After receiving a letter from a stranger after his mother’s death, a man from Illinois finally learned the truth about an annual secret his mother had kept from the family. He later called the letter “the best gift” that he had ever received from anyone.
John Dorroh remembers the first night his mother mysteriously disappeared for a few hours on Christmas Eve vividly.
She grabbed her car keys and announced that she’d be back in just a few hours and that she needed to run a few errands.
Even though he was young, Dorroh was confused because his mother was the kind of person who was finished with Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving; he just couldn’t think of what other errands she would need to run on such a busy day.
Once she returned, she never explained where she had gone and Dorroh didn’t feel like pressing.
“Maybe she had gone out to get that telescope that I wanted,” he thought before dismissing his curiosity.
Every Christmas Eve for the rest of her life, Dorroh’s mother quietly slipped away for a few hours never explaining the nature of the errands that needed to be run.
What he didn’t know is that his mother had been sharing the Christmas spirit with a family who needed it the most.
Following her death in 1990, Dorroh received a letter from a man he never met named Robert who knew exactly where “Miss Sue” had spent those unexplained hours each year, the Sun Herald reported.
His letter began, “Dear Johnny, I just wanted you to know how much my family and I appreciate what your mother has done for us for all of these years.
“Every year on Christmas Eve day your mom comes to my house dress like Mrs. Claus and gives my kids a Christmas that we can’t afford to give them. She has given them shoes, shirts, jeans, toys, and candy.
“I know your heart is heavy and that you are missing Miss Sue. We do, too. We loved her and just wanted you to know what she has done for us. Love, Robert and Nellie and the kids”
Dorroh was extremely grateful for Robert’s kind words about his mother and that he shared how much of an impact she left on Robert and his family.
He said, “That short note was the best gift that I ever received from anyone, better even than that sill old telescope.”
He submitted the sweet story to the company who publishes the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” collections; it was chosen to be featured in a special Christmas edition titled “The Joy of Christmas,” which was published in 2016.
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