e never married and had few, if any, relatives, so probably this was her only Christmas gift. She acted so happy and said she remembered the week she spent at our farm home nursing me, as I was such a cute little boy and had the most wonderful parents.
Each year thereafter, I’d take a box of chocolates and a calendar and wish Miss Annie a merry Christmas. The conversation was always the same. She’d say what a cute little boy I was and how wonderful my parents were.
On Miss Annie’s last Christmas, she was in a nursing home some 40 miles from Guymon, so I drove there with my box of chocolates and calendar. She recognized me and said, "I knew Gerald would come.” How wonderful I felt that so little from me meant so much to her.
Now, I don’t know what the hereafter is like, and I doubt that anyone knows for sure, either. But if Miss Annie’s spirit is up there looking down, I can visualize her sweet smile. I would say, "I’m glad you remember me, and thanks, Annie, for helping save my life those 79 years ago.”
I never proved or disproved the authenticity of Santa Claus those many years ago, so I’m still a firm believer.
So, this Christmas Eve, 2008, in my car with heater on and an eggnog or two, I’ll drive nine miles north, 1¾ miles west of Guymon to the house of my youth and watch (not in my long-handle underwear behind the curtains on the stairway but in my car), and maybe I’ll see Santa after all.