Rusty, the Christmas Puppy
Christmas at our home was steeped in
tradition. In fact, if any family member
ever dared to suggest that we stray from
what we had always done, his or her
suggestion was quickly shot down. The
traditions were fundamental
to the celebration, and only
years later, when Dad had
passed away, did we truly appreciate their
Not Hard er
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156 12 Days of Christmas
My father passed away after battling
bladder cancer. I was 15 at the time. That
first Christmas without him, without the
sameness and the comfort of the repeated
traditions that relied on his presence, was
extremely painful. But a magical thing
happened that Christmas that I always felt
was of God’s doing.
On that Christmas Eve, a beat-up car
traveled down our road. The owner stopped
and tossed out a small dog. It was a dachshund and had tons of energy, with a
matching bark. As the car raced away, the
dog chased after its owner, but he was soon
outrun. Suddenly the pup turned around
and spotted us. He came running to our
porch and refused to leave.
We spent that first Christmas Eve,
without my father, in quiet remembrance,
hosting only our closest friends and family
and actively trying to guess the name of the
stray pup. While resting after a quiet
dinner, one of us correctly guessed his
name as “Rusty,” and the dog went nuts!
Needless to say, we were distracted from
our pain and loss as God met our needs in
a unique and surprising way. Rusty became
a permanent member of the family.
Although time has gone on and Christmas
traditions have been adapted, I’ll never
forget the Lord’s faithfulness to our family
during that difficult time.
– Tricia McQuarrie
Retired Homeschool Nations