~ A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE ~

YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN WHEN KIDS COME TOGETHER
AND THAT IS TRUE IN KINDERGARTEN. IN A KINDERGARTEN CLASS YOU
NEVER KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT OF THE CHILDREN. SOME ARE SHY AND
TIMID, AND OTHERS ARE NOT INTIMIDATED BY WHAT OTHERS SAY AND DO.
IN THE FALL OF 1998 I HAD TWO EXCEPTIONALLY BRIGHT CHILDREN WHO
WERE ARTICULATE, EXPRESSIVE AND KIND. THESE CHILDREN ONE A
BOY, THE OTHER A GIRL CAME TO BE FAST FRIENDS. THEY WOULD PLAY
ON THE MONKEY BARS TOGETHER AND SAVE PLACES FOR EACH OTHER.
THEY WOULD COME IN FROM RECESS HOLDING HANDS. WHEN ONE WAS
SICK THEY WOULD WRITE THE OTHER A GET-WELL LETTER. THEY WERE
INSEPARABLE. AS THEIR TEACHER I TOLD THEM IT WAS BEST NOT TO
HOLD HANDS IN SCHOOL. BUT THEY STILL TRIED TO DO SO IN SECRET.
I WOULD GIVE THEM THE LOOK AND THE HANDS WOULD RELUCTANTLY
RETURN TO THEIR SIDES.



KINDERGARTEN WAS A FULFILLING YEAR FOR BOTH OF THEM. FULL OF
LEARNING AND FRIENDSHIP, BUT WHEN THEY GRADUATED THEY WERE
OFF TO DIFFERENT SCHOOLS. THE NEXT YEAR I SAW THEM
OCCASIONALLY ALONG WITH THEIR FAMILIES. THE BOY, GARRETT LIVED
WITH HIS SINGLE FATHER AND GRANDPARENTS. ON OCCASION HIS
FAMILY WOULD INVITE CLAIRE OVER FOR COOKIES AND MILK AND THEY
WOULD SPEND THE AFTERNOON TOGETHER. THEIR BIGGEST LOVE
BESIDES EACH OTHER WAS READING. BOTH PROGRESSED WELL IN
SCHOOL. BY THE END OF THE FIRST GRADE BOTH EXCELLED IN SCHOOL
AND THEY LOOKED TO HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE.



IN JULY, GARRETT WAS ON HIS WAY TO MONTANA WITH HIS FATHER AND
GRANDPARENTS FOR A WEDDING WHEN A DRUNK DRIVER CROSSED THE
DIVIDED HIGHWAY. THEY WERE HIT HEAD ON, EVEN THOUGH GARRETT'S
FATHER HAD TURNED THE VEHICLE TO TRY AND AVOID THE CRASH. THE
DRUNK DRIVER HAD FOLLOWED THEIR LIGHTS. GARRETT'S
GRANDMOTHER HELD GARRETT IN HER ARMS AS GARRETT PASSED AWAY
IN THE CRUSHED CAR. GARRETT'S FATHER DIED UPON ARRIVAL AT THE
HOSPITAL. CLAIRE WAS VERY SAD, BUT UNDERSTOOD THAT GARRETT
HAD FOREVER GONE TO A BETTER PLACE WHERE PERHAPS HE COULD
TEACH OTHER CHILDREN TO READ.



CLAIRE PROGRESSED WELL IN SECOND GRADE. WE WOULD TALK ABOUT
THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS. SHE READ THEM ALL. IN THIRD GRADE WE
WOULD SHARE STORIES ABOUT WHAT SHE WAS DOING AND I WOULD KID
HER ABOUT HOW SHE ALWAYS HELD GARRETT'S HAND IN
KINDERGARTEN.



THIS CHRISTMAS I MENTIONED TO CLAIRE THAT ONE OF THE BEST GIFTS
SHE COULD GIVE WOULD BE A LETTER TO CINDY, GARRETT'S
GRANDMOTHER, TELLING HER WHAT BOOKS SHE HAD READ AND HOW
THINGS WERE GOING IN THIRD GRADE. FOUR DAYS PAST AND CLAIRE
DROPPED OFF A SEALED ENVELOPE THAT READ: "TO CINDY FROM
CLAIRE." THAT NIGHT I DROPPED OFF THE SEALED LETTER TO CINDY.
CINDY WITH HER EYES FULL OF TEARS SAID, "I HAVE SOMETHING FOR
CLAIRE."



SHE TOOK ME INTO GARRETT'S OLD ROOM AND PULLED OUT AN
ENVELOPE. IT WAS JUST LIKE THE ONE CLAIRE HAD USED. ON THE FRONT
IN GARRETT'S HANDWRITING WERE THE WORDS, "TO CLAIRE FROM
GARRETT." CINDY EXPLAINED THAT SHE FOUND THIS ENVELOPE AFTER
GOING THROUGH GARRETT'S DRESSER. SHE ASKED THAT I DELIVER IT TO
CLAIRE.



I SAW CLAIRE THE NEXT DAY. AS CLAIRE WALKED DOWN THE HALL, I
PUT MY ARMS AROUND HER AND SAID THAT I HAD A PRESENT FOR HER
FROM GARRETT. HER EYES WERE WIDE OPEN IN SHOCK AS I GAVE HER
THE ENVELOPE FROM GARRETT. IN HER SWEET SOFT VOICE SHE SAID,
"OH IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE." THEN A SMILE CAME ACROSS HER
FACE AS SHE LOOKED AT GARRETT'S NAME. "OH I HAD FORGOTTEN THAT
HE HAD A DOUBLE T IN HIS NAME." INSIDE THE ENVELOPE WERE LITTLE
PICTURES HE HAD DRAWN AND COLORED FOR CLAIRE.



AT THE END OF THE DAY I SAW CLAIRE THROUGH THE WINDOW OF THE
BUS. SHE CAME RUNNING OFF THE BUS AND GAVE ME A HUG THANKING
ME FOR THE MOST WONDERFUL PRESENT. TEARS FILLED MY EYES AND I
THANKED CLAIRE AND GARRETT FOR SHARING THEIR WONDERFUL WORLD
OF FRIENDSHIP. IT WAS AS CLAIRE SAID, "A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE."



BY: KATIE SMITH
2001



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