Christmas time can be a season of joy, peace and love. Of course, for many it also includes loneliness, grief and stress, especially when the loss of a loved one occurs. This was the case for 38-year-old Dakota Nelson, who unexpectedly lost his wife during the previous year after she collapsed from a massive heart attack.
“On July 11, we had been cleaning out the garage together and I left to put some tools in the shop 30 feet away while Ream swept the floor. I had been gone less than five minutes and saw her lying on her back with eyes wide open,” Nelson recalled. “My 3-year-old was standing over here talking as he thought she could hear him. I ran and cradled her in my arms and blew into her mouth thinking she choked on something. I then started CPR and my 8-year-old walked out and started screaming. I told him to leave and my 12-year-old walked into the garage and, seeing the situation, called 911. He then went down to the end of the street to wave down the ambulance.”
Despite Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center ICU’s best efforts, Nelson’s wife passed away two and half weeks later, surrounded by her seven children. Her body simply couldn’t recover from the massive damage done by the heart attack.
In addition to the emotional upheaval it most certainly caused, the loss of Nelson’s wife meant he now had to raise his seven children as a single father. This means working night and day just to make ends meet. Christmas presents were almost certainly out of the question. However, one Secret Santa took action after hearing the Nelson’s story.
CBN news reported that a Secret Santa gave the Nelson family $2,000 in gift cards and another $8,000 in a personal check. The generous individual wanted to remain anonymous and asked East Idaho News to give the cards and check to the family on their behalf. According to a report, the Nelson family were overwhelmed with emotion after the seeing the amount on the check and the generous gift cards.
Though Nelson couldn’t tell the individual thank you himself, he extended a letter to the Secret Santa via the East Idaho News.
“It is hard to write this as I am at a total loss of words,” he said. “There is no way for me to accurately convey how grateful we are for this kindness. As I was surprised with the gifts, I looked at my kids — who will remember this event forever as the best time they had in a hard time. Thank you for being an example to my family on how to look out for the needs of others. I have noticed through this ordeal, we have been blessed to see kindness replace the pain of losing a loved one who I had been married to for 17 years. My children have noted this and have stated that they want to do the same for others.”
He closed the letter by saying, “Thank you again for making Christmas special. Again, I just cannot convey how thankful we are. I know no one makes it through life without some sort of event that is strenuous to the soul, but I had not realized how much one can be happy even when the light is out and it is dark. Thank you for being the light.”
Throughout the course of the last four months, many people have rallied to continue helping the Nelson family. A GoFundMe account reportedly raised over $40,000. Of course, the family was undoubtedly facing hefty medical bills, along with the cost of the burial.
The Secret Santa along with all those who gave to the GoFundMe account benefiting the Nelsons have proven that good still exists in the world. Though the donations cannot do anything to bring back the loss of a beloved mother and wife, the financial help during the dark times enable them to see there is hope.
~ 1776 Christian