(Look for Santa no more. He has come)
(He is here.)
We know that you have been through a rather tough time, of late. For some strange reason, which will never become clear to us, Mother Nature decided it was you that was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We are sorry for the destruction to both brick and soul.
We are so very sorry for the devastation to both structure and heart.
We feel for you. We hurt for you. We mourn for your loss. We cry for your pain.
We struggle with the looks of your city.
We strain with the looks in your eyes.
We fall on bended knee to ask God above for compassion; love; and strength that can heal all wounds and lift all spirits.
And, this Christmas Week…when we should all be singing carols of joy; lifting spirits high; lighting the ever green trees with strings aglow; and hoping that our “Santa Claus” will come calling and bringing faith, hope and love…we hope to bring the greatest of these.
We hope to give you some love.
On this Christmas Week, we give you what we can, knowing that it is still not enough.
On this Christmas Week, we give from our gifts of plenty to help you that have so little and have lost so much.
On this Christmas Week, we give you our toys and promises of hope to the young.
On this Christmas Week, we give you our solace and prayers to the elderly; an oath to repair the old bones of both man and city.
On this Christmas Week, we give you more than a box with a pretty bow. We give you our — all of our — commitment to stand by you until you stand alone once again.
On this Christmas Week, we give you our love.
Here are a few photos from our Monday in Mayfield.
We took Santa to see some children, living in apartments that probably should be condemned. The smell of kerosene stings even Rudolphe’s red nose. The sound of generators sing into the night. No running water to be had. No windows left to look forward. Tarps draping the roof to keep the elements out. Smashed cars liter the lot. Fallen trees and metal debris trash even the best of intentions.
In a single apartment, which has only one bedroom and one bath, there are 14 people huddled. Mattresses on the floor. Spirits even lower.
Still, when the apartment manager strolled door to door, knocking and announcing that Santa had come to town?
The residents seemingly arose to see what was the matter and causing all the clatter.
The kids came running, with smiles decorating their faces and sugar plums dancing in their graces.
The parents came limping, and just happy that — sure enough — their little ones would have something to celebrate and open their hearts on this magical week.
The workers — callous of heart and weary of fortune due only from seeing so much destruction and damage — stopped what they were doing, too. They strolled to the red bus now sitting strangely in a sea of rubble.
They, too, wanted to see Santa, who held this child’s hand and dreams in his hands. They, too, even wanted to see Santa’s reindeer this day — two Golden Retrievers — who loved and kissed and pressed their shiny noses to the running noses of the children. Comfort was given. Comfort was taken, as the workers and kids alike maneuvered their way for a moment of true love freely given.
For just a moment, the awful surroundings of devastation did not matter.
For just a slight period of time, nobody noticed the wreckage and the destruction.
For awhile, all God’s children laughed and smiled; celebrated and cheered; and some danced in the parking lot as they opened gifts that lifted more than just spirits.
It was Christmas. Everywhere.
It was a Christmas Miracle. For awhile.