A few years ago, there was an unexpected, unpredicted snowfall in some areas of West Tennessee. Stacy Hayes remembers it well. "It had never snowed this late in the year in my memory," she says. "Daily temperatures were already over 70 degrees." The snow stayed for only a day, then melted. People at the bank where Stacy works forgot about it as soon as it disappeared. Only later did Stacy come to believe that the snowfall had a special purpose.
"We have a repair guy ( Mike) who works on our building and does maintenance," Stacy says. "He's here every day for awhile, and is the sweetest guy. Last week, during the snow, he had missed a few days, but no one said anything." However, when Mike arrived this week, everyone noticed how quiet he was. Finally, one of the employees asked him if something was wrong. He told bank personnel this story.
His four-year-old niece (Cindy), who lived in Milan, Tennessee, had been diagnosed with cancer shortly after her birth, and had been getting treatment from LeBonheur in Memphis. Two weeks ago, the doctors had sent her home and told her family that there was nothing else they could do for her. "After they got home, people from the Make a Wish Foundation came to their house and asked Cindy's family what they could do for her," Mike said. "They said she could have anything she wanted."
Most children helped by the Make a Wish Foundation ask for toys or perhaps a wonderful vacation, and these are within the scope of the Foundation. But Cindy, a life-long Tennessean, had a different kind of wish. She looked at the people gathered around her. "I want to play in the snow," she announced.
Snow! Everyone was stunned. Cindy had never seen snow because none ever fell in the west Tennessee area where they lived. "We could take her on an airplane to see some snow," someone suggested. But the parents were hesitant. She was so small and so sick... The Foundation people left, shaking their heads amid suggestions. Time was of the essence, and they would work as fast as they could. But it seemed impossible.
And the following day, they knew it was. Sadly, one of the Foundation people called the family. "I'm so sorry," she began, "but could Cindy make another wish? We aren't going to be able to give her what she wanted the most."
"You already did!" Cindy's mother was joyful. "We have three inches of snow on the ground right now, and Cindy thinks you did it!"
The Make a Wish people were stunned. They had not arranged for any snow to be delivered to Cindy. Instead it had come from the heavens, a huge amount which stayed cold despite the warmer temperatures. Cindy played outside all day in the snow, and her mother had to finally make her come in in late afternoon. The little girl died just a few days later, Mike told his co-workers, but she had gotten what she wanted, even though everyone had told her it was impossible.
Mike, of course, was grieving the loss, but Stacy returned to her desk in a thoughtful and awestruck mood. "The story reinforced to me that we are not in charge here on earth," she says. "I believe that little girl's family needed that snow to make it through last week and God made it happen. It was a great story, and I wanted to pass it on." I'm so glad she did.