Wednesday, January 4, 2017



Little-Will was lying very still on his bed in room C108 of the Children’s Hospital. Of his 11years of life, this was the fourth Christmas Little Will would spend his special double-day in a hospital bed.

His name was really William, but he didn’t realize it himself until he started to print his name in the first grade in Mrs. Brown’s class.
Everyone had always called him Little Will – but it was usually said as if it were one word, Lilwill. He remembered when he returned home from school that day and after he had answered his mother’s questions about what he had learned that day, asking her if his name was really William. She had told him that William was the name they had given him when he was born on that most wonderful Christmas day. She also said once again as she always did that he was the best Christmas present she had ever received. His mother told him that it would be best if he printed William on his papers at school.

The first time he spent Christmas in the hospital on Christmas day was the day he was born and he didn’t really remember a lot about his zero birthday. His mother always told him how wonderful it was to be able to celebrate his birthday with Jesus. One of his favorite pictures in the picture book was the one of his mother dressed as Mary holding him in the manger his father had built on the church lawn. He was one year old and not really a baby like Jesus, but it was still a favorite picture and his mother told him it was her favorite of all of his birthdays. As he looked at his mother sitting near his bed he felt like he was once again wrapped warmly in her arms, just like in the picture.

He didn’t remember a lot about the Christmas he had spent in the hospital when he was four. One thing he did remember was that his father had brought a Christmas tree to his room. The tree was small and he was excited when his father put all the little ornaments on the tree. Next to the tree his mother had placed a little manger scene with little animals and miniature people holding and looking at baby Jesus. That was the year his father had started to tell the family the story about the shepherds who had heard the angels sing and how they left their sheep on the hill and went to see baby Jesus. Father always ended the story by saying we all needed to be ready to leave whatever we were doing and go unto Jesus when the angels would sing in our hearts. After that Christmas, even though they always had a big Christmas tree in the living room at home, the small tree was put up in the middle of the dining room table with the miniature manger scene right next to it.

Lilwill loved being home for Christmas and his birthday, but for some reason, as he was lying in his bed, he remembered the Christmases spent in the hospital with his family gathered around his bed as being very special and clearer in his mind.

On his seventh birthday Lilwill once again found himself in a hospital bed with his family surrounding him. Father had brought the small tree with the little ornaments and had placed the miniature manger scene. Like always as Lilwill looked at tiny Mary holding the baby Jesus he could feel his mother’s warm and loving arms around him even though she was reading the Bible in the chair closest to his bed.

That was the year his older sister, (he never understood why she wasn’t called Big-Katie, but it was always just Katie – that is unless she didn’t come after mother had called several times and then it was Kathleen) first told the story of the wise men. Katie had read the story last year, but this year she told the story and Lilwill liked it much better when she told the story. The star always seemed brighter, the journey much longer, Herod much meaner and the gifts more wonderful when Katie put her special-ness into the story. Lilwill really liked it when she would end the story saying the gifts the wise men brought were fit for a king. Lilwill always had to swallow hard so that he wouldn’t cry when he saw the tears start to roll down Katie’s cheeks as she finished the story saying she hoped her life would be fit to give as a gift to her King.

Now on his 11th birthday Lilwill found himself once again in a hospital room with his family surrounding his bed. This year his mother’s face seemed to shine like the star in Katie’s story. This year he didn’t have to imagine that he was wrapped in the warmth of his mother’s arms, because, what seemed like every few minutes, she came to the side of his bed to give him a loving hug.

As his father stood next to the miniature tree with the tiny ornaments surrounded by the small manger with the little animals, shepherds, wise men, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus, and told the story of the shepherds watching their sheep at night, Lilwill thought it was an angel who spoke when his father said those beautiful words, “we all need to be ready to leave whatever we are doing and go unto Jesus.”

This year Katie had told about the shining star and was just beginning to talk about the long journey of the wise men when the tears started to roll down her cheeks. By the time she got to the part about hoping her life would be a gift fit for a king she could hardly say the words between the deep breaths she was taking. Lilwill knew that swallowing hard wouldn’t help him keep the tears from falling from his own eyes and rolling down his own cheeks, but for some reason it didn’t really seem to matter.

As the family was finishing the last verse of Silent Night, Holy Night, Lilwill was once again born on Christmas Day and he faintly heard these sweet words, “Welcome home Lilwill. Thank you for your life which is indeed a gift fit for a King.”

Scripture Search: John 18: 37, Job 14:14, 3 Nephi 1:13, John 11:17, 3 Nephi 27:13, Romans 14:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:10



No comments:

Post a Comment