Secret Santa received a very special request a few days ago from a woman writing about her father. Here’s what it said:
My name is Nena Diaz and I am nominating my dad, Antonio Diaz, for a Secret Santa surprise. My dad has been the most caring, giving, compassionate and the hardest worker I will be ever meet. My mom and dad have been married for nearly 39 years. Three years ago, my mom was diagnosed with severe dementia. It truly seems like it happened overnight. Oct. 25, 2016 I had a brain tumor surgery from which I almost don’t make it. I remember waking up from the anesthesia and my mom fiercely trying to unplug all the cables, needles, respirator and all the other medical equipment I was plugged in to. On the other end, I could see my dad doing his best to stop her. Since then, my mom was never the same. Jan. 3, 2017 we received the terrible news of my mom’s diagnosis. It wasn’t only dementia, but it was severe dementia. My dad’s life shattered right there! This was his partner of 36 years of life that had just been diagnosed with an incurable and rapidly progressing disease. Their plans vanished in a matter of minutes. We have been losing my mom over the past three years incredibly quickly. Her memory, speech, comprehension, and her life was forever erased.
Mom does not know who we are anymore. But we know who she is, and we love her dearly! My dad has been a very honest and hardworking man. His shifts used to start at 5:30 a.m., ending at around 10 p.m., seven days a week. No Holidays, no weekends. He saved enough money to buy the house where mom and he live. All of his and my mom’s savings have gone toward paying mom’s medical needs, which have been incredibly expensive. Neither one had insurance as this is not a benefit a person working in the farm can enjoy.
My dad drives an older truck that his boss lets him use during farming season. He owns a car, but I think he needs a more reliable vehicle for winter months. His dream has always been to own a Ford F-150, but his dream was cut with mom’s illnesses. He can only work a few hours in the morning while mom is asleep. The money he makes is not enough to even think on the possibility of a truck. He put aside, forever, his own life and the things he enjoyed doing the most, to take care of mom. She is his number one priority. He cleans, cooks, does laundry, feeds, baths and gives my mom her meds, takes care of all the physical, uncontrollable implications that come with severe dementia, and still manages to put a few hours of work.
His boss of over 43 years has been very understanding of my mom’s situation and is very accommodating with his schedule. You will never hear my dad complain about his situation. He says that even on your worst days, you can still be a blessing in other people’s lives. My brother and I are always with him and mom and drive them to mom’s medical appointments, hospital stays, or any other medical-related events. Doctors and nurses often look surprised to see the whole family there with mom and say they don’t see this unity and love often.
We are a very close family and if I could change a thing, it would be for my dad to fulfill his dream of a new truck! Thank you, Santa for reading my wish. My parents used to tell my brother and I when we were little that “if you look up at the sky at night and see three stars aligned together, make a wish. Santa is listening!” I’ve seen the stars last night and it is with a heart full of faith that I send my wish to you.
Secret Santa was touched by this letter and sent the East Idaho News elves to Antonio’s house with a special surprise. Watch the video above to see what happened!