Letter: A Magical Holiday Experience

To the Editor:

After much planning and excitement, my worst nightmare came true Sunday evening when I arrived at the White River Junction train station, too late for the last “Polar Express” ride of the season. I had my 4-year-old grandson, my teenage granddaughters and my son with me. I didn’t know how I was going to walk out of the station house to tell them the painful news. When I did go outside, I could see by the looks on their faces that they already knew. That is when the amazing White River Rotarians (aka Santa’s helpers) sprang into action and pulled out all the stops to rescue all five of us. We were given Santa hats to makes us feel better. They took our family picture with our camera. They provided the youngest child with a special flashing-red signal light and a wooden train whistle and told us that if we waited just a little bit, the 4-year-old could signal the Polar Express into the station, something he never dreamed of doing. His older cousins stood by his side as the train pulled in. All three had huge smiles on their faces. The best surprise was a special visit from Santa as we waited (accompanied by three of Santa’s helpers) by the last train car.

I wish you could have seen little Ayden’s face. He was glowing when Santa offered him the “first gift of Christmas” if he promised to always hear it ring. Then Ayden was placed on Santa’s lap for an absolutely priceless picture. What started out as utter devastation (because of me) was turned into an evening we will never forget. I cannot find the words to adequately thank the White River Rotary Club for providing such an incredible, magical experience for children and adults, and I am eternally grateful for the pure love they showered on us that night.

Merilynn Bourne