A Christmas to Remember

in story •  10 months ago

It’s been awhile since I have taken pen to paper again. I do most of my writing in my head while driving to work and it’s time to get it out of my head. This time of year always takes me right back to when I was 17. Can’t be helped. It was a traumatic time for me as a 17 year old, alone and pregnant. The stress of staying in high school as long as I could, took it’s toll on me and my baby was born one wintry Saturday the week before Christmas, now forty-six years ago. Premature with a collapsed lung, she was whisked off to Toronto and I wasn’t even allowed to hold her. While she was fighting for her life, I was praying fiercely for that life. The first few hours were critical, followed by the next 24 hours and then 72 hours and I alternated between praying and crying. I got no word because she was at Sick Kid’s and I for whatever reason was detained at the Guelph General. I was put in a room and rudely told to shut up and quit crying. Unwed mother’s were social outcasts then and I felt the sting of that constantly. I bargained with God. If he would let me have my child even for just a short while, I would name her after my favourite Christmas carol. I cried some more. Then, I started to receive some gifts that slowly restored my faith in mankind. The first gift was a visit and a hug from Doug Risebrough. (Douglas John Risebrough is a former player, coach, and general manager in the National Hockey League. In his 31 years in the NHL, he has been involved with the Stanley Cup Playoffs 25 times. He is currently a pro scout for the New York Rangers.) Back then, Doug was someone I knew from high school whose mother was having a baby at the same time. The second gift came as a delivery. It was a bouquet of a eighteen yellow roses in spruce and pine boughs from my Aunt Dorothy with a cheerful card and an outpouring of love. I started to regain my strength and as soon as I got the go ahead, I was off to Toronto to see my baby. I will always remember the sights and sounds of that room, the brightness of the lights, the sound of the machinery that was keeping the premies alive. I was led to my daughter’s incubator and there she was....so very tiny, not due till February but in a big hurry to be born. A doctor approached as I put my hands in to hold her and announced that this was their “miracle baby” at Sick Kid’s and that he had never seen a child with such a strong will to survive. I kissed my finger and touched it to her little face and wished her a Merry Christmas with a promise that I would never leave her. I was sad not to have any little presents for her first Christmas. The ride home was silent. Her birth father was with me but had refused to even look at her. To this day. We were ghosted in our hometown when I refused to give my daughter up for adoption. I returned to school while she spent 3 months in hospital and we graduated grade 13 together, with honours. It was tough having a sick baby and going to high school but the worst part was the way I was treated when I went to cash my mother’s allowance cheques each month. There was a lot of nasty whispering by the tellers. I held my head high. I had just accomplished something that had never been done in my high school. With great pride, I want to wish my daughter Rebecca Noelle Ryan, a happy 46th birthday on December 18th. Not for a minute do I regret my decision to stay in school, give birth and raise you and I am extremely proud of the woman you have become and how much you mean to so many. Photo credit to K.C.Tam Heritage Studio in Guelph. 1972 Diane and Rebecca

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Thanks Mom. I am so lucky that you are my Mother. I wouldn't be alive today without you and I love you. XOXO


I love you too. It is an honour to be your mother.

Amazing story
I liked her very much. Does she have a book I want to buy?
thanks for participating


Rebecca has written an ebook soon to be released.

Good writing and you really have great skill.


Thank you so much!

A very wonderful story
And a beautiful childhood
Greetings to you


Thank you!

Such a wonderful story thanks for sharing an a happy solstice and xmas to you both x


Thank you very much!