Amys Christmas Wish Synopsis
By Kay LeGrand
Its Christmas Eve, and bitter cold as bitter as only a winter night in a remote corner of the Colorado mountains can be. But nothing can match the chill inside Georgia Madisons heart. Just minutes from the end of what she knows will be her last shift as an officer with the tiny Gemstone Police Department, and of her forty-third birthday, shes made an important decision.
She means to go back to her lonely rented room, and end her life.
A self-declared failure at everything shes ever tried, without family, disillusioned by the career she once believed would be her salvation, Georgia feels empty. Tired. Too old to start over, or go on living.
Then fate intervenes.
Nine-year-old Amy Barnett has run away from home, certain there will be no Christmas there this year. Her father, Joe, is too caught up in grief over his wifes death the previous Christmas to make the effort.
When Georgia finds Amy hiding out in the cemetery near her mothers grave, shivering in inadequate clothes, her first impulse is to suspect the worst cruelty, abuse, mistreatment of the most unthinkable kind. But Amys truth, when shes finally persuaded to tell it, is even worse. It triggers a flood of memories of Georgias own youth memories shed believed buried forever, along with the twin sister for whose death she holds herself responsible.
To Georgias surprise, when Amy at last agrees to be taken home, Joe is not the man shes prepared herself to hate a cold an unforgiving man like her own father. To the contrary, hes loving, frantic, so shaken by his daughters disappearance that hes enlisted the neighbors in an all-out manhunt.
Caught in the middle of their reunion and their obvious love for each other, Georgia finds herself unable to lecture Joe as shed planned. Instead, overwhelmed by his kindness, she gives in to a growing certainty that he might be the man shes yearned for the one who will understand without accusation, and forgive without condition. Lowering the wall of ice shes built to protect her heart, she tells him about her parents and her sister, and the bitterness of adolescent mistakes that drove them apart forever.
Its a long tale, an ugly one, and by its conclusion, Georgia is tired. Too tired to argue when Joe tries to reassure her that none of it was her fault, or to protest when he urges her to seek professional help. Closing her eyes for just a minute, she opens them again to discover its Christmas morning, and shes forgotten all about her plans for death.
Amy and Joe have given her many gifts in the short time shes known them. Theyve given her trust, and compassion, and understanding. But the most precious gift of all is the one shed never thought possible.
Amy and Joe have given her the will to go on.
Theyve given her life.