From: Bonnie Oldham
Remembering both my Dad
Milt Ellinghuysen and Our Father in Heaven
From: Bonnie Oldham
I guess it was 51 years ago that I overheard you tell your ma what the doctors at Mayo thought was wrong with our mom.
Oh, I wasn’t supposed to hear, when we were told to go outside and play, but I was standing underneath a window that day in June and overheard you say, what am I going to do? Mayo says Audrey has MS. I have six little kids. I knew it wasn’t good whatever MS was, by the crack in his voice. I was seven years old, and I decided that day I had to help take care of everyone. But most of all I had to somehow get God to hear my prayers now more than ever.
Ma was having trouble with her arm, her leg, choking, and she cried a lot. Who was going to take care of us? Dad and ma farmed and so much work to be done. Before I knew it, Christmas was knocking at the door. Mom would ask each of us to make out a list of 2 things we’d like for Christmas. Money was short and usually we got a Big Chief tablet, a pencil, gloves, or socks, and if you were lucky, paper dolls or a checkers game to share.
Mom always meant well with the list, I knew it was to make your dreams come true if only on paper.
I didn’t write anything down except for the tablet and a pencil for school, for I knew what I wanted would have to come from the Lord. So when everyone was asleep I’d crawl over by the window sill that looked out to an open field on the hill and in the cold night you could see the stars shining brightly and snow sparkling in the moonlight hours. I’d look up to heaven and I’d tell God all I want for Christmas, Lord, is for my mom to get better. Every night year after year. God answered my prayer! It’s 51 years later.
Now I sit by another window in another house and as the tears roll down my cheeks I ask now for God to heal my husband and all who are terribly sick, young and old. The old ways are disappearing, and it’s sad because we knew what real hard times were. Christmas was more then than it ever will be now or in years to come.
It wasn’t the gifts you got, it was the blessings of the gifts you had — all these wonderful people sent into our lives. I ask for prayers for all those who are sick. I ask for help for all who have gone through loss of loved ones. I ask for those who have gone through terrible disasters.
Only one more thing, Lord. Thank you, and tell dad Merry Christmas from me and that I love him.