“The Ghost Train.”
I’ve heard about this for quite a while now.
Did you ever have an item on your Christmas list that you wanted more than anything else?
I remember how much I wanted a Cabbage Patch doll when I was younger. And I’ll never forget running into my parents’ room and exclaiming what I found on Christmas morning that year. For underneath our tree, was not one, but 12 Cabbage Patch dolls!
“The Ghost Train” is a Lego set that Grady wanted so badly. I almost didn’t get it for him. Originally, his daddy and I picked him up a “Lord of the Rings” Lego set. But, one week before Christmas, my little guy came up to me just before breakfast with his brows all furrowed.
“Mom,” he asked. “Did you send Santa my list?”
“I sure did,” I answered assuredly. “Don’t you worry.”
He smiled at me and sighed, “Oh good! I was afraid he’d forget my ‘Ghost Train.’ That’s the only thing I really want.”
I just nodded to him with a smile frozen on my face, while my heart began to race.
How did we miss “The Ghost Train”?!?!
Needless to say, I made a beeline to Target as soon as I got off work, just to see if they still had any “Ghost Trains” around. My stomach was in a knot the entire time I sat at my desk. I mean, sure, I had confidence that Santa would come through. But, just in case Santa’s elves didn’t quite get around to making it, I wanted to make sure he had a back-up plan. 😉
After all, I knew that no matter how many presents Grady had under the tree, the only one that would really make his heart leap was this special item.
Christmas morning came and the first thing my son did was pick up a rectangular-shaped box and give it a shake. And what he heard was music to his ears. For according to him, a multitude of rattling pieces could only mean one thing…
A Lego set.
And not just any Lego set…
His “Ghost Train.”
He was so excited as he tore away the wrapping paper! Watching his face beam as he held his beloved set made me so happy. I knew he went to bed Christmas Eve just hoping he’d finally get his “Ghost Train.” Watching that dream come true for him is something I’ll always remember.
I tell this story because it makes me think of another one.
One I haven’t been able to talk about. Well, I think I shared my thoughts with maybe two people. But, every time I start to speak on the topic, my heart gets heavy and I can’t talk anymore.
Last night, I watched a video that honored all the victims from the Newtown tragedy. I had heard their names and I knew their ages. Most of the children were age 6 and were in Kindergarten.
Just like Grady.
And as I watched this montage of faces on Christmas evening, I sobbed like I haven’t in such a long time. I couldn’t help but think of all the parents of these little children. I wondered if they too, went on a quest for a “Ghost Train,” or a baby doll or some other special item for their child, but never got the chance to watch their baby’s Christmas wish come true. Where their innocent child should have slept on Christmas Eve, instead remained an empty bed of blankets with no one to snuggle in or a favorite stuffed animal with no one to cuddle to. Maybe they picked out special candy for their child’s stocking or found wrapping paper with their son or daughter’s favorite cartoon character. But, they never got to see their sweet child’s face light up when they saw their Christmas tree surrounded with special gifts carefully selected just for them.
I can’t even imagine the pain they must feel. And my heart aches so much for these families. As a mother, the thought of losing one of my children is gut wrenching. I don’t understand what happened and I never will. I’ve prayed for each one of these families by name and hope that God’s peace, which passes all understanding will manifest itself in their lives, I pray they feel love embrace them in such a way that they can find the strength just to take a breath. And I pray that they share in and find the hope that one day they will see their own again and their soul will finally rest.
I’m sharing this video tonight. It’s hard to watch. But, I think each precious face deserves to be seen: these victims are more than names and ages…they were someone’ s joy and song.