Angels among us

Editor’s note: Following longstanding tradition, we’re pleased to publish a Christmas story by Gainesville resident Dorothy Strickland.


by D. Strickland


The old, white-haired doctor had tears in his eyes as he talked to the Jones family.

“I don’t understand it. I’ve been a doctor more years than I want to remember, and this is the first time I’ve had to tell parents I don’t know what is wrong with their child. And, Lord help me, I don’t know what’s wrong with Janie.

“I’m sending you to a clinic in Cleveland. Two doctors are standing by. It’s important you get there as soon as possible. Your plane will leave at midnight. LifeCall will take you to the airport. You will not spend a cent; everything is free.

“Good luck, and may God bless you.”

At the hospital Mary was filling out forms, and Jim was walking the floor with a crying Janie. Finally he said, “you take her, and I will finish this.”

Mary held the crying child. The elevator opened and out stepped Santa Claus. He walked to Mary and said, “What’s wrong, little girl?”

“I’m sick.”

“What’s your name, little girl?”


“What do you want for Christmas, Janie?”

“I want a Miss Abigale doll.”

Santa rubbed Janie’s back and said, “You will be well. You will be a healthy and happy child.”

He asked Mary what she wanted for Christmas, and she answered, “I want Janie to be well, and I want to be back home in Indiana for Christmas Eve.”

Jim said, “Who were you talking to, Mary?”

“Santa Claus.”

“There was no Santa Claus here.”

“Yes, there was, Jim. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I told him I wanted Janie to be well and for us to be home for Christmas Eve.”

“There was no Santa.”

“But, Jim,” she said pitifully with tears in her eyes, “he was here, and he told Janie she would get well.”

Months later, the Jones family was home in Indiana for Christmas Eve. Janie had been cured and was a healthy, happy 3-year-old. The old house range with laughter as she played with her Miss Abigale doll.

The back door opened, and a gray-haired woman came in. She said, “Who put up all these lights?”

Mary said, “Merry Christmas to you too, Maudie, and since you asked, Janie is well, and she is a healthy and happy child.”

The old woman ignored her and said, “I don’t understand it. I talked to all the neighbors, and none of them did it. And how about that Christmas tree – where did it come from?”

“The angels did it, Maudie. Angels are everywhere, but you have to have a lot of faith to see them.”

Jim put his arm around Mary and smiled at her. He said, “Angels come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe even a Santa Claus.”

Merry Christmas

Ozark County Times

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