Bob Groeneveld has been sharing his Odd Thoughts with Langley readers for the past four decades, give or take a few months.

Odd Thoughts: Miracles can multiply Christmas

Being able to celebrate one more Christmas can be a miracle in itself

By Bob Groeneveld

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It’s a Christmas miracle!

I know it’s a little early to declare Christmas miracles, which by definition are supposed to occur on Christmas Day.

But “early” is by design this year, and the reason for it is part of the miracle.

I actually got all of our outdoor Christmas lights up by the first day of December, instead of doing it in dribs and drabs and hopefully finishing before Christmas morning. But as unusual as that may be, it’s not the miracle.

That I did it all without even one single cuss word leaving my lips is close to miraculous… but still no an actual miracle.

Indeed, it was fun this year… because I had our special Christmas miracle on my mind.

In the past year, we got terrible news about a member of our family. Sam was coming to the end of his journey with us.

He had been deathly ill, but thanks to the wonders of modern veterinary medicine – administered by amazing veterinarians – and in no small part due to Sam’s own stamina and strength of being, he pulled through.

However, tests that helped lead him past that hurdle had uncovered another, more serious problem, one that in normal circumstances would have gone undetected.

But knowing didn’t help a lot. There was nothing we could do, except treasure our last days – we were told to expect no more than two, maybe three months – with our sweet Sam.

That was January, and we hoped beyond hope that Sam would beat the odds and make it to the kinder weather of spring… or summer? Please! One more beautiful summer for Sam?

Eventually we got to the point where we could even hope that he would be with us for Christmas.

He’d been fading more quickly these past couple of months. He tired easily and his appetite could fail to the point where it was difficult to find something tasty enough for him to want to eat.

He had downturns that had us contemplating the terrible decision we’ve always known we would eventually have to make… before bouncing back and demanding that we go outside and throw his squeaky bone for him.

We can always tell how well he’s feeling by how far he makes us throw his toy.

Sam loves Christmas with the excitement of a small child. When the decorations come out of the attic each year, he investigates every box. He checks his stocking every morning to see if there’s anything there yet. And on Christmas morning, he opens his own gifts – carefully putting the wrapping paper to one side, and always picking a favourite toy or treat to lavish special attention at the end of the day.

He had one of his downturns last week – a particularly steep downturn.

But we didn’t want him to miss this last Christmas… so we got the decorations out and we wrapped some presents for him to open.

After all, who really knows when that first Christmas was? All that scholars can agree on is that it probably wasn’t Dec. 25.

So we had Christmas early for Sam.

Afterwards, he ran outside and made us throw his toy farther than he has in months.

Perhaps he’ll have two Christmases this year.

Who knows? Maybe even three.

And that, folks, is a true Christmas miracle.

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