The Christ­mas Cas­sette

Reader's Digest - - Cover Story -

Reader mir­a­cle In June 2003, I buried my 26-year-old son. The fol­low­ing Christ­mas was the worst of my life. I was con­sumed with grief to my very core. As I awoke early Christ­mas morn­ing, I de­cided to write a few Christ­mas cards, be­lated or not. I went to the drawer where I stored the boxed cards. The drawer would open only slightly; some­thing was jam­ming it. The cause of the jam was an un­la­beled cas­sette. I had no idea what was on it or how it had got­ten there. I popped the cas­sette in the player and waited to hear what­ever mys­tery it held. Soon I heard my own voice. In a whis­per, I say, “It’s Christ­mas morn­ing, and Kyle is still sleep­ing.” Kyle awak­ens and sleep­ily comes to the re­al­iza­tion that he gets to check the tree. His child­ish voice goes on to name his toys from Santa. The last words on the tape are both heart­felt and heart­break­ing. They are three-year-old Kyle say­ing “Merry Christ­mas, Mom!” I know my son made this Christ­mas mir­a­cle hap­pen so I could have a smile in my heart that morn­ing. —Con­nie Owen South milwaukee, WIS­CON­SIN

Kyle (cen­ter) with his brother, Trevor (left), and mother, Con­nie

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