RoseAnn V. Shawiak (October 6,1950 / New Jersey)
One so small, so sweet, so happy,
embracing life with joyful laughter.
Running, jumping, suddenly stopping to investigate
something that has aroused his curiosity.
Teasing, pleasing - kind and gentle - little Daniel
slowly, painfully, started weakening.
Slipping, sliding, silently being absorbed before our
eyes with adrenal-leukodystrophy.
Daniel's tiny body wracked with pain instead of laughter,
trying to hold onto his childhood.
Riding around the yard on a battery-operated motorcycle with
his Mom, trying to get every drop of fun from life - the fun
he so richly deserved.
Such a beautiful child - little Daniel - silently falling
beneath life's covers.
Volunteers were found through kindhearted friends and all
pitched in, trying desperately to delay or postpone his death.
Many hours of being held by a Mom who loved with all her
heart, the son dying slowly in her arms.
Feeling totally helpless, crying out to God in mortal pain,
wanting to somehow save her little one.
Feeling alone and empty, not wanting to let go of his
laughter and sweet disposition.
Daniel crying out, 'Mom! Mom! ' and she would come
running to console her son as pain filled his mind and body.
Going downhill, the Make A Wish Foundation stepped in,
sending the family to Disneyland.
A week before they leave for California, Santa Claus hears
about the good little boy named Daniel and his ten year old
Visiting their home early with packages and gifts, Santa
sits holding Daniel on his lap.
A mischievous little glimmer appears in Daniel's eyes, as he
reaches up and gets a good grip on Santa's beard and tugs
real hard, until a cry escapes Santa's startled lips.
Satisfied that he's sitting on the real Santa's lap, Daniel
rubs his cheek gently back and forth on Santa's red velvet suit.
Such beauty cannot be found in the greatest works of art - it
is found only in hearts of the good.
Hugging Daniel close, Santa feels blessed as the knowledge
of what is just ahead tugs at his heart.
Spending more time than he'd planned - Santa just couldn't
seem to pull himself away.
Finally, lateness of the hour dictated that he leave.
Outside, beside his modern sleigh, Santa turned his head,
tears spilling wildly about, his heart heavy with a sorrow
that just would not depart.
'It's hard to see a little one dying', said Santa as he
quietly stepped inside his vehicle and said good-by,
tears still clinging to his cheeks.
And yet - Santa has left behind a little boy who was made
happy for a little while by his visit.
A few moments of happiness unclouded by dying.
There is a Santa, but even he could not cure little Daniel.
Clinging to words of love mixed with pain, Daniel breathed
his last, as he was held tenderly, gently, in his Mother's
In heaven, pain all gone, tears sliding down his Mom's
face, showing the pain his loss has claimed on earth.
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