It has been an exhausting day and now it’s late in the evening. All I want to do is sit in my big comfy chair by the fireplace, loosen my belt, kick off my boots and put my feet up.
The missus is used to me having late nights at this time of year. Having put in a long, tiring day herself, she has already retired to bed. I have the place to myself.
My assistant told me earlier that there is a special piece of correspondence he wants me to review and has left it on the kitchen counter. I plan on looking at it as soon as I’ve mixed myself a big stein of eggnog enhanced with a ‘little’ rum. You know, to shake off the cold of this winter’s night.
With my drink in my left hand and the letter in my right, I pad on over to my comfy chair in my thick wool socks, nestling my butt into the familiar and inviting indent where it’s most comfortable. I slide my glasses from their resting place on my forehead to the bridge of my nose, take a big, long swallow of my enhanced eggnog and take the letter from its envelope. Hmm, there’s no return address.
As I unfold the letter, I see that a female has penned this cursive in concise, straight-backed full letters. Longhand. Beautiful penmanship, much like a teacher’s handwriting.
There’s a notation at the top of the letter that reads, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give your life its highest beauty and joy.”
I smile knowingly. The statement, accredited to Francis P. Church, isn’t the complete script but I get the message.
I reach for my eggnog while continuing to read but it never makes it to my lips.
I would like to humbly ask that you give me someone of my own who I can love and who will love me back this year. I want to be special for someone.
PS. I’m not a child but my heart still can dream.”
My eyes tear up; I find it hard to breathe as my pulse begins to race. My heart hurts. Sadness rushes in like water pouring through a broken levee. There is a roaring sound in my ears and my head hurts. I’m sure I hear myself groan out loud. I am totally dumbfounded. Time momentarily stops or at least it seems like it has.
After a moment, I realise I’ve been holding my breath and I slowly breathe out. I take a deep breath and again, slowly breathe out easing the tension in my heart. Only a little but enough to allow me to think more clearly.
At some point, without realising it, I’d put my eggnog down. I wipe the tears from my eyes, take another deep breath and reread the letter.
No signature, no return address. No way to respond or even offer help. Not that I have any idea as to what good I might be under these circumstances.
A letter written in desperation; a last distraught attempt to find love in a most unlikely, very unconventional way? And at Christmas, when miracles are suppose to happen? Was that what she was wishing for? A miracle?
And yet, that in itself sparks a feeling deep within my heart … Hope!
Since she’s had the courage to put her grown-up Christmas list on paper and actually mailed it, her wish has already begun to manifest itself. With ‘finding love’ in the forefront of her thoughts she has already begun to believe she is capable of attracting the love she is desperately looking for. She may not yet be able to grasp that concept but it is there, deep inside her, hidden but willing to be found and released to the world.
Just like believing in Santa Claus. Deep inside all of us there is a hope, a wonder, a belief that all of us have a place in this world. That we mean something to somebody else but especially to ourselves. When we realise that we love ourselves, we put it out there to the universe for others to pick up on it.
In herself? In Santa? Does it really matter?
After all, as she put it … her heart can still dream. I hope Virginia had a merry Christmas and a happy New Year awaits.