Losing a loved one is a devastating blow, especially when that loved one dies tragically and unexpectedly.
For one young woman in Alabama, losing her husband turned her life upside down in more ways than one.
How One Woman Unexpectedly Lost Her Husband
Kevin Carter Ryan and his wife Maria were young parents to their son Ethan, and were working together to build the life of their dreams.
Kevin was in an undergraduate program studying Biomedical Science, with plans to pursue a medical degree. Maria was taking care of their baby, but planned to continue her own studies, starting with a nursing degree. However, fate had its own twisted plans.
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Kevin was tragically killed in a car accident leaving Maria and Ethan alone, struggling to keep their heads above water. Maria moved back to Idaho to live with her mom, heartbroken but determined to build a good life alone and make Ethan proud.
Maria and Ethan moved in with Maria’s mother in Idaho, and Maria started driving Uber and going to nursing school. She didn’t even have her own car, but her mother generously lent her car to her daughter when she needed it.
It was hard, but Maria was making her new life work. Luckily, she was about to get some extra help from a surprising source.
How One “Secret Santa” Came to the Rescue
Idaho is home to a generous millionaire who goes by the name “Secret Santa.” They keep their identity a secret, but donate one million dollars in gifts every year to locals who are struggling to make ends meet or who have had a particularly hard year.
Every year, the team from East Idaho News helps Secret Santa track down the recipients and present them with their gifts. When Secret Santa found out about Maria and Ethan, it was decided — they would be getting some life-changing presents this year.
The East Idaho News team rolled up to Maria’s home and rang the doorbell. When Maria’s mother answered the door, she excitedly beckoned for her daughter to come see what was happening — a Christmas miracle!
How an Anonymous Person Gave a Woman the Gift of Hope
The East Idaho News team presented Maria with her first round of gifts: a collection of grocery gift cards, gas gift cards, and cash. In total, the cards and cash combined amounted to six thousand dollars. This alone was a life-changing sum for Maria’s small family.
Then, the news team presented her with the most amazing gift of all: a brand new car! The car would allow her to have reliable transportation all the time, and would help her earn more money driving Uber.
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The young widow broke down with gratitude. Nothing would ever bring her husband back, but these gifts made the transition to her new life a little smoother.
Maria is carrying on Kevin’s legacy and giving her son a good life, despite its rocky beginnings. Luckily, her community rallied around her and offered her the support she needed to thrive under the circumstances.
We can’t all be like Secret Santa, giving millions away each year to help those in need, but we can do our part by giving what we can. The most important thing is to give the gift of hope to those around us, and to offer our support to those who need it most.