Real People ... Real Stories

Ann G.

I was born as a Navy brat at Mare Island Naval Hospital in Vallejo, except for 7 years as a little girl in Philadelphia, Pa. I spent most of my life in Sacramento. I graduated here in Sacramento from Hiram Johnson High School and Sacramento City College. I worked for 32+ years for the State of California including 10 years in the Bay Area where I met my current husband, George (the love of my life). I have 2 children, 2 stepchildren and 9 grandchildren.

Since moving here at Carefree, I have had a social life that I am truly enjoying. I haven’t laughed this much in years. We have a lot of fun activities here. This brings me to a story I want to share with everyone.

The second week of December 2011 was a very busy week for Carefree. Wednesday night was our Holiday Party. Then Friday night was Birthday night. Then the very next day was grandchildren’s day. Almost all of the same volunteers worked all three events in one week. These volunteers, however, did not know that they contributed to a special small Christmas Story.

My daughter had one really rough year. She was going through a nasty divorce and her children felt the effects of it the whole time. She and her 5 children came with me to the grandparent’s event. Her babies are 17, 14, 7, 5 and 4 years of age. This was a special occasion for the 3 little ones. None of them had ever met Santa in person. They knew he was coming. They worked at the projects that the volunteers distributed and ate the food the volunteers prepared. But they knew Santa was coming and continued to watch for him. Then the 4 year old came running to the table with eyes big as saucers and whispered he saw him-He saw Santa! The 5 year old then investigated and came back also with eyes BIG as saucers. “He is here! He’s in the back yard (The courtyard outside the billiards room). Eventually, Santa came in the back door, big as day! He came in and walked through the room greeting all of the grandchildren. He made his way back toward us and said “Hi” to all of us (and maybe even a few Ho, Ho’s) as he walked by. After he walked by, the 7 year old whispered to me “It is Him! He’s the REAL Santa!”

We had to wait a little while longer until it was our turn to have our picture taken with Him. The little ones made sure they told him what they wanted for Christmas. Then we had the most wonderful picture taken to commemorate the occasion. So Dear volunteers, instead of making 2011 being the year that Mommy and Daddy got divorced, it is now the year that they met the “REAL SANTA CLAUS”! Our volunteers made that possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.