Never Give Up
This story is about a young mother with three small children, her moments of desperation, and her love for her children during the weeks approaching Christmas.
It was Christmas 1988 in Flint, Michigan. It was a time when the city of Flint was still a prospering General Motors town, few people were laid off, and overall, life seemed good. Unfortunately, for
one young Mother with a set of identical twin boys - age 3 and a third son - age 16 months, the word 'struggle' had taken on a whole new definition.
The separation took place in the month of August; the father/husband had frozen every penny she had. This created problems she had never faced before - severe poverty. She was living in a house her
parents had obtained for her, working as a temporary at any job she could get, but the idea of buying gifts for her children for Christmas seemed to be strictly an idea.
While driving to work one morning she heard on the radio an advertisement for 'Christmas at Autoworld'. This place was built as a teaching amusement park - inside. The theme was the automobile industry
since it was located in the heart of Flint, Michigan. Unfortunately, it was failing; therefore, the city was offering the residents one last chance to experience the fun before it closed its doors - FOR FREE!
There was no cost to be admitted or ride on the rides, but food was not free. She decided that since she didn't have two pennies to rub together for Christmas, her boys would have the 'Christmas' experience at Autoworld. Her boys were her life, her loves.
So, on the night of the big 'free' event, it was snowing, very cold, but the very spirit of Christmas was in the air. A true Michigan Christmas. She bundled them up in their winter outerwear put them and the umbrella
stroller into the old car she had purchased for $1,200 and headed to 'Autoworld!' The night was definitely COLD, but she parked as close to the entrance as she could.
As she was putting her baby into the umbrella stroller
with her twins at her side, a horse drawn carriage pulled up behind her car and the driver asked her if she wanted a ride. She politely declined (wishing she could have since it was a perfect night to do so) stating that
she didn't have any money. She proceeded to walk the snowy sidewalk with the stroller and her twins to the entrance.
The experience inside was thrilling for her boys. Of course, they would get hungry as the whole environment smelled like cotton candy, popcorn, hotdogs, pizza, and every other type of food a vendor could serve.
She reached into her wallet to see what money she had. She determined she had enough for two slices of pizza and one soft drink. They all sat down at a table and shared their dinner; she ate nothing, her children
always came first.
After spending a couple of hours the children were getting tired, the facility was getting ready to close and it was getting bed time for them. She gathered them up, bundled them up and headed outside. At the curb
in front of the main entrance there was the horse drawn carriage looking like it was waiting for Cinderella. The driver said, 'You wait right there, don't move I will be right back. Don't leave.' The young mother
was shocked but did just that, waited. Her boys loved looking at the horse.
A few minutes later the carriage appeared back in front of them. The driver got down from his seat and said, 'Get in.' The Mother said, 'I don't have any money for a ride.' The driver told her he was all done
for the night and she was his last passengers... there was no charge. He told her he was just going to give her and her boys a ride around the parking lot to her car. Her boys were thrilled to say the least.
He helped her and her precious cargo into the carriage covered them up with warm woolen blankets (just like in the movies) and off they went. After they made a U-turn,
he turned to her and asked her, 'Would you like to see the city by way of horse drawn carriage?' This is what she wanted to do all along. Of course, she said yes and her boys were ecstatic!
Throughout the whole ride she and the driver had been talking about her situation and that her Christmas wish was to get a permanent job enabling her to support her boys. The driver, now known as Harold, pulled up
behind her car after a grand tour of the city, halted the horse, parked, and lifted one by one her children down out of the carriage. Then, like Santa taking Mrs. Claus's hand, he helped her out of the carriage
only in his hand was a $20 bill folded up.
His eyes were filled with tears and said it isn't much but buy these beautiful boys something for under the tree from Santa and my Christmas wish for you is that I hope you receive that job.
One week later I received a job offer that was to start in January, it lasted for ten years. My 'Carriage Santa' came to visit me there several times. Yes, this is my story. My twins are now 27 and my 'baby' in
the umbrella stroller is now 25. They are all grown up and very successful and my 'Carriage Santa - Harold' has now passed away but God sent him to me for a reason. I have always tried to pass along the goodness he showed me, a complete stranger, whenever I can.
I truly believe in the love that 'Santa' stands for, therefore, I believe in Santa. God is Love, Santa is Love and I believe in never giving up, there is always hope.
--- Copyright © 2012 Denice R. Barth
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It's Never Too Late
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