people at door

Illustration by Wilson Ong

I was watching TV when my mother called to tell me that her brother—my 92-year-old uncle, Floyd—and his wife, Aunt Millie, were sick with the flu and had no food in their house. Neither was well enough to go to the store to get anything. Uncle Floyd and Aunt Millie had no other family nearby, so they had no one to help them.

My mother wondered if I could help. I am the only member of the Church in that part of my family, and I had been called on in situations before. The problem was that I lived in Utah, USA, and my aunt and uncle were in Hemet, California, USA.

I told my mom to give me a few minutes to think about what to do. I had a friend who lived near Hemet, so I called and asked if she knew anyone in Hemet. She told me about a lady she served with at the Redlands California Temple named Sister Dunn who was a Relief Society president there.

When Sister Dunn answered the phone, I began, “Hi, Sister Dunn. You don’t know me, but my name is Nancy Little, and I live in Utah. I’m a member of the Church, but my aunt and uncle who live in Hemet are not. They are ill and have no food in their house.” I told her where they lived, which was far from where she was, and explained that I just wanted to get information about a restaurant near them that might deliver food.

Instead, Sister Dunn insisted that she and her husband would take food to my aunt and uncle. They happened to have some homemade soup and bread, and her mother had just made cookies. I protested but she persisted.

A few hours later, Sister Dunn called and assured me that all was well. My mother called later to tell me what Uncle Floyd had said of their visit. He said, “Angels arrived at my home named Mr. and Mrs. Dunn. They came with armloads of food: fruits, vegetables, homemade soup, bread, and cookies. They were the best cookies I have ever eaten.” The Dunns visited with my uncle and helped with various needs, and then Brother Dunn carried my frail aunt Millie, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, from her bed to a chair in the kitchen so that Sister Dunn could feed her.

When Uncle Floyd called my mother to tell her about the visit, he wept. He said he had never met such kind and caring people. He told my mom that I was lucky to live in Utah and be surrounded by “all those Mormons.”

Four days after the visit, Uncle Floyd walked out to his mailbox and slipped and fell. He hit his head and died four days later. With the exception of a home-care nurse, Brother and Sister Dunn were the last people my uncle saw before he died.

I am grateful for the Christlike example of one of my Relief Society sisters who lived hundreds of miles away, someone I have still never met, and who helped my aunt and uncle.