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Girl's Santa letter: San Diego man gets Christmas miracle from 'heaven'

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What do a Girl, Santa letter, San Diego man, and a woman's name have in common? Terry Hardin and Joie, a five-year-old girl at a school in Chula Vista met by chance last week, thanks to a red balloon and what he calls a Christmas miracle. The heaven-sent gift from a total stranger was likely his second chance at redemption for unfinished business since his mother died, according to a Dec. 25 eCanada news report.

A young girl's letter to Santa Claus by way of a red balloon was discovered about 15 miles away on Dec. 17 from the launching point.

Hardin, a defense contract negotiator, was walking across a parking lot when he saw a red balloon slowly descending from the sky. He collected it, opened it up and discovered a hand-written letter inside that began "Dear Santa." The author of the letter simply wanted a Little Mermaid for Christmas and hoped Saint Nick would come through for her.

Dear Santa, I would like to have a mermaid doll with a bow for Christmas. Thank you, Love, Joie," the letter read.

The girl's Santa letter found by the San Diego man was an innocent request made by millions of children every year. Sure, it was a bit intriguing to find the balloon, but what he saw next gave him an epiphany because the letter was signed "Joie" (pronounced "joy"), the same way his late mother spelled her name.

Instantly, he realized his finding of the red balloon was no accident; Terry believed the girl's Santa Claus letter was meant for him and him only.

The backstory of this remarkable story is Hardin's mother died last year and he was still grieving over the loss. However, his pain was made worse by the fact that he was estranged from her and had not reconciled his anger over a matter.

On finding the girl's Santa letter, the San Diego man said this:

It put a chill up my spine. This literally came from Heaven to make things right."

The girl's letter to Santa was likely his way of ending this painful chapter in his life. So, he hatched the idea of using a local radio station and taking to Facebook to find the girl who penned the letter to Kris Kringle. His efforts paid off

Thursday, the man met the little girl, Joie, at her class at St. Rose of Lima. There, he presented the shy little girl a Little Mermaid, which donned a red bow, just like the girl indicated in her Santa letter.

The pair later posed for a picture (shown here) and now the connection is one that will likely last for all eternity, thanks to someone looking down on matters.

The story about the girl's Santa letter and the San Diego man shows that it's never too late for redemption. And for two total strangers the "Joie" of Christmas is enduring.

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