Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds.
While visions of ipods now danced in their heads.
And papa in his flannels, and I, mine at last,
Began to recall the ten years now past.
For out of our lives there arose such a clatter,
We thought, “ Heaven help us – What could be the matter?!”
Away to the doctors we flew with a blast,
“What’s wrong with our wee one? Please fix her up fast!”
With questions, no answers, and ‘calls’ behind doors,
We held a bit tighter and stared at the floor.
When what to our wondering ears should we hear,
But, “We’ll fly to Seattle” not using reindeer.
With a nice little doctor, so lively and quick,
We knew in a moment that of course they could fix.
More rapid than eagles the fellows did come,
They followed her orders while we sat there numb.
“Now, Doctors! Now, Nurses! Now, Lab-Techs! Let’s see?…
“Sign this and sign that and make sure there are three.
You now have your orders, make haste and don’t stall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
It just wasn’t easy with treatments and stuff.
We lived in two places and that was just tough.
At times it was hard not to feel all alone,
As we grappled and fought with so much unknown.
The kids, how they struggled as they tried to be big.
So helpful, yet missing that whole family gig.
But then, out of nowhere we heard from Rich Hader,
“Remember the ‘Project’ sooner or later!”
Their eyes, how they twinkled! Their dimples how merry!
‘Twas Disney and dolphins, and Kid’s World with dairy!
Ice-cream before breakfast, Ice-cream before lunch,
Ice-cream before dinner and after, my hunch.
From the jousting of knights, to the visits from Mickey,
We hated to leave as our time flew so quickly.
But this wonderful gift did not stop, it was clear.
Invites from Tiana did come twice a year!
To Fairmont, then Essex, then Fairmont again,
We got to know many and see you as kin.
And when we’re together encouragement reigns;
Trials and toughness just seem to wane.
So to the Highway Patrol and the many around,
There’s a family of six in a small ‘tana town
Who wants to say thanks for these times that we’ve shared.
We’ll cherish them all for they truly are rare.
And to everyone here, may your season be bright.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!
A special “Thank You” written by Gayle Tom to the Montana Hope Project and to the “Families of Hope” to commemorate the 2010 Winter Reunion