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A Visit to Adriana

Posted by Dr. D , 29 August 2012 · 247 views

Not long ago I went to a funeral.  The person was very old and his passing came as no surprise to anyone.  The church was filled to capacity because he was very well known and respected and it is the custom in Mexico to walk behind the hearse to the cemetery.  The distance is about two miles and the roads are dusty beneath a blistering sun.

The priest gave his final words and the casket was lowered.  People threw handfuls of dirt into the excavation and soft sobs drifted away on the wind.  We walked silently toward the gate and it was then that I saw the tombstone; Adriana Velez Martinez.  The sight brought a smile to my lips and I decided to sit beside the stone and visit her a while.

It was about three years ago when she died.  I remember it well.  She was six years old with terminal leukemia.  She loved Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck and was confused about if Santa Claus really existed.  We had long talks about Santa and she spent hours on my sofa with her legs tucked beneath her watching cartoons I rented.  She never knew that I drove three hours to rent the videos and would have to drive another three hours to return them.  It wasn’t important.  The reward was her giggle and the moment she could enjoy and forget the invader consuming her tiny body.

It was one of those days that I had an idea.  I would prove to Adriana that Santa Claus existed.  Christmas was about six weeks away and I was praying that she would survive until then.  I wrote to people I knew across the world asking them to send letters from Santa telling her that he was on his route and would be visiting her soon.  Becky’s Mom so graciously sent her letter and I will always, always be grateful to her.  I wrote to the Disney Studios and asked if I could buy Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck dolls for her and Roy Disney sent a package with a personal letter.  When I opened it , it was filled with dolls of all the Disney characters one could imagine and Roy asked me not to think about paying.

The letters arrived one by one and she would come to my house waving an envelope in her hand squealing, “There’s another one!”  Santa had not forgotten her.  How could anyone?  By Christmas day she had eleven letters from Santa from the United States, France, Ireland, Israel, Australia, China, Hawaii, Brazil, Jamaica, Canada and South Africa.  She was so relieved to know that her classmates had been so terribly wrong and Santa did exist and indeed flew around the world in his mission for kids like her.  On Christmas morning she was covered with Disney dolls and she hugged them all with a love only children and puppies know.

Eight days later Adriana was rushed to the hospital two and a half hours away.  She knew what was happening.  I her room they later found a will scrawled by her own hand distributing her toys and treasured items to her friends.  Her Santa letters were designated for me.  In the midst of night she went away and now sleeps where I sat beside her.

I went home and opened the small wooden chest to retrieve the Santa letters.  To touch them widened my smile.  They were not just messages to a child who needed them; they were symbolic of the noblest part of us.  People who dedicated their time for a child unknown demonstrated that we are, after all worthy of being here.





Vernon the Great
Aug 29 2012 08:04 PM
Kudos to you and Becky's Mom
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