We call it the most wonderful time of the year. The enchantment of twinkling lights and decorations, mouthwatering meals and delectable treats, children filled with excitement as they awaken Christmas morning to presents under the tree as families and friends gather together to share cherished moments.
But the happiest time of the year can just as easily become a season of anguish and heartache. The dread of Christmas Day arriving without gifts, without a special meal, and the absence of loved ones who are now part of Christmas memories past can be overwhelming to bear. Putting up the tree is too painful a task. Can Christmas be cancelled? Can we sneak by treating it as any other day?
Most anyone would agree that this season cannot pass by unacknowledged. Even during the most difficult year and trying circumstances, some semblance of joy and festivity must be mustered. We owe it to our families. We owe it to the miracle that Christmas represents.
Brandy Webb, a Grapevine native and client of GRACE, found herself seemingly trapped in this exact situation. “We as a family unit have struggled beyond words this past year with the passing of 2 very dear leaders of our family and huge strains on our financial status. There were many days where some of us found it hard to keep going, but we did.”
2018 brought the Leone Webb family what felt like unending struggle. Brandy’s family moved back to her hometown of Grapevine to assist with ill family members only to encounter a steep road of challenges ahead. Her grandfather’s health required that he be placed in a senior living care facility. Their two bedroom apartment became home to Brandy, her husband, their daughter and her two children, and their nine year old son who faces his own daily difficulties with Asperger Syndrome and ADHD.
The family vehicle gave out, and Brandy’s husband was forced to ride a bicycle to work until they were able to purchase a vehicle that has required more expense to maintain than the amount it initially cost. Not to mention her husband works nonstop.
Then June brought the passing of her dear grandfather followed shortly in August with the loss of her aunt to pancreatic cancer. Brandy found herself unable to work due to the immense wave of grief causing severe anxiety and depression. Circumstances made it impossible to afford diapers, bills, even food for their family.
A friend suggested that she reach out to GRACE for assistance, but she felt unable and overwhelmed to ask for help, much less speak with anyone about the family’s discouraging situation. Yet she conceded, and found from the very moment she stepped in our door and was greeted by Vicki, our Intake Coordinator, she was met with nothing but love, care and generosity.
Brandy tells of becoming overwhelmed with gratitude instead of the shame she feared, crying on many supportive shoulders, and feeling comfort through the kindness and prayers she received. From Vicki’s beaming smile at the front door to our compassionate casewokers to every other passionate member of our staff, and each and every donor and volunteer who contribute their time and resources which keep the GRACE mission thriving, the Leone Webb family is thankful from the bottom of their hearts.
“We would not have had a Thanksgiving or a Christmas this year if it were not for GRACE,” she explains. Seeing her son, grandchildren, and daughter’s smiles as they awoke Christmas morning to wrapped presents and the many other blessings provided confirmed there is joy to be found amidst the deepest struggles. She is so very grateful for GRACE and, in particular, GRACEful Buys for making it possible to create a home for their family.
“GRACEful Buys is a godsend. We didn’t have anything, and they helped and changed everything. GRACE has been a life saver for our family this past year. So thank you to each and everyone of you. And also I must not forget all the amazing people that donate to this incredible organization. GRACE makes a difference in the lives of their clients. I know because I am a client. Thank you to every last soul that has made Christmas possible for our family.”
We would like to thank you, Brandy, for entrusting GRACE and sharing your story which will provide hope and encouragement for so many others.
Brandy Webb made a promise to her late aunt to adorn her Christmas tree with purple each year until a cure for pancreatic cancer is found. The beautiful family tree is pictured above surrounded by gifts made possible by the GRACE Christmas Cottage.