My Christmas Coat


When my husband, Mick, died suddenly, I was devastated. He had been a constant source of inspiration, goodness, and patience. I wondered how I could raise our five children without him.

Shauna was one of my visiting teachers at the time. Occasionally she and her husband, Jim, who was also my home teacher, would take me out to a movie or to the temple.

Fall came, and as the weather turned cold I pulled my coat out of the closet. It was about 15 years old and looked very worn. I was embarrassed to wear it on my outings with Shauna and Jim; the lining was torn, and each time Jim helped me put on the coat, my hand got caught in the lining.

As Christmas drew near, I began to feel lonely. This would be my first Christmas without Mick, and I missed him very much. I tried to act happy for the children’s sake, but it was difficult.

Just a few days before Christmas, Jim, Shauna, and their oldest daughter came to visit me. They handed me a beautifully wrapped package with a card attached. The card read: “To Cheryl. Love, Mick.” Tears began to stream down my face. Inside the box was the most beautiful coat I had ever seen. It fit perfectly. “We knew that if Mick were here, he would have bought it for you,” they said.

Whenever I wear my coat, someone always compliments me on how beautiful I look. I know it is because I am glowing—remembering the love of my home teacher, my visiting teacher, and my husband each time I put it on.

[illustration] Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh