A Christmas Miracle in Disguise

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2 years ago

As a child, when I was old enough to discern the unusual from the usual, I always looked forward to Christmas — the season of jolly. It is the time of the year when I had access to more food and drinks than I could eat. It was the time when family, friends of family and even strangers gave me money. More notes than I could keep in my pocket.

I had always looked forward to Christmas every year not just for the food and drinks and money, but also for the scary yet exciting sound and echoes of knockouts, the beautiful display of fireworks as they kiss the dark sky with a melodious bang, and decorate it with colourful sparkles.

More importantly, I have always looked forward to Christmas because it is the time of the year I spend with many of my family members (both immediate and extended). To eat and drink and jolly with family and see the smiles on their faces and laughter from tales and jokes, that was golden. That was what I looked forward to the most.

It was four days to Christmas, about 11 years ago, the day my dad was supposed to come home with new Christmas clothes for us, clothes we’d wear on Christmas day, mighty and proud as we regaled other children in the neighbourhood with stories about how many chicken we had eaten, how much we had gotten from relatives that came visiting, and how many knockouts we planned to buy before the end of the day.

But it would seem Santa had a surprise in store for us. Santa came in the form of my father's colleague, with a parcel of disappointment wrapped with sad news and panic, news of my father being hospitalised, as he was attacked on the road, and his attackers had absconded with his motorcycle.

That was the first time I heard that my father was in the hospital. I could remember the feeling the news gave me, the feeling of terror and I thought this was another of those moments where the worst had happened but the time is not right to drop the bomb, especially in the presence of children.

I remember my mother, distraught, vehemently refuting the news. But it was the shock that got the better of her, her subconscious mistaking reality for nightmare. She left immediately with my father's colleague.

That night, I remember crying to sleep, a young boy, who thought the worst had happened to his father. His Red Jolly Christmas had turned black in the blink of an eye.

My mom came home the next morning and I could tell she barely had any sleep the previous night. Although, she was somewhat better than when she left the previous day. I walked close to her after she sat on the sofa in the sitting room and asked “mummy is daddy dead?” She replied graciously “No my dear, daddy is alright” I asked “Is he coming back today?” she answered “no, he isn’t. He will be back next tomorrow”.

My dad came home a day to Christmas with a bandage around his head to the lower side of his right ear. It was a relief to see him. But, sad to see he wasn’t with any new clothes for me and my siblings.

That Christmas was not the same, it was not near the best I had, but it was the most important as it was the one that taught me the importance of health and how one misfortune can ruin the delicate memory I have of Christmas. A memory that had become a tradition.

That one Christmas recalibrated my perception of how happiness and sadness are complimentary, and how only when sadness has stained the fabric of happiness will you value and cherish the memories that brings happiness.

That one Christmas had made me vow that as long as I can, I will always spend Christmas with my family, as though that one Christmas had created a debt I have to pay back with love, happiness and kindness for the rest of my life especially in Christmas season.

This is my entry for the #BCHNigerianForumXmasChallenge by @Greatwolfman

Thank You For Reading 🖤🖤

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Comments

Wow, I'm touched, it was so emotional, I can't even imagine what would have happened if the worst had happened, Christmas would have been ruined...forever, I think that is the best gift to ever receive, seeing every member of your family alive and well is a gift to be treasured

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I am glad Christmas was not ruined. And yes, seeing your loved ones in good health is the best gift you can get any day and any time

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