This story is about the involvement of God, The Holy Spirit, and Maxine with Christmas 2011. My family was preparing to celebrate the seventh Christmas since Maxine died. The story shows she still watches over all of us, knows what is happening in our lives, and wants us to be happy as we move on with life on earth. It’s reinforcement of the belief that God works in mysterious ways. It is not possible for me to tell this story verbally. It is just too emotional. It’s a story I must share in writing.
Make It Happen
In June of 2010 I moved a days drive away from my children, grand children, and my home of thirty-six years. Five years after the death of my wife Maxine and ten years after the death of my daughter Kimberly Sue I was starting a new life in a new location. As Christmas 2011 approached I was anticipating an easy shopping season. Gift cards were appreciated and were easy for me to purchase. In November, I was told the “rules” were changing this year. We were downsizing and I was all for that. Each kid could receive one package but multiple small items could be in one package. That was good. Also stipulated was no gift cards were to be given. I dislike shopping and usually gave gift cards. Reluctantly I had to go shopping and I would do the majority of that via the computer.
I got lists for the grandkids and made my choices. The great grand kids weren’t a problem. The three boys always enjoyed cars and trucks. I got on-line and started my shopping for the grandkids. I typically use one of the big on-line stores because their shipping is efficient and timely. I made my selections and entered my orders.
The e-mails soon began arriving with confirmations and shipping dates. To my dismay one item was going to be shipped by USPS. USPS shipments always take longer and cannot be tracked like the other major carriers. During the year most of my on-line orders shipped USPS had taken 3-5 days longer to arrive. I was concerned.
Three days later I received an e-mail stating the item had been shipped USPS and would arrive between December 7th and 27th. I was disheartened. A twenty-one day shipping window. Was the pony express back in business? I needed the gift by December 22nd. Even USPS should be able to ship within 15 days. All I could do was be patient and patience is not one of my virtues.
I waited and waited. December 17th arrived and Sydney’s gift had not arrived. My patience had run out. I got on-line to locate the gift, reorder, and pay for overnight shipping. This was one of Sydney’s most wanted gifts and grandpa didn’t want to disappoint. Not being up on kids electronics I didn’t realize this was one of the “must have” gifts for the year. An out of stock notice was on every page I searched. The big on-line store noted availability in 3 days but orders could not be placed before then. I waited.
I got back on-line three days later to learn availability had been extended two days to the 23rd of December. I was leaving the morning of the 23rd for the day’s drive to the kids. What was I going to do? I rechecked all the on-line stores and searched for big box store availability within a 100 miles. Nothing. My patience had run out but I had one last resort. I literally threw up my arms and said, “Maxine make it happen.”
Maxine, my wife for 40 years, died in 2005. I often question how God, The Holy Spirit, and Angels communicate and work together. I’ve had enough life experiences to know that somehow they do. This was my last hope. But being a retired firefighter and an engineer I like back up plans. I copied a picture of the gift and made a poster titled “Coming Soon” that I could give to Sydney.
Each day I checked the mail. Nothing. December 22nd arrived and no present for Sydney. Sometimes we don’t always get what we ask for. I put the poster in an envelope and placed it with the rest of the presents.
I was up early the next morning for the trip. I would be gone long before the postman arrived. I packed the truck and was ready to back out of the garage. As I checked the house one last time I moved the curtain as I verified the front door was locked. To my surprise there was a package at the front door. What could it be? I didn’t expect any packages from UPS or FedX. I just longed for Sydney’s gift via USPS. I picked up the package. It was from FedX. FedX usually arrives at my house in the mid-afternoon. I checked the front porch late in the evening before I went to bed, no package. The package must have arrived during the night.
I looked at the sender and was shocked. It was the company for Sydney’s gift. I bawled as I laid the package on the dining room table. Tears rolled down my face as I opened the package. It was a miracle. The package that was to be shipped via USPS had arrived just in time via FedX. God, The Holy Spirit, and Maxine had done it. How? I didn’t question how. I thanked God, The Holy Spirit, and Maxine for responding to my “Make it happen” plea.
After a while I regained my composure and felt ready to drive to Iowa. There were a few misty eyed moments on the trip as I reflected on what had just happened. I pondered keeping this story to myself or sharing it. The gifts were placed under the tree. Sydney opened the Monopoly Electronic Money game and said, “Oh, just what I wanted.” God, The Holy Spirit, and Grandma Maxine had to be smiling. Sydney’s words and smile as she looked at the gift is the reason I’m sharing this story. I sat there in sober reflection of all that had happened to cause her smile.
I still don’t understand how God, The Holy Spirit, and Angels communicate and work together but I believe they do. Faith in God is believing things you cannot see and understand. Sometimes we get a glimpse of how God works in mysterious ways and on Christmas 2011 I did.