By Sara Fitzgerald
Devan can’t help but blame God for his wife’s death, so the last thing he wants to do this holiday season is celebrate. But when his daughter, Savanna, makes a special Christmas wish, their little family will never be the same. Filled with faith and tenderness, this heartwarming story is sure to remind you of the real power behind the magic of Christmas.
The wind whistled down the avenues
that cold December night as Devan Smith
trudged across the murky, slush-filled street
with his little girl, Savanna, by his side. The street’s curbs
were covered with dirty piles of snow from yesterday’s
storm. The blackened snow reminded him of how dark
his soul felt without Vivian.
“Look, Daddy,” Savanna said, tugging on his sleeve.
“Look at all those shining lights. Mommy would love to
see them. Do you think she can?”
Devan glanced down at her tiny face dominated by
big, innocent eyes that were the same shade of blue as
her mother’s. He paused for a moment, deciding what to
tell her. She looked at him with such divine trust, a trust
unlike any he had ever experienced, except the trust his
wife had in him. He had failed Vivian.
“Daddy? Can Mommy see the lights?”
He bit his lower lip and stooped by her. He fought
back the lump forming in his throat. He wished that she
would stop talking about Mommy. Each time, no matter
how much he thought he was prepared for the subject, the
pain threatened to destroy his soul.
He inhaled deeply and then slowly exhaled. Fog circled
around Savanna’s head; for a split second she looked
like an angel as the cold from his breath danced around
her brown curls.
She was waiting for him to tell her everything was
going to be all right, that Mommy was in heaven looking
down at them, but how could he? He no longer believed
in heaven and hell. No loving God would have allowed
what had happened to Vivian to take place. Devan
couldn’t let Savanna become disillusioned.
Savanna placed her arms around his neck. “Grandpa
says she’s in heaven watching out for us.”
He swallowed and then changed the subject. “We’d
better go shopping, or else we won’t be done before
Christmas. We only have three days left until Santa comes
down our chimney. What do you want him to bring
“There’s only one thing I want from him,” she whispered,
leaning toward him.
He forced a smile. “And what’s that?”
“I want Mommy back.”
Tears blurred his vision. He wanted her mommy back
too, more than anything in the world, but not even Santa
Claus could do that. Vivian was dead, buried in a cold
cemetery with only the snowfall as her blanket against the
storms of winter.
“A story of shattered faith touchingly restored by a little child and a reminder that, through the Atonement, love surpasses even the grave. Sara Fitzgerald’s Saving Savanna will bring tender tears to your eyes.” Joyce DiPastena, author of Dangerous Favor
of the Year for the League of Utah Writers. She
lives with her husband and daughter in Salt Lake
City. She loves the Christmas season.