My son Doug completed his last class at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho, in December 1969. He gathered the few necessities he would need and packed them into his old van. He only had a few dollars in his wallet, but he was anxious to get home for Christmas near Vancouver, B.C.
As he neared eastern Washington state, he realized his gas tank was almost empty and his wallet was empty. He pulled over to the side of the road and turned off the engine. Several cars drove by. Then one stopped, backed up, and the driver rolled down his window. It was a fellow Doug had seen at school. He called out, "Do you have money for gas?" Doug answered, "No." He handed Doug a roll of bills which was enough for him to get home. I never found out the name of that young man, but to me he was a guardian angel to my son. The help he received on the highway that day was the watchful care of his Heavenly Father.
Doug has always been a kind, thoughtful person and at home he was able to get a few days work. With his wages, he went to a used book store and chose books for his dad, his two brothers, two sisters, and me. The books cost only pennies, but they were carefully chosen and their topics were of special interest to each of us.
On Christmas Eve day, the Christmas tree and the decorations were up, the turkey was thawing and all the gifts were wrapped. All that was needed were the perishables, and I shopped for them in the morning. We were ready for Christmas.
But by early afternoon, I was suddenly not feeling well. By 4 p.m., I had a raging temperature and my body was aching. I had the flu, and by evening we were all in bed with with it.
All except Doug!
On Christmas morning, he was the one who prepared some breakfast for us after we had dragged ourselves from our beds to open a few presents. While we slept the day away he cooked the turkey, prepared the vegetables and the dessert and served the dinner. He was our tower of strength.
Because of these experiences, I felt a gentle sweet spirit in our home that Christmas. One of generosity, tenderness, caring and love. The young man who helped on the highway had no idea what a blessing he was to our family and how far-reaching his kindness would extend.
This happened years ago, but it is one of the many highlights in my life and an evidence that Heavenly Father watches over and blesses us throughout our lives.
Edna Penn, Abbotsford 2nd Ward, Abbotsford British Columbia Stake.
Another in a series of "Christmas Moments."
Drawing by John Clark.