Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Gift I Can Not Give

I sat down today in an attempt to finalize my Christmas shopping list. Strangely enough, I've never waited this long into the season to pull everything together. Even more strange is the fact that I'm not having a nervous breakdown about my lack of preparation... yet!

I logged on to my laptop and started to build a spreadsheet. (Oh how I love feeling organized!) I started by making a column for each member of our family then created a list of the things I'd already purchased. A quick glance told me I needed some ideas, so I pulled out the handwritten wish-lists from my children and gave them the once-over.

Boo's list was pretty cut and dry. The first six things listed were custom remote control cars. I guess an eleven year old's gotta dream, right? Numbers seven through ten, however, seemed doable.

At first glance, Lu's list made me chuckle. It was a short list, consisting of only six items. Rocky? I thought out loud as I read number six. Why would she want something she already has? Silly girl.

I played with the idea for a minute, thinking I should totally just slap a bow on our cute little Rocky and call it good. Easy. Funny. We'd all have a good laugh.

Then, I had an epiphany. In hindsight I realize I should have had it sooner. My girl wasn't trying to be facetious or even funny. She wasn't trying to make me laugh. She was, in fact, asking for the truest desire of her heart.

You see, Rocky is one of our dogs. He is old, he is nearly blind, and he is Lu's best friend. They are about the same age and I'd guess that they don't remember life without each other. Last year, right before Christmas in fact, we got word that our sweet Rocky was in the advanced stages of heart failure. He wasn't expected to make it long. The fact that he's still with us is a miracle. And to Lu, its more than that, it's a literal answer to her prayers.

So, when I read her Christmas wish-list, my heart breaks. No amount of money can buy her what she wants. There is nothing I can do, nothing I can say, no strings I can pull, or mountains I can climb to fulfill her Christmas wish.  
All I can do is keep praying that this cute little guy keeps hanging on. I know he can't live forever, and that the eventuality of his exit is imminent, but if we can just get through Christmas...

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