After reading the inspiring book, The Element in the bath on the Saturday morning, this story popped up out of my heart. I would love to make some collage based on this story later.
Sakura lost her dad when she was only 3 years old. She was born in Seattle in the United States of America. But her mom decided to come back to Japan when Sakura’s dad passed away. Her mom said,
“Sakura, we will go back to my home country and be with our family.” Sakura was not happy about saying good-bye to all of her friends and wonderful neighbors. But she liked the idea of being with her family.
Sakura lived with her funny grandpa, loving grandma, two playful uncles and mom. Sakura was a happy girl loved by everyone of her family.
As soon as she got into a nursery school nearby her grandparents’ house, she made some good friends. The neighbors welcomed her and her mom and everything was just fine. Sakura stopped crying missing her dad little by little.
One cold winter morning, Sakura’s grandma asked her,
Sakura hesitated to tell grandma her wish.
She looked at her grandma in the eyes and asked,
Sakura smiled and nodded excitedly.
She wrote a letter to Santa and put it in a envelope. She handed it to her mom and said,
At that time, Sakura has already forgotten her mother tongue, English. Her mom was sad and wanted her to speak it again. Her mom tried to talk with her in English but Sakura stopped speaking in English back. So, her mom got an idea.
“Did you write in English, Saku?”
“well, Santa can’t read Japanese, can’t he? He is from North Pole.”
“ I can help you out.”
So, Sakura started practicing alphabet and got much better.
She asked her mum how to say some of phrases in English such as I wish to see. But she did not tell her mom who she wants to see for Christmas.
Her mom thought it would be Stitch from Disney channel. Sakura loved Stitch at that time.
After a few days of practice, Sakura managed to write a letter to Santa.
She handed it to her mom and said,
On the night, her mom opened the letter and it said,
Merry Christmas. Last year. Present. Thank you.
I wish to see dad for Christmas.
I am good.
“Oh, my, my.”
Her mom sighed. She had no idea what to do with Sakura’s wish.
She did not make Sakura sad on Christmas day.
She walked around her bedroom and thought about it. But she did not get any good ideas. So, she asked her family what to do.
Grandpa shrugged his shoulders. Grandma shed in tears. It was one of Sakura’s uncles, Hiro gave her mom a good idea,
So, her mom came up what to write. The other uncle, Yoshi volunteered to write it down on a Christmas card.
On the night before Christmas, Sakura’s mom sneaked into her bedroom and put the card under her pillow. She also put a little bracelet in a little box next to the pillow.
Next morning, Sakura’s family was got up by a big cheerful shout.
Sakura showed the card and the present from her dad. She wore the bracelet around her wrist.
“Thank you.” She mumbled. The card says:
Dear my girl, Sakura
Thank you for your request for Santa to see me again on the special day.
He promised me to deliver this letter to you on the Christmas Day.
I was so happy to hear that you still remember me and think of me.
I am so sorry not to tell you this before. I am always with you, Sakura.
When you need me, I am there next to you. You may not see me but I am there. You may be able to feel me if you try. I am so glad and proud that you have made some friends and helped your mom to go back to Japan. You have learned Japanese so quickly. I wish I could understand what you say. But for me, just watching you grow is a gift. I am sorry that I can’t hug you like other dads. But please remember I am always with you.
It was all written in English. But Sakura could read “dad”. She did not ask her mom what it was written. It was a message from her dad to her. She wanted to read it on her own. She used her mom’s old dictionary to understand the message. It took her very long time to get the message. She asked her mom what “always” and “be with you” mean. When her mom told her it means, 「いつも一緒だよ。」, she was so happy and felt as if her dad was there.
From the Christmas, Sakura always gets a card from her dad with a little present. Sakura became a big girl but she never questioned if Santa is real. For her, the Christmas card and a present from dad is Santa, the love. Once a year, on a Christmas day, a special gift will be delivered to you. That is if you believe in love.