My little world seemed perfect, but not all was well at home. My parents were going through a tough time, and they argued often. I was not sure what it was about because I was only five years old, but it made me anxious and brought a feeling of dread.
By Christmas 1982, the arguments between my parents continued, and they became more aggressive. I hated seeing my parents so angry at each other. I could see the sadness in their eyes, and I could feel heaviness in the house that had not been there before. I wanted to take away their pain, but I had no idea how I could do that.
My brother and I shared a bedroom; I slept on the top bunk, while he slept on the bottom. On Christmas Eve, the sound of my parents fighting woke me; I heard them shouting at each other, and it sounded heated. As I rubbed my eyes, I felt my stomach turn. It upset me to hear my parents fighting on a night that I viewed as magical.
I sat up in bed to look out through the doorway, and I saw the light on in the hallway. While looking towards the partly open bedroom door, I noticed someone or something in the corner of my eye. My heart thumped because I could see the shape of a head, in what looked like a monk’s robe.
I whispered to my brother, but he did not answer me. The sound of my parents fighting started to drift as the sound of my heart increased. I slowly turned my head to the left, which meant I would be face-to-face with who- or whatever stood beside my bed.
I gasped, and grabbed at my bedclothes, when I saw a black nothingness where a face should be, and this nothingness was wearing a Father Christmas robe. I wanted to cry out for my mother, but instead I froze, mesmerised by the vision standing beside my bed facing me.
Then a sense of being naughty struck me: my parents had raised me to believe that to see Father Christmas was bad; we were never supposed to see him, but I had. As I grabbed my bedclothes to pull them over me, he lifted his left hand and placed it on my chest. So much warmth and peace filled my body. The bedroom appeared flooded in the brightest light I had ever seen.
Suddenly my heart calmed, and I felt immense peace. The sounds of pain coming from outside my bedroom faded as I focused on the vision. I no longer heard my parents fighting, and I felt very tired. Gently, the vision pushed me to lie back down. Still, I saw no face. Warmth rushed through my body; such an intense heat.
Father Christmas leaned his head towards me as he kept his hand on my chest. He remained stood next to my bed. He stared at me. Then I heard his voice. He told me that life would be challenging and often tough. I would experience many evils of the world, and I would know much pain, suffering and negativity.
He said that I had come here to learn these lessons, and that I had made these choices. There would be many times in my life when I would want to leave this world, but that is something I must not do until the correct time. My soul would learn and grow a great deal, and I would not live what others consider a normal life.
Through all the abuse, suffering, despair and pain I must never forget that I am loved, that I exist and that I made these choices. Life for me will be a challenge, but he will always be there for me.
I took in all that he said, but I did not feel fear or distress. It was such an intense feeling of love. When I remember that moment now, I still feel how wonderful it was.
Father Christmas removed his hand from my chest, turned and faded from my vision. I turned to face the wall, pulled my bedclothes over my head and wept. I knew I had met my guardian angel.