Thank you all so much for your prayers, good wishes and support. It is so beautiful to see how loved this little girl is.

A Miracle On Sandringham

Everyone says it will take time. Time to become a part of
normal society, time to be able to work, time to be able to look
forward. But when you need to pay rent, buy groceries and all the
other necessities, time might be what you need but it is the last
thing that you have. I started working about a month ago, and
although I have the most amazing people surrounding me there, the
transition has been difficult. Guilt, sadness and confusion are
Equally as physically draining as emotionally, But I don’t have a
choice. If I want to keep the home I built for Lilee, the only home
she really ever knew as hers I need to pay the bills. My landlords,
who are practically family now, even went as far as to lower rent
to make it easier for me to stay here. So I worked. But as December
approached, my “days off” consisted of recovering. I was losing
track of my housekeeping and grocery shopping. I was too exhausted
to do anything and had to make the difficult decision to take an
extra day off a week. Financially, Not the best decision, but I
needed more time to be able to recover and still do the things that
need to be done. And then December came, and finances became the
last thing on my mind. December 5th was Lilee-Jean’s would-be 3rd
birthday. The age she will never turn. My close family and friends
stood outside in the freezing cold night, surrounded by grass for
miles, and attempted to release some lanterns. It didn’t go quite
as planned, but there was a lot of laughter, the best company and
we even managed to watch as two lanterns drifted across the night
sky and disappeared into the darkness. Then there was the 6th. It’s
always a difficult day, but with her birthday just one day prior,
and Christmas approaching I started to sink lower and lower into
the darkness. I am a mother without a child. I wake up every day to
phantom cries, or laughter. To the sound of her opening her bedroom
door to come wish me good morning. I lay in bed wrapped up in her
favourite blanket and I swear I can feel her forehead touching
mine, like it always did so she could fall asleep. But when I open
my eyes I’m alone and she’s still gone. How could I even think
about celebrating Christmas? Going through all the traditions that
I only had two years to introduce to Lilee. How could I watch as
people run chaotically throughout malls making big deals of little
unimportant things, yelling at their children, and completely
taking the season for granted. And on the opposite side, watch
beautiful little families taking in the Christmas festivities,
watching the joy and love on the mothers and fathers faces, and the
awe in the eyes of the little ones. Our Christmas in August was my
Christmas. From the moment the date was decided, I began all the
Christmas traditions with Lil, putting out stockings, watching the
grinch and the old rudolf. We baked cookies and sang Christmas
carols, and we even had our big family dinner on Christmas Eve
which included Santa, and of course, snow. Every ounce of the
seasons magic was coursing through our veins as we woke up
Christmas morning and I watched as Lilee registered that Santa
came. It was warm from the fire, and from love, the lights were dim
and Christmas had truly come in August. So as December begins, my
heart aches for my daughter, our Christmas, our traditions, our
love. I accepted the season, as it’s everywhere, but I chose to not
celebrate. I put up no decorations, I didn’t listen to the constant
Christmas music, or watch the Christmassy shows. I chose to
remember our Christmas in August as the only Christmas this year
and The magic of the season remained buried beneath my sorrow.
December 9th started like any other day that month. Forcing myself
to get up, forcing myself to smile, and just getting through the
day. Later that evening I had gone upstairs for a glass of wine
with one of my favourite people, and when I came back down stairs I
was greated with a most unexpected surprise. There, on my doorstep
was an incredibly wrapped Christmas present with a card typed with
my name on it. With Tears stinging my eyes, threatening to pour, I
opened and read the card. It explained how although I have chosen
not to celebrate the season, that ‘they’ wanted to celebrate me,
Lilee-Jean and her legacy. “Like the twelve days of Christmas,” it
said, “each day you will receive a gift on your doorstep as a
reminder that you are deeply loved and cared for.” And the card was
signed off by none other than the man in the red suit. Santa. As I
lay in bed that night I cried. I cried for Lilee. I cried for me. I
cried because for the first time since she passed away I felt a
glimmer of hope in my heart; hope that my tomorrow’s will be
kinder. Just as my Santa had said, each day an impeccably wrapped
gift lay on my doorstep, brightening my entire world. I laughed, I
cried, I freaked out (mostly because I SWEAR Santa was reading my
mind), and I would sit completely and utterly speechless. Each day
my sorrow was slowly pushed aside, the darkness started to break
apart, and rays of Magic were shining through. These packages of
sparkle and love not only brought me some incredible things, they
brought Christmas to this heavy and broken heart. With each gift I
let tears come freely, I sat alone with appreciation, with grief
and with love. December 19th started like each of its 11
predecessors. I peaked through my blinds and saw two astonishingly
beautiful gifts waiting for me. I poured a cup of coffee to savour
as I took in each moment of this second to last day. The day was a
good one, as I had noticed was a bit of a trend since these 12 days
had started. I was able to donate some of Lilee’s unopened toys to
be wrapped for a 3 year old girl who was more than deserving of an
exceptional Christmas, and ended up at my mom and step dads for
dinner. I came home, after being out and about all day, immediately
took off my pants and bra (don’t judge, I live alone. 😉 ) and
started the internal debate of whether to tidy my living room or
make a Caesar and relax. But then, quietly at first.. And then a
little louder, I could hear the crunch of the gravel stairs by the
side of my house. I looked a little closer and could see glowing
orbs passing by my window. And then it began. “We Wish You A Merry
Christmas, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, We Wish You A Merry
Christmas, and a Happy New Year.” I jumped to my feet, slightly in
shock, scrambled to put on the articles of clothing I had taken
off, and ran to the door. There standing before me, were 15+
stunning women (a single man’s dream) in Santa hats, holding
candles and singing straight into my heart. Then the skinniest (and
most feminine) Santa I had ever seen introduced herself to me,
beard and all. I can’t say I have ever hugged a stranger as
hard-sorry Santa- and it’s been a very long time since I’ve had
such a surge of complete happiness. As I choked back the tears I
explained my lack of clothing, and had to ask “Who ARE you??” To
the group of strangers standing before me. Everyone laughed but no
one would tell me. Santa began to explain that they know the last
drop was suppose to have been the next morning, but with the help
of the gorgeous elves they wanted to give it to me tonight. She
presented me with a certificate and explained that they had paid my
rent for 3 months, to give me the time I needed to gradually figure
out what my new normal would be. I stood in awe, I stood in tears,
I stood in a tangible circle of love and magic. And as Santa hugged
me one more time, the ladies began to sing, and I was given words
of love and encouragement. Words of importance; that I was
important. Words only she could have given me, with love that only
they could have brought to this little basement suite, the home of
an angel daughter and a broken mother. They brought this Miracle on
Sandringham Drive. But as quickly as they came they were gone. And
Then it started to snow… With all the love I have, to my secret
Santa and her elves, Thank you for bringing light and magic into my
life. I will be forever grateful and forever indebted. I Believe in
YOU. Happy Holidays to everyone, and a Very Merry Christmas.
-Chelsey xo


