The Gift

 “…all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.” James 1:17

The day was cold. Her little hands were blue from the cold. She tried to keep her hands warm as she tried to keep up with her Mom. Her Mom had told her that they were going to be nice and warm tonight. They were getting to the shelter early. Hannah would have a full tummy tonight and a nice warm bed. Hannah trusted her mom.
It would be nice to be full and warm.

The line at the shelter was already forming. They were right up front. Hannah’s mom said they would get in! Hannah was so cold, and she was shivering. Her little coat just wasn’t warm enough. That silly cough just wouldn’t go away.

A lady came out to check on the people in line. Hannah was one of the kids waiting with their moms. The lady brought out some cookies for the kids. Hannah almost dropped her cookie because her hands were so numb. She had a difficult time holding that cookie, and she kept coughing.

“We’re opening the shelter early,” a woman was yelling to the growing crowd. It’s going to be cold tonight, so more people are coming in.” The crowd was cheering when the line started to move.
The snow was coming down now. Hannah stuck out her tongue to catch the flakes on her tongue. She was giggling and laughing now.
So were the other kids. This was fun!

They got into the shelter and found two cots. Hannah jumped into one cot and covered up. She was so tired. She fell asleep immediately. When she woke up, she wasn’t sure where she was.
She saw all the beautiful lights that were around her. They moved all over the room. The soared up and down. Hannah tried to catch them, but she couldn’t. It was so much fun! She could hear the voices far away, but the music she heard was even more beautiful!

Who was singing? Hannah kept looking for her Mom, but she didn’t see her. She did see a man, and He was smiling at her. Hannah said, “Hi. Where’s my Mom?”

He smiled at her and said, “She’s not here right now.”

“Is she coming back soon?”

The man sat down next to her. “It might take awhile. How do you feel?”

“I feel really good. I didn’t feel good today, but I feel good now. That cough stopped, too.”

“I know. Do you know where you are?”

Hannah looked around. She saw lights. They were clearer now. She didn’t know what they were, but they sort of looked like people flying around. There were so many pretty colors here, too.

“Are we still in the shelter?”

“No, not right now. Hannah, look, I want to show you something.”

It looked like the top of the sky opened up. She could see right into the shelter. There was her Mom. She was asleep right next to the cot that Hannah was sleeping on.”

“Huh?” Hannah said. “That’s my Mom and me down there. What’s going on?”

“Don’t be afraid, Hannah. You’re fine.”

“I want my Mama.”

“I know, Hannah, but I wanted to show you this place.”

Hannah squared her face and looked at the beautiful man. “What’s this place called?” Hannah thought of a place her Mom had told her about, once, a long time ago, right after her Dad had died.

The man asked her, “Do you want to see your Dad?”

Hannah nodded her head. Behind this beautiful man was her Daddy.
“Hi, Hannah,” he said. She wanted to run to him, but an angel stopped her. An angel? “Hannah, your dad can’t be touched right now. He’s just here so you will know he’s okay.” Hannah couldn’t remember being so happy before. She saw her Daddy. She was warm and her tummy was full. “What about my mom?”

The kind man looked at Hannah. “Do you want to stay here, Hannah? You can if you like.”

Hannah wasn’t sure. It was warm and she felt so good here, but her Mom was down there sleeping. “LIfe will be hard back there. You’ll be sick if you go back.”

“My mom needs me.”

“Yes, she does,” said the Man. “It would be hard for her if you stay here, but she will get better in time. If you go back, you will be sick for a very long time, but you can offer your sufferings up to Me and help save souls.”

‘Uh-huh,” Hannah said. “How sick will I get?”

“Very, very sick. One day you will die because you were so sick.”

“Will my Mommy be sad?”

“Yes, she will, but she will never forget you. I have a secret to tell you, too.”

Hannah’s eyes lit up. “Your Mommy is going to get married again, and she’s going to have two more babies. You will have a brother and sister. They will never be cold or hungry, either. Promise not to tell?”

“Yes, I promise! Wait, will she still get married again if I go back?”

“Yes, she will. So, if I get sick and die, she will be okay?”

“She’ll be very sad, but your new Daddy will love her very much and take care of her.”

“Will I get to meet the new babies?”

“No, but you will get to see them from heaven. They will see you, but no one will see you but the babies.”

Hannah thought for a moment. “Will it hurt when I get sick?”

“Yes, it will, at times, but I will be with you to help you. Your angel will also be with you. I’ll give you the gift of being able to see your angel, if you like.”

“Immmmm. Okay. Can I go home now?”

“Yes, if you like.”

“How long will it be before I get sick.”

“You will be sick when you go home.”

“Isn’t Christmas coming? Don’t we celebrate Your birthday then?”

He smiled and laughed. “So, you want to negotiate?”

“What’s that mean?”

“You want to talk about it.”

“Yes. Will you give me a gift?”

“What would you like?”

Can my Mom and I have a good Christmas together before I get sick?”

“Okay, I can do that.”

“You can do anything, right?”

“Yes, I can.”

“When I die, will you put a special star in the sky so that Mama knows I’m okay?”

“Yes, Hannah, I’ll name a star after you. You’ll have a wonderful Christmas, too.”

“Thank You, Jesus. I’m ready to go home now.”

The next thing Hannah knew she was waking up from her nap. Everything was the same, and she felt better. She looked around and saw the Nativity Scene. Her Mom was still sleeping. She walked over to the creche and looked at the baby. Their eyes met, and He smiled at her. She looked around the room and she saw her gaurdian angel. He smiled at her, too.

They had a wonderful Christmas. Mom had to swallow her pride and call her parents who welcomed them home with open arms. Hannah got to fly on a plane for the first time in her life.

They went to Mass on Christmas Eve. She got to stay up until Midnight for Mass. She could still her angel and he was smiling at her. After Mass, she came home and the tree was full of presents. She had to wait until after their snack to open presents, but she fell asleep at the table. The next morning, she opened presents with her angel while the adults slept.

After New Year’s Hannah started feeling “Not so good.” The doctors said that she had cancer in her blood. She had to have chemotherapy. Hannah got so sick. Her Mom met a doctor who treating another child at the hospital. They became good friends.
Hannah knew that this would be her new Dad. Hannah asked her angel if she would live long enough to see them get married. Her angel said that she would be in heaven by then.

Hannah kept getting sicker and sicker, but she offered up her sickness to Jesus. She knew He was smiling. Then, on a very cold night, almost a year later, Hannah looked at her Mom. They were alone in the hospital room, except for their angels. Hannah could barely speak. “I love you, Mom. Look for the star.”

Her Mom held Hannah in her arms. Hannah closed her eyes and walked into the arms of Jesus. This time, she could hug her Daddy. She hugged Jesus and His Mom. It felt so good. There was no more pain. Then she met some of the souls she helped to save. That was great.

When she put Hannah’s body down, her Mom walked to the window and looked up at the stars. It seemed that there was a new star there that she hadn’t seen before. It was bright and beautiful. This brought peace to Hannah’s Mom.

Later, Hannah’s Mom got married again. Hannah met her new brother and sister before they went into her Mom’s tummy. She loved them immediately. When they were born, they could still see Hannah. Hannah wished that her Mom would see her, but Jesus wanted her Mom to accept her death. That was okay. It was the Will of Jesus, and Hannah was fine with that. One day, her mom would join her in heaven.

Hannah knew that she had been given a gift by life. Her mother had refused to abort her, so she was born. Hannah praised God. She was so happy now. She was happy!