Deprecated: Return type of Aws\HandlerList::count() should either be compatible with Countable::count(): int, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/HandlerList.php on line 308

Deprecated: Return type of Aws\Api\AbstractModel::offsetExists($offset) should either be compatible with ArrayAccess::offsetExists(mixed $offset): bool, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/Api/AbstractModel.php on line 41

Deprecated: Return type of Aws\Api\AbstractModel::offsetGet($offset) should either be compatible with ArrayAccess::offsetGet(mixed $offset): mixed, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/Api/AbstractModel.php on line 30

Deprecated: Return type of Aws\Api\AbstractModel::offsetSet($offset, $value) should either be compatible with ArrayAccess::offsetSet(mixed $offset, mixed $value): void, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/Api/AbstractModel.php on line 36

Deprecated: Return type of Aws\Api\AbstractModel::offsetUnset($offset) should either be compatible with ArrayAccess::offsetUnset(mixed $offset): void, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/Api/AbstractModel.php on line 46

Deprecated: Return type of Aws\Endpoint\Partition::offsetExists($offset) should either be compatible with ArrayAccess::offsetExists(mixed $offset): bool, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/HasDataTrait.php on line 41

Deprecated: Return type of & Aws\Endpoint\Partition::offsetGet($offset) should either be compatible with ArrayAccess::offsetGet(mixed $offset): mixed, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/HasDataTrait.php on line 26

Deprecated: Return type of Aws\Endpoint\Partition::offsetSet($offset, $value) should either be compatible with ArrayAccess::offsetSet(mixed $offset, mixed $value): void, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/HasDataTrait.php on line 36

Deprecated: Return type of Aws\Endpoint\Partition::offsetUnset($offset) should either be compatible with ArrayAccess::offsetUnset(mixed $offset): void, or the #[\ReturnTypeWillChange] attribute should be used to temporarily suppress the notice in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/HasDataTrait.php on line 46

Deprecated: Aws\Credentials\Credentials implements the Serializable interface, which is deprecated. Implement __serialize() and __unserialize() instead (or in addition, if support for old PHP versions is necessary) in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/amazon-polly/vendor/aws/aws-sdk-php/src/Credentials/Credentials.php on line 8

Deprecated: Implicit conversion from float 11.5 to int loses precision in /wordpress-versions/6.5.5/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 85

Deprecated: Implicit conversion from float 11.5 to int loses precision in /wordpress-versions/6.5.5/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 87

Warning: foreach() argument must be of type array|object, string given in /wordpress-versions/6.5.5/wp-includes/class-wp-post-type.php on line 752
A Final Christmas Gift from Her Son Helped Her Cope with Her Grief - Guideposts
Home » Blog » Angels and Miracles » A Final Christmas Gift from Her Son Helped Her Cope with Her Grief

Author

Tags

Share this story

A Final Christmas Gift from Her Son Helped Her Cope with Her Grief

She lost her son just days after Christmas. Then a special angel helped her begin the healing process.
The angel ornament Jeannie Hughes's gave her; photo courtesy Jeannie Hughes
Experience the wonder of Angels and Miracles with Guideposts! Sign up for our newsletters today and unlock a world of inspiration delivered directly to your inbox. Get uplifting insights, powerful stories of faith, and heartwarming encounters with the divine—all for free!

Taking down the Christmas tree was as much of a tradition for my family as putting it up. We would gather in the sunroom on New Year’s Day and take the ornaments off our tree, reminiscing about each one before putting it away. The deer that my daughter had made of Popsicle sticks in preschool. The glittered ball that was a craft project when my son was in third grade.

Even after Lindsay and Steven had become young adults out on their own, they loved the “undecorating,” as we called it, and looked forward to it as much I did.

Except this year. It was mid-January, and we had not yet taken down the tree. I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Steven had been killed in a car wreck five days after Christmas. He was an electrician. He’d been driving to work when his car hit black ice and went over a cliff. He was killed instantly. He was only 21 and so excited about getting his first apartment.

How could God have allowed my son to be taken from me like this? Without a chance to even tell him I loved him one last time.

Some of Steven’s gifts still lay unwrapped under the tree, a tall artificial spruce. He had planned to pick them up when he came over on New Year’s. Now he would never take part in the undecorating again. Maybe that was why I couldn’t bear to do it.

“I’m not ready,” I told my husband, Roger, when he asked. Taking down the tree seemed so final, as if I were ready to accept that my son was gone. I didn’t know if I would ever be ready for that.

So the tree stood untouched, strung with lights, ornaments on every branch. The sunroom had once been the cheeriest room in our house. Now I rarely crossed the threshold. I sat on the family room couch and stared at the darkened tree for hours, thinking about Steven.

He wasn’t sentimental or fanciful, not the kind of boy who’d get lost in daydreams or give his mom flowers or a sweet card out of the blue, the way some of my friends’ sons did. Steven was down-to-earth, dependable. Even though he’d moved out, I’d known I could count on him if I needed anything.

“Would you like me to take the tree down?” Roger asked one day.

“No,” I said, more sharply than I intended. “Please don’t mention it again.”

February arrived. Roger didn’t bring up the tree. I wondered if I could just leave it up to avoid the pain that would come with undecorating and then redecorating. Maybe I should turn on the lights, I thought one day.

I stepped into the sunroom and bent to plug in the lights. Something sparkly on a bottom branch caught my eye. An ornament I’d never seen before. A delicate glass snow cherub atop a Christmas tree. It had a vintage look. Gingerly I took it in my hands. Attached to the hanger was a tag with a handwritten note: “To Mom. Merry Christmas. Love, Steven.”

Steven had bought this whimsical angel and hidden it on the tree for me to find! My practical, unsentimental son, who had never given me a surprise gift. Only God could have known how much I would need this.

I called for Roger and showed him Steven’s ornament. “It’s time to take down the tree,” I said. “If it’s okay, I’d rather do it alone.” Roger nodded and kissed me on the forehead.

With each ornament I put away, I felt a bit of my grief easing. At last, the ornaments were in their boxes. All except one. I hung the snow angel from a stand, where it stays year-round, shimmering in the sunlight. Reminding me that Steven’s love, like God’s, is always with me.

For more inspiring stories, subscribe to Guideposts magazine.

Share this story

Community Newsletter

Get More Inspiration Delivered to Your Inbox


Deprecated: strpos(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($haystack) of type string is deprecated in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/dynamicconditions/Public/DynamicConditionsPublic.php on line 505

Deprecated: strpos(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($haystack) of type string is deprecated in /dom40293/wp-content/plugins/dynamicconditions/Public/DynamicConditionsPublic.php on line 505

Scroll to Top

Choose Address

×

You have no billing addresses.