  1. TriciaTricia12-20-2013

    Chelsey, I have enjoyed reading about your special Santa surprises and seeing the beautiful presents left for you. You deserve every one of them and I am so glad they have helped you, just a little bit. I am in awe of you and love you so much, thank you for being you.

    Love from,

    Tricia xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. R.DakinR.Dakin12-20-2013

    I’m so pleased for you to hear that you have such loving support around you.

    You are doing everything you need to do and I have no doubt that in years to come, you will be on the other side of the giving but for now, it’s good to drink up the generosity.

    I know I am not alone when I say that I often think of you, your precious Lilee, and the family and friends that were around you and feel the ache of her passing. Your story still breaks my heart, it still makes me cry, and it still serves to remind me that even in the midst of great hardship and heart ache, there can be beauty.


  3. taryntaryn12-20-2013

    awh <3 <3 so many tears of happiness for you, whoever these people are, they are amazing. absolutely amazing and you deserve it. <3

  4. Denny StobbartDenny Stobbart12-20-2013

    Merry Christmas Chelsea! I am always caught up in your writing, you have a way with words that is totally captivating. I am so happy for you that your family, friends and neighbours are looking after you and protecting your spiritual self. Bless you for sharing Lilee’s gifts with other girls and their families and bless you for sharing this beautiful story of the true meaning of Christmas. You will be in my prayers for years to come and I wish you a New Year filled with more light and magic, take care.

  5. Kathy RileyKathy Riley12-20-2013

    Chelsey…I’m just another anonymous person, who has followed Lilly’s story via fb.
    My heart goes out to you, and Andrew, and your families. When you have come to terms (in your own mind and heart) with your lovely daughter’s passing, I hope that you will write a book. I honestly don’t care what type of book, because your style of writing reaches into the soul, and touches people. You are very gifted young woman. I wish you well, and hope your New Year is the beginning of something very happy. Take care of yourself. Sending a hug.

  6. Kim BellamyKim Bellamy12-21-2013

    Thank you Chelsea for sharing your secret Santa and elves with us and I wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year. Knowing you have support no matter where we live we are here for you and I am so glad you have your Secret Santa


  7. Debbie KlassenDebbie Klassen12-21-2013

    I remember how hard it was to return to work and try to get “normal”. That normal will never be, but your new normal will be a warm and comforting place for your soul and LJ’s memory to reside. I wish I could have been a part of this special Christmas gift – it would have been an honour!

    Please allow yourself to enjoy this Christmas, if not as merry as you would have wished it to be. It is a part of the journey, and they do get better as time goes by. You are not “broken”, but you are deeply injured. Know that you and LJ will be in my thoughts through the season – As a mother without her babes, I’m willing to talk anytime you want or need – reach out on FB or by email. Love to you and yours this Christmas season.

  8. NikkiNikki12-21-2013

    Very beautiful. You are amazing person Chelsey. May you find peace and your heart starts to heal. Always in my prayers. Xoxo

  9. ShannonShannon12-22-2013

    You do matter, you are important, you are the magic Chelsey, you and Lilee. Xo

  10. marg fritzmarg fritz12-23-2013

    Dear Chelsea, I believe you know my family ken, eunice and shyla. I have been following your story. My heart aches for you. I have a saying; RIGHT FOOT , LEFT FOOT. Life is filled with blessings. And each day its a matter of walking forward. God is with you. I am so happy that you had such a blessing from santa and her elves. I just want to say that the way you express yourself with words is amazing. You should write many books. I would be first in line to buy one. Your words touch my soul. Merry Christmas , in whatever way you choose to experience it.

  11. Miranda ThiessenMiranda Thiessen01-05-2014

    I think about you all the time and am so glad to hear that some lovely people were able to give you some joy and hope back, even if it is only for a little while. We will never forget about you and your angel Lilee!

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Leave a Reply

Thank you all so much for your prayers, good wishes and support. It is so beautiful to see how loved this little girl is.