Alpharetta, Georgia—“Hi Sean, don’t ask me why, but I felt like writing you…
“Eight years ago, my sister and her best friend died in a drunk-driving accident. They were coming home from the University of Georgia.
“The guy who hit her went to prison, and this year, my mom has decided to start visiting him.
“For Christmas, she’s gonna eat lunch with the guy, since prisoners are allowed visitors on holidays. I’m telling you this because, she’s an incredible woman.
“She actually loves that man.”
Ray City, Georgia—“My husband, Jesse, was involved in a hit and run accident. He got thrown two hundred feet. The person left him lying in the median.
“One life-flight transport, eight leg wash-outs, two major artery losses, one muscle-harvest from his abdomen, and one skin-graft later, Jesse and I are still fighting…
“I’ve been given a real blessing. The blessing of being reminded what this Christmas season is about…
Panama City, Florida—“My daughter tried to take her own life, Monday morning. I have no words to describe that. She’s getting help now.
“I hope one day she’ll understand why she’s getting help, because I’d rather her hate me than lose the beauty that is her life.
“The most beautiful moment, was standing in the doorway of her bedroom last night, looking in on her and her little sister snuggled up, asleep.
“We had a lovely Christmas.”
Dothan, Alabama—“I have a son with Down’s syndrome. He knocked on doors for four years to raise enough money to build a Miracle Field for him to play ball.
“He hit pay dirt with the local Rotary Club. It’s beautiful. Life-changing for our special needs community. And their parents.”
Augusta, Georgia—“My dad gave cars away. He was a retired mechanic who bought stuff at auctions.
“Once, this lady wanted to buy one of his Craigslist cars. Dad found out she was a single mom and he flat-out gave her an Altima.
“Then he repaired her old car and gave THAT one to some other woman. He’s done this more times than I can count.
“This was my first Christmas without him. Sorry to bother you with this story, I just really needed to tell someone about my dad today.”
Let me say it plainly:
To anyone who’s taken the time to send me a personal tale this year—no matter who you are, where you’re from, or how bad you hurt—I want you to know something.
Hearing your story has been the most important thing I’ve ever been a part of. You haven’t “bothered” me.
You’ve changed my damn life.
And I love you.