Rebecca McCormick found herself doubting if life would ever be worth living again. Just one month ago she had been a very contented housewife and mother. She had kept busy with her home, her hobbies, helping around the farm, and her community activities. At thirty, she had been so happy. When her children both entered school and her friends encouraged her to work like they were, she chose to stay home and continue life as it had been for the past eleven years.
Her husband, Mike, farmed with his father, and they both enjoyed the quiet life they shared. He was kind, patient, always gentle, and loving. Carrie and Andy, their children, were two years apart in age and great friends. Carrie, a quiet child who loved to read and enjoyed music, was the oldest. Andy was very active and extremely curious about everything in his world. Both did well in school and were well liked.
Around four-thirty, Mike and the kids had gone into town for a video movie. Their little ones were chatting excitedly about which film to choose.
This is how Rebecca would always remember them. They were gone now, all of them, and only she was left to go on.
With Christmas only a week away, Rebecca was miserable. Then, a letter came from Mike's Aunt Edna in Minnesota. Mike had mentioned her a few times during their marriage but she had never met Edna. In the letter, Edna invited Rebecca to visit, "knowing this first Christmas would be a difficult time for her." She called the phone number on the letter to accept the invitation.
In spite of her apprehension, Rebecca was sure this trip was what she needed to help her through the holidays and give her a chance to start rebuilding her life.