Friday, December 16, 2011

The Worst and Best Christmas - Part 3

Good Morning Friday Fiction Fans,
I really was going to post something yesterday. I just completely forgot about it. Hmm, maybe I can get it posted tomorrow. We'll see.

Today is going to be busy! This week has been fairly busy, but today caps it all. :) This morning we clean house and get things ready for our Christmas Open House. That involves turning the sewing room into a play room for the little ones, packing the two large closets in the "new room" (we've had the room for two years) with all kinds of things so we can fit people in. Putting fresh greenery out in some places to replace the dried branches, and who knows what else. We don't know who all is coming since not everyone RSVPs, but we always end up with a huger crowd and we love it! I just wish all of you readers could make it. But then we might not have room for everyone. :)

Other than writing our family Christmas letter, I've done no writing this week. I've been reading Christmas books. I have two left: "The Bird's Christmas Carol" and my favoritest of favorite Christmas books, "The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas." I'll give you a review on "The Bird's Christmas Carol" next week. Perhaps next week I'll start writing something else. But, then again, perhaps not. And I know I won't get anything written the week of Christmas since we'll be spending the week with family. But don't worry. I do have things to post.

Anna, thanks for pointing out the mistake. :) I'll mark it on my paper copy. I hope you all enjoy this next part of "The Worst and Best Christmas."

Part 3

Last week . . .
    “If I do everything I’m supposed to tonight, can I go to Grandma’s tomorrow, just for the Christmas party? Please,” she begged.
    Slowly Dr. Earl began to shake his head. “The drive out there would be too rough for you tomorrow--”
    “Then can’t I go home tomorrow? Please! You have to let me go home for Christmas!” Ria’s voice rose in pitch and her hands clenched.
    Earl walked back over to the bed and sat down beside it. “Ria, I want you to listen to me a minute.” His voice was soothing but compelling.
    Obediently Ria lay quietly, watching his face.
    “First, if you get yourself all worked up about this, you are only going to make yourself sick, and then I won’t be letting you go home for several days. Second, I’m not going to promise anything right now. Let’s wait and see how you are feeling in the morning, all right?”
    Ria’s eyes dropped and she didn’t reply. How could this happen? Why today of all days in the year. It could at least have happened during school and given her a vacation from it. And what about the big family party at Grandma and Grandpa Foster’s? They’d have it without her. Everyone would be there, except her. Would they even miss her? She wouldn’t have any visitors tomorrow if she stayed here, that was for sure. They would all be too busy having fun at the farm. She would just have to spend a lonely Christmas. Then she thought of home. Why, she’d miss Daddy reading the Christmas story tonight! And she wouldn’t be there when they all opened gifts in the morning! She’d miss it all. There just wouldn’t be any Christmas this year if she couldn’t go home tomorrow.
    A hand was placed on her shoulder and a voice called her from her thoughts.
    “Let’s just wait and see about tomorrow, shall we?”
    Ria nodded, staring at the white wall until Dr. Earl left.

    She must have fallen asleep because the next thing she knew, she was awakened by a sound. It was soft at first, then it grew louder and Ria could tell it was singing. The door to her room was open and she could see lights flickering. The singing came closer.

“Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing, “Alleluia!”
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, is born!”

    It was carolers! Ria lay in her dark room listening to the sweet, well blended music as it came to her from down the hall, and watching the faint flickering of the candles in the dim hallway. Carolers coming to cheer the hearts of those who couldn’t go home for Christmas. The song ended and all was still. Ria lay with bated breath, what would they sing next? Would they come past her room or just stay down the hall? Then the first notes of a new song came softly through the hushed hospital corridor.

“Oh, holy night!
The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.”

    Tears began to roll gently down Ria’s cheeks. She had nearly forgotten. Christmas wasn’t just about presents under the tree or parties out at the farm, it was about Jesus’ birth. He left His home in heaven to live on earth and to die so that all who believed on Him could have everlasting life.
    The song continued to fill the lonely rooms with its message of cheer.

