I journeyed down the frozen mountain to lend my paper wrangling skills to our local charity children’s gift program, enjoying the camaraderie of my Angel Friend Sister “J”, and wrapping mounds of presents destined for needy families. It was a splendid afternoon, the kind that Hallmark movies like to pan to at the beginning scenes of movies about little miracles, and Christmas encounters. I was basking in the glow when I headed out on old Hwy 12, going through the list in my head of the last minute necessities to make Christmas Day dinner a success…when I heard it. That screeching, scraping, dragging sound that said my tailpipe had come loose and was clinging by a wire to the main frame.
I whipped into the closest turn off, which happened to be our local cemetery and examined the damage. Sure enough….it was the tail pipe…dragging on the ground. Frustration changed my rosey glow to a darker shade of red when I picked up the phone and dialed the Gardener. He was working way out of town and was unable to be my champion, but with patient directions instructed me on how to wire it up with baling wire to get me home. Now, did I know of anyone who could bring me baling wire on a cold Thursday before Christmas, afternoon?.
Baling wire. From deep inside I heard an old, familiar chuckle. The kind that came with piercing blue eyes that laughed and danced with the telling of a good joke. A smile broke through my lips as I realized where I was. The cemetery, literally a stone’s throw away from Mom and Dad’s resting place. I imagined the conversation:
“Hey Ma, look, the kid needs baling wire. Didn’t I always tell her not to go anywhere without it?”
“Yes, Bunk…you were right…when will she ever learn….”
I laughed out loud as I dialed the phone to my beautiful Sister J.
” Hello!” Came her friendly, never too busy to talk to a friend voice.
“Want to come rescue me?” I asked, still laughing at the predicament of no baling wire to be found in my car.
“I would love to come rescue you…..where are you?”
I laughed as I said, “the cemetery…could you bring some baling wire and cutters?”
“Oh My God….are you ok? Was the response followed by….”We are on our way”
I sat in the stillness of the afternoon, and felt my Dad’s arm around my shoulder, and the weight of his laughter filled rebuke. “Don’t leave home without it!”
“Oh Daddy. Merry Christmas. I miss you. I hear you…I get it, thanks for the gift. I won’t leave home without it. “