For most children, Christmas Eve is an exciting time. The evening is filled with sounds of laughter and happiness and maybe Christmas music. The air is filled with the delicious smells from the kitchen and pine trees. They are surrounded by their friends and family and their loveable pets. The excitement is building in anticipation of what Christmas morning will bring. The thoughts of Santa visiting their home tonight, makes it difficult to sleep. Even their parents are excited to watch their children open their gifts.
Imagine though the Christmas Eve of a child in the hospital. The only sounds they hear are the beeps and sounds from their IV pole and the distant sounds of footsteps and clanging coming from the hallways. The smells are limited to the smells of medicines and antiseptics. There aren't any sweet smells coming from the kitchen. There are few family members and little or no friends around them, even their pets can't be with them tonight. As they fall asleep they hope that Santa can find them. They think that maybe this year, Santa won't be able to visit me. Their parents too wonder, with all of the medical bills, how they wish they could have done Christmas for their children. Sleeping tonight for them is also difficult but for much different reasons.
Picture now the absolute joy of those children and parents in the hospital when they wake up Christmas morning to find that Santa did come. Imagine the smiles and laughter of those children as they open up gift after gift that just appeared overnight. Imagine the tears of their parents wondering who could have brought those smiles to their children.
To all who helped make Lindsey's Christmas Wish come true this year, you are the ones that made that happen. So many groups and individuals helped make this year's toy drive a huge success. People may say that Santa doesn't exist, but he did this year. He exists in the hearts of the school children who gave up their gift exchange for the kids at the hospital. He exists in the generosity of the welding students at the Career Center. He exists in the overwhelming number of people not only of the tri-state area but all around the United States who sent gifts or donations for the children. I hope Lindsey can look down on us from above and smile knowing that her spirit of love still is strong.
Rick and Linda Salsberry