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My grandfather’s present

Every Christmas my family wakes up, makes coffee and goes back to bed; however, last Christmas (2008) things happened a little differently around our house. My Grandpa was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and was told that this Christmas would be his last. Because of this my Uncle Wayne, his wife Tammy, and their five kids all came from Florida to spend Christmas with us.

Christmas morning I woke up and smiled as the sun shown through the window in the room where I slept. Today was gong to be a happy day, I thought, as I slid out of bed. I took a deep breath making sure my Nana and Grandpa were up and making breakfast. Sure enough, there was that wonderful fresh fragrance of brewed coffee and eggs. From the silence I guessed nobody else was up yet, so I decided to take the time and spend it with my Grandparents.

The morning passed by slowly giving everyone time to eat and get dressed at our own pace until the little kids woke up. The wanted to open the presents Santa had left! Soon we all gathered in the living room with our coffee and started opening presents.

I didnt get much that year because the little kids required more things and money was tight. I understood that and didnt mind at all. I think it was better anyway because what I did get was a treasure.

The one present that touched me the most was the cross my Grandpa gave me. It was a simple golden cross with a small diamond in the center, and it hung from a golden chain. After I opened it, he had me sit on his lap, and he said, Katie, I want you to remember you are NEVER alone. Do you understand? Even after Im gone, you still have your family that loves you and most importantly you have Christ. He will always be with you. Im giving you this necklace so that you remember that. With those closing words, he took the necklace and fastened it around my neck.

Nobody, except my small family, understood why I cried right then. I cried because my Grandfather had given me the best gift I could have asked for.

He gave me that Christmas.

Katie Vanderlois is a student in Alan Peoples’ freshman language arts class at Polk County High School.