Merry Christmas 2018

  I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and that you made some great memories with family and friends. For this week’s story, I want to tell you about an event that had an enormous impact on me.
It all started with the Thanksgiving dinners we provided for some cancer patients and their families. We put a Foundation business card in each dinner. Most of the patients came in to pick up their dinner, but some of them were not able to come in, so Lisa and a few of the staff members delivered them. One of the patients contacted me and thanked me for putting together the dinner and delivering it to her. “I can’t believe someone would do that for me,” she said. I told her we were glad to do it, and I would make sure we got her a dinner for Christmas also.

   About a week later, I asked Lisa if I could bring in some debit gift cards and give to the patients that were having treatment that day. Lisa told me that would be great, and told me to come over. I arrived with the gift cards, and Lisa took me back to the treatment area. “Thank you for all you do for our patients,” Lisa told me. She has always been so supportive and I appreciate all she does. I thanked her for letting me hand them out, so I started passing them out and saying “Merry Christmas from the Shannon Wilker Foundation.” I handed a card to one lady, and when I said “Merry Christmas from the Shannon Wilker Foundation,” she identified herself as the lady that called and thanked me for the Thanksgiving dinner. We had a nice visit, and I told her we were still going to make sure we brought her a dinner for Christmas.

   Last Thursday, she called to thank me for the gift card TCI had given her. “This will help me buy Christmas dinner,” she said. I told her the gift card they gave her was meant to help her with other expenses, and that we were still planning on bringing her a Christmas dinner. Then, with sadness in her voice, she said “I don’t know if you knew or not, but I lost my husband on December 7th.” My heart sank. “I’m so sorry to hear that,” I told her trying to be as comforting as I could while still processing what she had just told me. She told me she found him collapsed in the living room on the day after Thanksgiving. She told me about their experiences in the hospital and the ICU. I was overcome with emotion as I could hear the sadness and loss in her voice. I asked her if there was anything I could do. This is where I was taken back a little with her request. “Would you be willing to come with me to the funeral home when I say goodbye to him? I just don’t want to have to do that alone. If not, I understand,” she said. I immediately had a feeling of warmth and purpose come over me and said “It would be an honor to be there.” She explained how he was going to be cremated and she wanted to say goodbye, and she needed to leave a note from his nephew on his chest. “If you could be there with me, it might not be as hard,” she said. “I would love to, and I want you to know it’s a privilege and honor that you would allow me to be part of this,” I told her.

   When I picked her up, I found out we were going to the same funeral home that took care of Shannon. I won’t go into detail about that day other than to say it was very personal and emotional for both of us. I will say I admire just how strong she is, and how heartwarming it was to hear how much they loved each other.

   I am so grateful she allowed me to be there with her to say goodbye. It reminded me about the birth of our Savior and the true meaning of Christmas. It reminded me of the Plan of Salvation he has for all of us. It helps me appreciate all the love and support I have in my life. It helps me appreciate the strength and guidance of my Angel Shannon. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart. I will keep this memory with me always.

   I hope you all have a very safe and Happy New Year.