The 10k limit makes me nuts some times - this is part 2 of 2 the link below is for part 1 :iriaTrue Believer Part 1 of 2

My attention turned back to the freeway as I neared the connector ramp. I was on the wrong side of the freeway so couldn't see where the accident happened. Everything was most likely cleared away by now. I glanced at the cell phone...trying to will it to ring, I still didn't know where she was... back on the open expressway and not wanting to dwell too long on what I might find when I reached my destination, I let my thoughts wander back to that meeting with Santa.


When I caught up with my Al, he was still bouncing as he smiled up at me. There were only two other children in front of us, but standing in line with an over-anxious almost four-year old can be a test of even calmest parent. Thankfully, we got in to see the big guy in no time flat and Alphonz examined Santa, checking to be sure, this Santa was the right one.

Al is a quirky kid who notices just about everything. He'd seen there were a number of Santa's scattered wherever we went in the past month and he asked me about it one day. I told him, some of them were Santa's helpers. Alphonz took this to heart and stared at the old man as he tried to decide if this Santa was the one and only.

The man on the throne looked back at Al with a knowing grin, he'd obviously been through similar exams and said, "So Alphonz, have you been a good boy this year."

"Hey," Al said suspiciously, "How'd you knowed my name?"

"I'm Santa, I know every kid's name."

Al nodded but still not quite convinced he asked, "Then what's my mom's name."


"No," Al chided and said in a conspiratorial tone, "It's Honey."

"Ah, I see," said Santa agreeing and winked at me. The old man leaned forward as Al edged closer. "So what did you need to see me about?"

Al leaned in even closer and whispered in the Santa's ear. The old man looked thoughtful for a moment until he smiled and whispered his reply. Alphonz's already sly smirk became a large toothy grin.

"You're a good boy Al." Santa said as he stuck out his hand. Alphonz shook Santa's hand and they posed for the obligatory photo.

I pulled off the expressway onto another connector and I thought, How did the old guy know Al's name? I wasn't left too much time to ponder, as construction and an icy highway pulled my attention back to the road. Only ten miles left to go and still my cell phone remained silent on the seat next to me.

Earlier in the evening, sitting at my mother's kitchen table, surrounded by several members of my family I wondered just where my oldest was. As usual, there was much loud talking and laughter and I almost didn't hear my cell phone go off. I pulled it out my purse and catching it on the last ring, looked at the caller ID.

It was the girl.

Hey Nik.



(I was in an accident.)

An accident?


Did you call the Police?

(No...I should do that...)

Yes, do that, and then call me back.

(Okay) Beep

I stared at the cell for a moment as what my daughter said sunk in. Everyone around me, asked fifty questions at once, but I really didn't know anything else and I jumped when the phone rang again.


Yeah Nik?

(I got hit by a semi)

A semi?

(Yes, that's what the officer said...)

You don't know?

(The car was spinning at the time so...)

Oh... are you alright?

(I think so, I was just getting on the expressway, and I got hit from behind...)

I heard a muffled voice in the background, but couldn't make out the words.

(Thanks, I'm good...Merry Christmas)


(Yeah Mom?)

You're sure you're okay?

(The paramedics are here, I gotta go)

Alright, call me back.

(Okay) *Beep

My husband looked at me and I told him what Nicole said about the expressway. He and my brother-in-law disappeared briefly to find a map. I wasn't sure how that would help, but I set the phone in front of me and waited. Alphonz, curious about the commotion came up to me and asked, "Is Bacole here yet?"

Bacole, was Al's pet name for his sister. I was never sure why he called her that but I pulled him into my lap and said, "Your sister had some car trouble, so I have to go get her."

"Oh," he said, "Can I come?"

"Not this time sweets, stay here with Daddy and I'll be back in a bit."

"Okay," he said and wandered into the living room to look at the Christmas Tree.

"Mom?" I looked up at my older son. Zachary was eight and knew exactly what was going on, his eyes were fearful when he asked, "Is Nikki gonna be alright?"

"I'm sure your sister is fine, but I want you to take care of your brother for me, okay?"

"Can't I come?"

"No, Zach, it'll be better if you stay with your dad and Al." I grabbed my coat and got ready to leave...


My cell phone rang jolting me out of my memory. I pushed the speaker phone as I answered.


(Hey Mom, the officer is taking me to my apartment.)

"Alright I'll be there in a bit."

(You don't have to...)

"Uh, yeah I do, if only to assure myself you're all in one piece."

(Thanks Mom)

"I'll see you soon."

(Bye) *Beep

Fifteen minutes later I stood outside my daughter's apartment in the bitter cold that Christmas Eve and looked at what remained of her car. The trunk was completely smashed in and the back seat was leaning at an odd angle. The base of the front passenger door was pushed in a good 10" and the front-end on the same side was just gone. Like someone sheared it off with a sharp knife. Weirdly, I noted none of the windows had broken, in fact, the driver's seat appeared miraculously untouched. My daughter, I thought, was either the luckiest kid on the planet or I was.

My cell phone went off again and I looked at the number. It was my husband and he asked me if Nikki was alright. When I told him I hadn't been up to her apartment yet, he scolded me and told me to get out of the cold. He fell silent as I described the car to him. We both knew we'd been given a very special gift that night.

As I looked though the driver's side window one more time, I noticed something odd. A reindeer shaped candy cane hung from the rear view mirror. It was strange to see since my daughter hates peppermint. It was then I remembered what Alphonz told me just before I left.

"Mom what's a car axe dent?" Al's voice was full of concern and I looked at his brother who ducked quickly out of my line of sight.

"A car accident, is when one or two cars run into something or each other."

"Like a crash?" he asked breathlessly.

"Yes, like a crash."

"I had a dream?and Bacole was crashed."

"You did?"

"Yeah. It was scary. Someone chopped her car."

"Is that why we had to see Santa??

He nodded and said, "Santa can give you whatever you want, if you're good. And Santa said Bacole would be home for Christmas."


On my way up the walk of my daughter's apartment, I looked at my newly acquired photo of my youngest with Santa. So many things could have turned out differently and I smiled as I pushed the buzzer to let Nicole know I was there. Whether it was one little boy's Christmas wish or just plain old coincidence, it didn't really matter. I got what I wished for?.all of my children to be home for Christmas.