Sunday, August 14, 2016

Real Story - Christmas miracle

Is the title of today's inspirational message.

This is a real Christmas miracle story, happened
in December 1997 in Wisconsin, USA.
A little girl named Sarah had leukemia and was
not expected to live to see Christmas. Her
brother and grandmother went to the mall to
ask Mark Lenonard who was a professional
Santa Claus to visit the hospital to give Sarah
the gift of hope through encouragement and
A year later Sarah surprised Santa by showing
up at the mall where he worked. Here goes the
A little boy and his grandmother came to see
Santa at The Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The
child climbed up on santa’s lap, holding a
picture of a little girl.
“Who is this?” – asked Santa, smiling. “Your
friend? Your sister?”
“Yes, Santa.” – he replied.
“My sister, Sarah, who is very sick.” – he said
Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was
waiting nearby and saw her dabbing her eyes
with a tissue.
“She wanted to come with me to see you, oh,
so very much, Santa!” – the child exclaimed.
“She misses you.” – he added softly.
Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a
smile to the boy’s face, asking him what he
wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.
When they finished their visit, the grandmother
came over to help the child off his lap, and
started to say something to Santa, but halted.
“What is it?” – Santa asked warmly.
“Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you,
Santa, but ..” – the old woman began, shooing
her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to
collect the little gift which Santa gave all his
young visitors.
“The girl in the photograph… my granddaughter
well, you see … she has leukemia and isn’t
expected to make it even through the holidays.”
– she said through tear-filled eyes.
“Is there anyway, Santa, any possible way that
you could come see Sarah? That’s all she’s
asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa.”
Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the
woman to leave information with his elves as to
where Sarah was, and he would see what he
could do. Santa thought of little else the rest of
that afternoon. He knew what he had to do.
“What if it were MY child lying in that hospital
bed, dying?” – he thought with a sinking heart,
“This is the least I can do.”
When Santa finished visiting with all the boys
and girls that evening, he retrieved from his
helper the name of the hospital where Sarah
was staying. He asked Rick, the assistant
location manager how to get to Children’s
“Why?” – Rick asked, with a puzzled look on
his face.
Santa relayed to him the conversation with
Sarah’s grandmother earlier that day.
“Common….I’ll take you there.” – Rick said
softly. Rick drove them to the hospital and
came inside with Santa. They found out which
room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would
wait out in the hall.
Santa quietly peeked into the room through the
half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the
The room was full of what appeared to be her
family; there was the grandmother and the girl’s
brother he had met earlier that day. A woman
whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood
by the bed, gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off
her forehead.
And another woman who he discovered later
was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a chair near the bed
with a weary, sad look on her face. They were
talking quietly, and Santa could sense the
warmth and closeness of the family, and their
love and concern for Sarah.
Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on
his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a
hearty, “Ho, ho, ho!”
“Santa!” – shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she
tried to escape her bed to run to him.
Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm
hug. A child the tender age of his own son — 9
years old — gazed up at him with wonder and
Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore
telltale bald patches from the effects of
chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked
at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart
melted, and he had to force himself to choke
back tears.
Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah’s
face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing
of the women in the room.
As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept
quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing
Santa’s shoulder or his hand gratefully,
whispering “Thank you” as they gazed sincerely
at him with shining eyes.
Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told
him excitedly all the toys she wanted for
Christmas, assuring him she’d been a very
good girl that year.
As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in
his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for
permission from the girl’s mother. She nodded
in agreement and the entire family circled
around Sarah’s bed, holding hands.
Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if
she believed in angels, “Oh, yes, Santa… I do!”
– she exclaimed.
“Well, I’m going to ask that angels watch over
you.” – he said.
Laying one hand on the child’s head, Santa
closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God
touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this
He asked that angels minister to her, watch and
keep her. And when he finished praying, still
with eyes closed, he started singing, softly,
“Silent Night, Holy Night…. all is calm, all is
The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling
at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy
for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.
When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of
the bed again and held Sarah’s frail, small
hands in his own.
“Now, Sarah,” – he said authoritatively, “you
have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on
getting well. I want you to have fun playing with
your friends this summer, and I expect to see
you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next
He knew it was risky proclaiming that to this
little girl who had terminal cancer, but he ‘had’
to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could
— not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of
“Yes, Santa!” – Sarah exclaimed, her eyes
bright. He leaned down and kissed her on the
forehead and left the room.
Out in the hall, the minute Santa’s eyes met
Rick’s, a look passed between them and they
wept unashamed.
Sarah’s mother and grandmother slipped out of
the room quickly and rushed to Santa’s side to
thank him.
“My only child is the same age as Sarah.” – he
explained quietly. “This is the least I could do.”
They nodded with understanding and hugged
One year later, Santa Mark was again back on
the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal
job which he so loves to do. Several weeks
went by and then one day a child came up to
sit on his lap.
“Hi, Santa! Remember me?!”
“Of course, I do.” – Santa proclaimed (as he
always does), smiling down at her. After all, the
secret to being a ‘good’ Santa is to always
make each child feel as if they are the ‘only’
child in the world at that moment.
“You came to see me in the hospital last year!”
Santa’s jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang
in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle
and held her to his chest.
“Sarah!” – he exclaimed. He scarcely
recognized her, for her hair was long and silky
and her cheeks were rosy — much different from
the little girl he had visited just a year before.
He looked over and saw Sarah’s mother and
grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving
and wiping their eyes.
That was the best Christmas ever for Santa
He had witnessed –and been blessed to be
instrumental in bringing about — this miracle of
hope. This precious little child was healed.
Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked
up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank
you, Father. ‘This a very, Merry Christmas!”

Susan Morton Leonard, Santa’s wife
Santa’s name: Mark Leonard or San

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