A Christmas Gift I Will Never ForgetAuthor: Byron Pulsifer
It has been many years since both my parents died and the times we shared over the years come flooding back especially at Christmas time. There are a variety of reasons why there are different memories and some of these reasons stem from where we were living at the time. We moved quite often and so it was usually a Christmas with either very few extended family members present or simply none at all.
I recently re-read a great Christmas quote and it is this:
the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."
I always remember vividly one Christmas where we lived outside of town by about fifteen miles in an old country home. At this time, my older brother and sister both had jobs in different cities but always made it home to celebrate the holidays. During the few days before Christmas day, we experienced a violent snowstorm with powerful winds that whipped the snow into mountainous drifts. It was so bad that the country road where we lived was virtually impassable.
The day before Christmas turned out to be more memorable than I had ever imagined. As the sun was fading in the west, the phone rang. It was my older brother. He was stuck at a person's home where he had been forced to stay overnight because of the storm. He didn't know the people but they were kind enough to let him stay with them until morning. But, the problem was that he couldn't get his car to start and there was no tow trucks or assistance available. Unfortunately, neither he nor the people he stayed with had jumper cables.
So, my Dad and I, armed with jumper cables, blankets and shovels set out on this blizzard like weather. Fortunately for us, we could still pass through the mounting snowdrifts even though visibility was near zero. We ventured on and were lucky enough to make it the thirty miles to where my brother was waiting. With the snow being whipped at us along with a bitter wind-chill, it took us a little over one-half hour to get his car started. After his car warmed up, he thought it much wiser to head back to his place rather than try and make it home for Christmas. We agreed that probably would be wiser, so off we both headed in opposite directions.
The drive back got worse and worse as we neared the final turn off down our country road. The short part of this story is that we couldn't see a foot in front of us and got stuck I n a huge snow drift that was almost up to the top of the telephone polls on each side of the road. The wind was howling, the snow blowing and a decision had to be made. We couldn't stay in the car, which was obvious because our road was not well traveled and help probably would not come until morning. So, we thought it best to place a shovel just about ten feet behind the car to alert anyone else that there was an obstruction ahead. At least, that was the idea.
Just as I had finished placing the shovel behind the car and was approaching the passenger's side door to tell my father we were ready to go, there was a huge crash. I nearly jumped out of my skin as dad's car was propelled forward several feet. I turned to look what happened but couldn't see well at all. As I approached the back of my dad's car, I then saw a startling thing - it was my brother's car and he had slammed directly into the back of dad's car.
Two things instantly ran through my mind; I was only seconds away from having both my legs crushed by his car, and, what was he doing there?
As it turned out, the police who had blocked the highway because it was impossible to proceed turned him around. With nowhere to go, he decided to make a run for home. He was only a few minutes behind us but we had no idea.
Seeing that no one was any worse for wear, we left the cars embedded in the snow, wrapped blankets around our heads so we wouldn't be choked by the wind and proceeded to walk on top of the snowdrifts just under the telephone and power lines. We made it about a mile up the road to a neighbor's farmhouse where we warmed up for the next mile walk home. We all made it safely home that night.
Christmas was very special that year. It didn't matter if there were gifts or not under the tree the next morning. We each got our gift - the gift of life, not being crushed behind a car, and home with our family safe and sound. What better gift is there? None.
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