Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Christmas Tragedy of '64


Oh yaaa, I’m a big fan. 

I am one of those obnoxious  people that start listening to Christmas music BEFORE  Thanksgiving.

And I am proud of it.

Christmases in the Yeggy household as I was growing up were joyous occasions. We were Iowa farmers, and money was NOT plentiful, but my mom scrimped and saved all year to do Christmas up in a big way. 

As most of you know, Iowa is close enough to the North Pole that Santa HAS to come early on Christmas Eve:)

 Every year like clockwork when my sisters and I scrubbed in the tub, we would hear the stomping and HO HO HO of that jolly elf. It made us scream and giggle with pleasure. It didn't even cross my mind that the Ho’s sounded a lot like my 2 teenage brothers.  By the time we were out of the tub and "jamied up" in our PJ’s,  Santa had come and gone.  My memories of those times are magical and fond.  Much like a sappy Hallmark Movie:)

Yeggy family Christmas a couple of years before the accident, AND  my baby sister was residing in my mom's tummy:)

One year though, almost a half century ago, in 1964, a Christmas time tragedy struck.  On the afternoon of December 18th, all of us kids were hanging around my mom’s bedroom talking to her , as she was sick in bed with  walking phenomena.  My brothers were tossing the football to each other, as they discussed “teenage stuff”  with my mom.  We “little girls’ were just hanging around eavesdropping:)

My oldest brother Gerry, 16 at the time, left later for a date with his girlfriend. ..

 He made a mistake, as many 16 year old drivers do, and ended that night in the hospital with a severe skull fracture and in a coma.  For 10 days, through Christmas, he hung on the precipice of life and death, still in the coma. 

Christmas was different in our household that year.  It was not the magical and joyous occasion I was used to. 

The magic that year was that my brother eventually came out of the coma, recovered,  and came home, thank the Lord.

Tragedy happens even at Christmastime.  To be honest with you, even though I am old, I am still not exactly sure why.

I do know, however, that over 2000 years ago, the King of the world was born in a rough barn, no room for Him anywhere else. 

Thirtysomething years later he was murdered by his own people, a bloody and violent death.  God allowed it, because He had an idea to save the rest of us from our sins. 

I also know, God uses adversity to draw us closer to Him,

Even if it is painful

Even at Christmastime

If you are dealing with something hard this Christmas, draw close to your Jesus.  He has the power to sustain you, comfort you, and love you.

My brother still has no memory of anything that happened that tragic day long ago, mercifully so.  And the next year the magical Christmases resumed in the Yeggy household with fervor. 

As a little kid, I breathed a sigh of relief. 

As an older person, looking back over 50 years ago at those events, 

 I am thankful for that Christmas, where the beginnings of my learning to lean on my Jesus were being birthed, like a babe in a manger.


  1. A bit prophetic as i read this on saturday...

    1. i know shelly- but seems a little inadequate in view of what happened-awful

  2. This is a beautiful reflection, Denise and a piece of Yeggy history I have not previously heard (read). It has that "divinely inspired" feel to it.

    1. aww thx so much Beth- thinking of all of you fondells this christmas season- love and blessings