A Christmas 40 years in the making

‘Once upon a time there was a brother and sister who exchanged gifts with each other on Christmas Day. The brother gave his sister a new Barbie doll and the sister gave her brother a new G.I. Joe doll. Both of them were very happy with their gifts. They sat at the table and played together. Then suddenly, without warning or explanation they both were taken away.

“From time to time, they got to see each other but never at Christmas. After 40 years, the brother and the sister had everything fall into place so they could have a Christmas like no other. The brother with silver in his hair and an old G.I. Joe doll in his hand sat at the table with his sister with silver in her hair and an old Barbie doll in her hand. For the next few hours, they laughed and cried together.

“What gave them strength through the years was they knew no matter how long it would take, they would eventually have Christmas together. They knew Christmas was meant to fill with comfort and joy even during the sad or bad times in their lives.”

This story was written by Matthew McClean of Tennessee to his sister, Vicki Battles, of Morro Bay after not having Christmas together for 35 years.

“But we still have hope in God that we soon will,” he continued. “My hopes and my prayers will be that if you and I have to go through something so sudden, or so sad, we will remember one thing. There is a reason for this season. No matter how long it may take, we are determined each year to have a great Christmas.”

Now after 40 years, Battles, co-owner of Morro Bay Wine Seller with husband Chris, will finally celebrate the season with her brother.

Something “bad and sad” happened when she was 8 and he was 9. Of four siblings taken from their mother, they managed to survive the foster care system and keep in touch.

McClean went on to own a thriving carpet cleaning business in Tennessee, but in February, an arm and neck disability forced him to look for a new career. Battles invited her brother to come to California.

McClean is excited he landed a sales position at Perry Ford in San Luis Obispo and will help out at Morro Bay Wine Sellers. He’s saving to bring his family to join him in California.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Finally in 2010, the sister and brother will celebrate the season by sharing their Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls in Morro Bay, with wishes of hope and joy to all during the holidays.

Reach Judy Salamacha at jsalamacha@yahoo.com or 801-1422.