Here’s how their conversation transpired:
“Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!”
He looked up and said, “‘I am?’
I said, “Sure!’
I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down.
“They say I’m gonna die,” he told me. “How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?”
I said, “Can you do me a big favor?”
He said, “‘Sure!’
“When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.”
He said, “They will?”
I said, “Sure!”
He kinda sat up and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: “Santa, can you help me?”
I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him.
When everyone outside the room realized what happened, they immediately went in, with the mother screaming: ‘No, no, not yet!’
Schmitt-Matzen handed her son back and he left as fast as he could.
“I cried all the way home. I was crying so hard, I had a tough time seeing good enough to drive,” he said.