When Nick was little, the doctors warned us many times that he would probably get to a point where he’d reach a plateau in development and quit learning new things. That hasn’t happened.
I want to tell you about our Christmas Miracle this week.
Last Wednesday, while we were experiencing all the fun hectic traditions of Christmas week, Nick suddenly announced, “Not I buy Christmas presents yet!” Taking him shopping to choose presents for family members has not been a part of our Christmas traditions. In the past we would purchase presents for him to give to others. It has never seemed to matter to him, until now.
I should have realized that it would be important to him this year. Remember a while ago when he announced that he wanted to get paid for his job of shredding. His purpose of getting paid was to buy stuff. When we asked, “what stuff?”, he replied, “Christmas Presents.” I forgot that he had been saving up his money to purchase Christmas gifts for others.
So we went to Target after dinner. Arden pushed Nick in his wheelchair and I grabbed a cart. Arriving at the toy section, he said, “mmm, let me think.” He started pointing at items, “That one for …” and would tell us the niece or nephew that the gift was for. Within an hour, he remembered everyone and had chosen individual items for each one. It really was amazing to watch. He even remember to get gifts for his siblings and their spouses. It was a poignant experience for Arden and me.
On the way home, Nick was talking to his brother Derek on the speaker-phone about shopping and said, “I spend money, Derek.” We all laughed.
Nick then asked me to wrap and mail the presents to the family in Kentucky. Derek and I did that Thursday morning and he ran up to the post office. The package was promised to arrive there on the 26th. When I told Nick it might miss Christmas, it didn’t phase him. He began praying that the box would get there on time. Saturday we got a text that it arrived already, Nick just nodded knowingly when I told him.
Yesterday on Christmas eve, it appeared that Nick wouldn’t be able to watch the other families open the gifts he had purchased for them. Children in each family were sick. Nick prayed that the kids would get well so he could give them their presents. We received texts from both families a little later that everyone was recovered enough to open presents.
We all watched with anticipation as each child opened their present. Spontaneous queals of delight and genuine gratitude to Uncle Nick for each gift was expressed. Each present was immediately opened and played with. Watching Nick was delightful. No words were expressed, the smile on his face said it all. The whole day was an example of the true meaning of gift-giving for Christmas.
Nick’s actions reminded me that true love can be expressed without words, in the simple act of giving a gift to someone else. Look for it today. I hope we all experience it.
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