The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


December 15, 2007

RN Clara Hart
Posting date:
Stationed in
: a military hospital in the U.S.
Milblog url

“Ms. Clara?” came from the tiny voice at my side.

“Yes, Jonathan Matthew?” I responded.

“Do you think Santa will find me and Thomas here?” was the earnest question.

“Most definitely Santa will find you!” I assured my small friend. That comment was met with silence as the five-year-old boy contemplated the answer. The son of one of my wounded patients, he had climbed up to sit beside me as I sat in an alcove completing a chart.

“Are you sure, Ms. Clara?” pled Jonathan Matthew. “I mean, I’m not asking for me, you know? I’m asking for Thomas because he’d be really upset if Santa didn’t find him. He’s littler than me and this is his first Christmas." Thomas was Jonathan Matthew’s two-month-old brother. “Do you suppose you could talk to him for me?”

“Talk to who?” was my perplexed response.

“Santa, Clara. Santa!” Jonathan Matthew disgustedly exclaimed. I felt a lump start to form in my throat as I looked down into his earnest face.

Not quite sure how to respond, I was momentarily lost for words. Not getting an immediate response caused Jonathan Matthew to tell me, “My mom says you’re an angel on earth, so I figured since I know angels talk to God you’d be talking to God too. And if you’re talking to God you gotta be able to talk to Santa."

Oh Wow! Holy Hooeee. What do you say? Now I was truly at a complete and total loss for words and the lump in my throat had just grown. Eyes burning with tears, I cleared my throat and as I was ready to speak I saw Jonathan Matthew’s grandmother turn the corner. The expression on her face told me she had heard the conversation we were having.

“Hi, Grammie!” said this small boy, “Clara and me were talking about Santa and I was asking her to talk with him about making sure he found Thomas on Christmas," all his words ran together. “Cuz mom says she’s an angel here on earth so if there’s anyone who can talk to Santa I know it’s her. And since I know she already talks to God to help Daddy get better it should be easy for her to talk to Santa."

“Jonathan Matthew,” Grammie started to say. I quickly held up my hand to stop her flow of words.

“I’ll tell you what, Jonathan Matthew..." My voice broke and I had to clear my throat before continuing. “I’ll make absolutely sure Santa finds you and Thomas."

"Cuz you’re an angel here on earth and you can do things like that, right?"

“Well, I’m not sure about the 'angel here on earth', but let’s just say I know the right people."

“Ok, Ms. Clara, if you say so I know it will happen." He leaned over, wrapped his small arms around my neck and squeezing said, “I don’t care what you say, you’re my daddy’s angel and I love you."  With that proclamation he abandoned his seat next to mine, grabbed his Grammie’s hand saying, “Let’s go tell Thomas Ms. Clara is gonna make sure Santa finds him." Tears in her eyes she gazed at me, a silent “thank you” forming on her lips as she turned and followed Jonathan Matthew down the hall.

Trust me when I say I will do everything in my power to make sure two little boys receive a visit from Santa, if I have to go rent the red suit and beard myself!


I needed a Christmas story to add to my cards, an angel and little boys and grandma, it couldn't get any better.. well, maybe some fresh baked cookies and milk by a fire, but all the love is there already, do wonderful things with your charges, Nurse, Angel and our correspondent, be blest.

Well done. Well said. Nothing like the innocent and complete faith of a child, in Gawd and Gawds Own COC.

Kids' prolly right about you, ya know. . .

Busted! Looks like the kid figured you out and blew your angel cover. I'd write more, but there's something in my eyes.


Aww... you're making me tear up too! Keep writing here, you offer such an important side to things on the Sandbox. Good luck finding a Santa, and have a good Christmas for yourself too.

Just beautiful! God and Santa have Angels everywhere and how blessed are those two little boys to have Ms Clara as theirs! Awesome story!

What a beautiful story. I'm married to a navy corpsmean and I know how hard you work. Thank you, thank you, for loving on "our" children during such trying situations.

Nurse Clara--I read your blogs in the new "Sandbox" book and was impressed than as I am now by your writing and your ability to get right to one's heart. I suspect you really are an angel here on Earth-you are twice gifted.

Nurse Clara--I read your blogs in the new "Sandbox" book and was impressed than as I am now by your writing and your ability to get right to one's heart. I suspect you really are an angel here on Earth-you are twice gifted.

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