I talked recently about my favorite Christmas, but that post got me thinking about my most special Christmas, which was in 2006.
That fall was a busy time. My brother left on a mission trip; I was planning my wedding to my college sweetheart and filling out graduate school applications. Then, in a six-week period, my father died, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my brother became injured and had to return home.
Needless to say, I wasn’t really excited about the holiday. Christmas had been Dad’s favorite time of year and it just wasn’t going to be the same without him. Mom started chemo while I was taking finals. My brother was undergoing heavy physical therapy. We also had our good friends (a mom and her 5 kids) move in with us for the month of December while they were between houses. I just wasn’t in the mood to celebrate and I didn’t see how the holidays this year were going to be anything other than something to get through.
I wasn’t counting on Team Regina.
When Mom was diagnosed, some of her best friends at church created a website called Team Regina to coordinate any help that she might need during her treatment. During the holiday and after, this small group snowballed into something amazing. Pretty soon not only was our entire congregation involved, but most of our small town as well!
One woman helped us decorate for Christmas, since none of us were able to lift the heavy boxes from the basement up to the first floor. Another woman came in January to help put everything away. During Mom’s second chemo session, a lady from town came and decorated our living room pink and left us each a pink present. Other families brought meals, provided rides, knitted hats, and offered massages for Mom’s tired muscles. Someone did the “12 Days of Christmas” for us, leaving a little gift by the front door each day.
I’m sure I am forgetting other acts of kindness, but you get the idea. These families, some whom were dear friends and others whom we did not even really know, were angels on Earth. Never has the true Spirit of the season been so manifest to me and I hope God has blessed them all richly for their acts of pure charity and love.