This is the final installment of my “Christmas Wish” series. Wrapping up the story from A Christmas Wish, Part 7
“A Christmas Miracle” (The Ending)
His cell phone shone 1:45 AM by the time Officer Juarez pulled into the snow-covered driveway. “Think your wife is still awake?” The officer asked as he put the cruiser into park. “Looks like there’s someone awake with the lights on.”
Aiden scanned the house and saw the master bedroom window shining bright. “She probably fell asleep with the light on. She didn’t answer when I called an hour ago,” he stated casually, unbuckling his belt. “Thank you, Officer Juarez, for the ride.” He extended his hand and shook the uniformed officer before sliding out of the cruiser. “Have a Merry Christmas, sire,” he said as he waved the officer goodbye.
“You too, Mr. Peters,” Officer Juarez called out. “Be safe and God bless your Christmas miracle.” With that, the police cruiser pulled out of the driveway, leaving behind a pair of tracks in the snow.
Shuffling his feet to avoid slipping and sliding on the snowy and slick walkway, Aiden tried to collect his thoughts on how he would inform his wife of the night’s events. As he stood before the front door, stamping his feet clean of snow, the door swung open. “Whatever happened tonight is done,” Holly cried out, as she flung her arms over his shoulders. “I’ve been so worried about you.” He rubbed her back and soothed her hair as she began to weep into his cold jacket.
“I’ve had one heck of a night,” he started to say, half carrying her back into the house. “Are you sure you don’t want to hear about it?” She released him long enough for him to remove and hang his jacket on the rack. “I tried calling you an hour ago, but you didn’t answer,” he said, opening his arms to embrace her again, but he stopped short, holding her at arms’ length. “Holly,” his voice cracked a little. “What’s in your hair? Is that blood?”
She blinked back tears as she answered, “I know about the car accident, Aiden. I know you walked away from it unharmed and without a scratch.” She decided to let her tears leak from her eyes as she opened her robe, revealing her blood-stained clothes. “I prayed that you would come home safe. I just knew something bad was going to happen, and I prayed so hard to take your place. I willingly took your place at Death’s door, and all I really wanted was for you to come home to the boys.”
“Holly,” his voice caught on a lump in his throat. “How is this possible?” He asked to no one in particular, brushing her hair back from her face, checking for bruises and scratches.
“The Lord heard my prayers,” she responded. “I had gashes and bruises and broken ribs and,” she looked up at him, her eyes bright with fear and wonder. “I died tonight, Aiden, but He sent me back.” She pulled up her shirt and revealed a small scar on her left side. “I woke up with this and these,” she pointed at her feet, where two smaller scars made their mark, and held her hands open for him to see two scars similar to those on her feet in the middle of her palms. “When I was starting to wake,” she said, shaking her head in amazement. “I heard His voice. I heard His voice, Aiden. He told me that my sacrifice was one that matched our Savior and that I must go back to help you raise our boys. He told me that my unselfish wish to bring you home for the boys and not for myself was my saving grace, and He’s given me this second chance at life.”
Aiden blinked back tears and wrapped his wife in his arms. “I love you, Holly,” he whispered into her hair. “Thank you for bringing me home safe. Thank you for taking the pain from me.”
“Don’t thank me,” she whispered in return. “You may not believe, but He granted me my Christmas wish. I wished for you to come home safe and to deliver what would have happened to you, to let it happen to me instead. Thank Him, not me.”
He squeezed his eyes shut and clung to her tightly. Thank you, Lord, for sending her back to the boys and me. I don’t know how I could have raised them alone. Thank you for this Christmas miracle.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
“Mom! Mom!” James shouted, banging on the bedroom door. “Mom! Mom!”
“Holly!” Jaden joined James at the door. “Holly! Wake up!”
“Down here, boys!” Holly called out from the kitchen. “I’m making pancakes.”
The thunder of feet running down the stairwell echoed through the house, and the sound halted in the living room, as cries of excitement and cheer rose. “Dad! You’re home!” Jaden’s shout reached Holly’s ears. “Holly said you’d be sitting in that chair come morning!”
“Merry Christmas, Aiden,” James said politely. “I hope you didn’t have to work too late last night.”
There was a muffled whispering among her three men, and Holly knew Aiden was telling the boys about the decision they both made after crying and praying together. As she continued to stack pancakes on plates with a smile on her face, Jaden appeared in the kitchen, his eyes red from crying. “Honey,” she started softly, shocked to see his eyes and cheeks wet. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” he said, rounding the island and wrapping his arms around her waist. “Nothing’s wrong,” he continued, as Aiden emerged from the living room with James clinging to his neck, smiling and sobbing at the same time. “James and I wished the same wish this Christmas, and it looks like we got what we wished for.”
“What’s that?” Holly asked.
“I wished for a dad,” James spouted from Aiden’s arms, still hugging him.
Jaden squeezed her waist a little tighter and replied, “Let’s just say that everything’s just perfect this Christmas… mom.”
© Elle Short Stack Story Time 2014