Archived Story

Believing my fathers’ promises

Published 10:00pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012

By David Carter
Guest Columnist

Most of us have memories of a special Christmas that taught us a life lesson.

At around the age of 5, I asked Santa for a bicycle. On Christmas Eve, I could barely sleep as I thought about that new bicycle and all the adventures I would have.

With great anticipation on Christmas morning, I jumped out of bed and bounded down the stairs, only to find empty space under the tree.

Later that morning, I told my dad, “I think Santa forgot me this year.”

With a big grin, Dad said, “No, son, he didn’t forget you. Santa didn’t have room on his sleigh for the bicycle, so he is shipping it by common carrier, and you will have your bike in two weeks.”

I did not cry or get upset. Instead, with great enthusiasm, I said, “Yes! I am getting a new bicycle.”

Because my father said it, I knew my bike was on the way, and in two weeks, a shiny new 24-inch Roadmaster arrived. The bike served me well into my teen years.

This Christmas will be different at the Carter home.

My youngest daughter, Tricia, was diagnosed with cancer at age 42, and a year ago, she had both breasts removed. She was told there was only a 1 percent chance of recurrence. But about three months ago, the thing we dreaded most happened. The cancer came back in a more aggressive form, and she now has stage four cancer.

Tricia is a very strong woman and asked her doctor, “Am I going to die?” He hemmed and hawed and gave her an evasive answer. Tricia asked, “Are you treating me just to extend my life a few more months to make me more comfortable, or to cure me?” And again the doctor avoided the question.

So she asked for and received a referral to a cancer facility in Orlando, Fla. Packing up her 7-year-old daughter Peyton, Tricia moved to Orlando for treatment, leaving behind her husband and two older sons.

My oldest daughter, Tammy, lives in Orlando with her husband and three of my grandsons. I have often complained about the 750-mile distance between us. But God works in mysterious ways.

Tricia and Peyton are now living with Jay and Tammy, where she is getting the love, care and support she needs while receiving her treatments. She will probably be in Florida for eight months before returning home.

At Thanksgiving, all our clan went to Orlando, and what a gathering my daughter Tammy had! Forty-seven guests for Thanksgiving dinner, including her husband’s side of the family. What a blessing it was to see Tricia, Tammy, my son Brandon and the entire family together.

God is good, especially in troubled times. Tricia was told she would be getting chemotherapy treatments for the rest of her life. But through all her suffering and hardship, she has been an inspiration. She is always smiling and cheerful. When we ask her how she’s doing, her reply is, “Just fine.”

What does this have to do with my Christmas story? Everything!

Just as I trusted my father and knew the bicycle was on the way, I can trust my heavenly Father, who says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you, and I’ll never put on you more than you can bear.” And my Lord Jesus never lies and never changes.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know that God loves Tricia more than I do. And He is working out everything for our good in His plan for our lives.

David Carter is the owner of Brandon House Furniture store on West Washington Street. He can be reached at BrandonHouseFurniture@verizon.net.

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