I want to share a VERY personal story, one that shares the spirit of Christmas. It’s a story about a Muslim mom helping a family at Christmas and a wish to reconnect with her.
We were unemployed right before Christmas, 2007, when the boys were little. Neither my husband nor I had a job. I remember we sold our car just to pay our mortgage and to try and keep a roof over our heads. It was a really tough time for us, mentally, because we love giving at Christmas, and we just weren’t going to be able to do it that year. I had even broken out in hives, worrying about what we were going to do for the boys at Christmas. Then, right before the kids were going to be let out for the winter holidays, I got a call from the school, asking if I could come and help out with a class. Of course, I would! Unfortunately, I felt uncomfortable with the hives, so I sent my dear husband. When he arrived at the school, he was overwhelmed! There were so many presents: clothes and toys for the boys, gift cards, a smoked turkey, and even wrapping paper and tape were given too.
It was a lovely Muslim mom, Nora, from the school, who had no reason to celebrate Christmas and who had initiated all of this for us. I think of her and her family every Christmas. Our hearts go out to her and to all of the kind people who were so generous at that time.
Mind you, when I last saw Nora in 2008, they had moved away to a nearby town. I was telling Kayla, my assistant, about this story, wanting to share the true meaning of Christmas and this cultural tie. Kayla suggested reaching out to Nora to see if we could get a picture or more information. I told Kayla I didn’t have Nora’s contact information, nor did I even know her last name, again since I had not seen her since 2008. But, I would try.
I called on a friend who might have remembered Nora’s last name, but she didn’t remember either. I, unfortunately, didn’t have a lot of time to find her right before Christmas. But, on Christmas Eve, I needed to go to the store. As I’m getting dog food, I turned around and saw a beautiful face I recognized. I went straight over to her and said, “Can I ask your name, please? Is it Nora?” She said, “Yes, it is. I recognized you, and I was going to come over and ask you your name.”
I kid you not, I was talking to Kayla just the day before about this story. And, since 2008, I hadn’t seen Nora until Christmas Eve of this year. While I am not a religious person, this is a God thing. It was one of the most beautiful gifts I could have ever received to reconnect with her and to thank her, again, for helping my family through a difficult time, in addition to helping us celebrate a religion that is not hers.
Now that you have heard this incredible story, I ask that you send a prayer, dua, or a special thought for my dear friend. She is so humble and had asked for her last name not to be shared, nor the beautiful selfie we took. Nora, if you’re reading this, your name speaks perfectly of you – “the divine light.” Thank you, my friend!