Many of my memories of school are lumped into long days of homework and learning. But I’ve never forgotten the one assignment my classmates, and I received. We had to write a letter to Santa Claus.
I was around nine or ten. I don’t remember what I asked for. I’m sure I wanted the hottest and coolest toys. What fascinated me though, was when I received a response back from Old St. Nick himself.
Santa knew so much about me – facts I didn’t include. Like how I played the flute and loved reading, and how I had two younger siblings and other minute things. In my child’s mind, this amazed me. This powerful man who comes out of hiding for one night of the year cared so much about me, one little girl out of many in the world.
Other children still write letters to Chris cringle; 12-year-old Arnulfo Guerra Jr. from Channelview, Texas wrote a message that would be passed from teachers and officials at his Junior High to the local fire department. In his heartfelt note, Arnulfo didn’t ask for toys or clothes. He had a straightforward request: For his mother to be healthy and happy. Here’s his letter.
I believe in you and the miracles, Santa I don’t want toys for me, only I want a [healthy] heart for my mom, she’s sick, her diagnostic is transposition of the great [arteries] (T.G.A). I’m sad for her she’s 46 years and me only 12, next March 18 I will be 13 teens, we need her for many years more, I and my Dad pray all days for mom. Only I want to see my mom [healthy] and happy.
How touching and heartwrenching. Arnulfo’s emotional request tugged at the heartstrings of the local firefighters and first responders in his hometown. Even though they couldn’t fulfill his wish, they had to do something to give this selfless young man a happy Christmas.
“It was pretty heartwarming,” said Justin Wischnewsky, fire captain of the Channelview Fire Department in Channelview, Texas. “All he wanted for Christmas for his mom to be okay. It’s gut-wrenching … there are good kids out there. We said, ‘There’s not a whole lot we can do, but let’s try and make this the best Christmas ever for him.”
And so these kindhearted folks did. They delivered a new bicycle and other toys from the community to Arnulfo.
Arnulfo’s father, Arnulfo Guerra Sr., said his wife has been on a waiting list for a donor’s heart for a year. Doctors warned the wait could be up to five years.
Transposition of the great Arteries, TGA, is a congenital condition that is present at birth. The vessels in the heart develop improperly during the first two months of pregnancy.
The kindness shown by the local fire department made his son feel, “so special” and that his letter made him “very happy.”
“My wife is very happy,” he added. “We’re all very happy.”
It’s incredible to see a child of Arnulfo’s age still have the innocence of childhood. The world and his mother’s situation haven’t left him cynical or jaded when they very well could. We wish Arnulfo’s family well and a new heart for his mother sooner than later.