Welcome To Jerry's Haven &Tell Talks.
We are so happy you have joined us. We will be sending out a
newsletter once a week and touch on different subjects as well
as including some links, poetry, and all around Christian Fun.
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By Mary Marcdante
Two Decembers ago my dad called wanting to know
what I wanted for Christmas. I mentioned a particular
book and then interrupted myself and said, “No, what I’d
really like is for you to put The Night Before Christmas
There was this long pause and then Dad
said with familiar stern emphasis in his voice, “Oh for God’s
sake, Mary. What in Sam Hill do you want that for?
You’re forty years old!”
I paused, feeling embarrassed yet determined,
“Dad, I remember how good it felt when you used to cuddle us
all up next to you on the couch when we were little and read
The Night Before
Christmas. I can still remember how strong your
voice was, how safe I felt and how well you acted out all the
different sounds. I’d really appreciate you doing this,
since I live 2,500 miles away and I’m not coming home for
Christmas. It would be nice to have you with
Dad said, with a little more softness but still
incredulously, “You mean you want me to read just like I did
when you were kids, with all the bells and whistles and
“Yaaaaaah, just like that,” I
Again, he paused a long time and then said, “I’ll
get you the book.”
I heard the clarity of his decision
in his voice and resignedly said, “Okay. Talk to you on
Christmas.” We said our “I love yous” and hung up.
I felt bad but tried to understand. I assumed it was too
much sentimentalism for a seventy-six-year-old bear, and that
in his mind it was a foolish request for an adult to
ask. Maybe. Maybe not. All I knew was that
each time I talked to Dad his voice sounded more tired, and I
was beginning to accept that it was no longer if, but when,
the day would come that I wouldn’t hear it anymore.
Christmas Eve day, a small, brown, heavily recycled padded
envelope with lots of staples and tape all over it
arrived. My name and address were written out in my
dad’s memorable architect’s lettering with thick black magic
marker. Inside was a tape, with a handwritten label,
“’Twas the Night b4 Christmas.”
I popped the tape in my
recorder and heard my father’s words come roaring out.
“’Twas the niiiiiiiiiiiiiight before Christmas when
allllllllllllllllllllllllll through the howwwwwwse,” just like
when we were children! When he finished, he went on to
say, “And now I’m going to read from The Little Engine That
Could. I guess Dad had another message in mind
when he included one of our favorite childhood bedtime
stories. It was the same story we read to my mom when
she was dying of cancer three years ago.
with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “Silent Night,” our
family’s favorite Christmas Eve song we sang together before
bedtime. And then “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” . . . song
after song until the tape ran out. I went to sleep safe
and sound Christmas Eve, thanking God for giving me another
Christmas miracle with my dad.
The following May, Dad
passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. No more phone
calls every Sunday morning, no more phone calls asking me,
“What was the Gospel about today, Mary?” no more “I love
yous.” But his voice lives on . . . and continues to
remind me that I can do what I put my mind to and that I can
stretch myself emotionally for someone else, even when it’s
difficult. That’s the power of love.
Christmas this year I sent my sisters and brother and their
children a copy of the tape, which they weren’t
expecting. My youngest sister called and left a tearful
message on my machine that said, “Mary, I just got the
tape. Did you know that on the tape he said it was
December 19. That’s today! When I put the tape on
while I was in the living room, Holden [her
two-and-one-half-year-old son], came running out from the
kitchen full steam, yelling at the top of his lungs, ‘Grampa’s
here, Grampa’s here.’ You should have seen him, Mary,
looking all around for Dad. Dad was here.”
Midi file playing is "It's Starting To Feel
Alot Like Christmas"
There are currently 78 people named S.
living in the U.S. -- and one Kriss
(You gotta wonder about that one kid's
December is the
most popular month for nose jobs.
Weight of Santa's sleigh loaded with one Beanie
for every kid on earth: 333,333
Number of reindeer
required to pull a 333,333-ton s
214,206 -- plus Rudolph.
Average wage of a mall Santa: $11 an hour.
With real beard: $20.
deliver his gifts in one night, Santa would have
make 822.6 visits per second, sleighing at
the speed of
At that speed, Santa and
his reindeer would burst into flame
1-1/2 cups leftover cooked ham, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 hard-cooked egg, chopped
1/2 cup chopped sweet pickle or pickle relish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise (more or less to
together the first 4 ingredients. Gradually add the
mayonnaise until salad has the amount of moisture for
your taste. Taste for flavor. Add more relish, lemon
juice or other ingredients as desired. Serve as is or in
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