came to the end table with the ceramic ornament. He flicked the lighter to ignite the candle. But ... he was jolted!

The fireplace lighter ... somehow ... had triggered the voice player on the frame. Now the quiet room was filled with sound ... Kathy’s voice ... a GODwink message directly to Ted!

“Merry Christmas, Honey. I love you. Have a happy new year.”

He was astonished. How could that be? He hadn’t touched the frame.

Again he flicked the lighter to ignite the candle ... and again the voice of his dear wife mysteriously enveloped the room.

Ted sat down and cried.

He tried to sort it out. As a high-school teacher and coach, he knew there must be a scientific rationale for the phenomenon. Yet, there was no accounting for the amazing timing, for his receiving this remarkable connection to his “precious angel,” just when he needed it the most.

A peace that surpassed all understanding began to flow over him. He knew that this was a Christmas Godwink he’d never forget.

One more time, Ted flicked the lighter.

“Merry Christmas Honey, I love you. Have a happy new year.”

He smiled.