“The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend;
He knows our need,
To our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King,
Before Him lowly bend!”

    “Dear Jesus,” Ria whispered, “thank you for coming to be my Savior and my Friend. I need one right now ‘cause I’m tired and lonely. I want to go home for Christmas, but I’m glad you will stay with me. And after all, it is Your birthday.”
    The carolers moved on down the hall, singing one song after another, the soft yet rich strains of the carols bringing comfort and joy to all who heard. Ria, drowsily watching the flickering candle lights of the singers, listened to their songs and thought about that first Christmas so many, many years ago. But before the quiet carols had quite faded into memories, she had fallen into a deep sleep.

    The light shining in the window awoke her the next morning and for a minute she couldn’t remember where she was. Then it all came back to her, the pain in her side, the trip to the hospital and most of all that today was Christmas day. This was the day she had looked forward to for months, had counted the days to it long before others had even given it more than a passing thought. And now here she was. She wondered what the day would be like. “If it wasn’t Christmas I might have visitors,” she thought.
    “Merry Christmas, Ria!”
    Ria turned her head to see Dr. Earl in the doorway; there was someone behind him.
    “Mom!” and Ria reached out her arms. Mrs. Mitchell hurried forward and gently held her daughter. “I didn’t think you’d come today,” Ria whispered.
    “And leave you all alone this Christmas day?” Mrs. Mitchell shook her head. “We will have to leave you, but Daddy and I wanted to see you and so did some others.”
    Eagerly Ria looked past her mother to see her father and all of her brothers gathered near the door.
    “Merry Christmas,” they greeted her.
    Ria could only smile a teary smile and squeeze her mother’s hands. This was more than she had hoped for. Mr. Mitchell kissed her and the boys came over.
    Chris was the first to say something, “Hey Ria, we got snow last night!”
    “We did?”
    “Yep, about four inches. Not enough for a good snowball fight though.”
    “At least it covered up all the ugly melting snow,” Johnny added.
    “Chris,” Ria said, “make a snowball and throw it at Dave for me, will you? I never did get one thrown at him after the first snowfall when he dropped one down my neck.”
    Chris grinned. Now that was the kind of thing that he would enjoy. “I’ll do more than throw it at him. I’ll put one down his neck.”
    “And get yourself in a mess,” Ed chuckled.
    “Oh, Walt will help me,” Chris spoke with confidence and the others laughed.
    When it was time for the Mitchells to leave, Mrs. Mitchell offered to stay with Ria, but with a smile, Ria shook her head. “No Mom, they couldn’t get along without you at Grandma’s. Just give Grandma a kiss for me and tell her I’ll be there as soon as someone,” and she looked past her mother to the doorway where Dr. Friesen had just appeared, “let’s me leave.”
    “Don’t you know it is all just a plot to give me some Christmas cheer since I can’t go to the farm either?” he asked with a grin.
    “I guessed as much,” Jimmy told him.
    “We’ll be sure to tell Evie you’ve got yourself a new girlfriend,” Johnny laughed and ducked out of the room quickly.
    “Go ahead,” Earl called after him. “Maybe she’d come out to visit.” As he spoke, Dr. Friesen had been watching Ria. Now he glanced at the others and nodded his head towards the door.
    Feeling more tired than she had ever remembered feeling, Ria closed her eyes as soon as her family left and only mumbled replies to the doctor’s questions.

To find out the rest of the story, come back next Friday.
Any comments, questions or thoughts?


Anna said...

I so wish we could come to your Christmas party! Have a wonderful time.

Rose is sick and is still asleep but will be so excited to have more of the story to read when she finally wakes up! :)

Anna said...

Rose finally woke up, we made her some honey tea and sat down to read your story. So sweet!

Can't wait 'til next week. :)

Anonymous said...

Good story.
Nice stopping point.