'I'm sat here wrapping a present that I bought for myself from my son, which I will open alone' - Mum's heartbreaking letter to Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy read out a letter this morning written by a mother - who was not named - who had bought a Christmas present for her disabled son.
“I’m a single parent, I’ve a son with learning difficulties. He would not know Christmas if Santa’s sleigh ran over him”, she said in her letter.
“When all I see is happy excited children, and the parents giving out about what they all want, all I think is ‘aren’t you lucky?’
“I always had great family Christmas so the tradition is well instilled in me.
“But will I tell you what I did yesterday? I had to look in the toddlers’ toy department for a noisy yoke that my 22-year-old son might like.”
“I’ve been doing this for 22 years. No computers, no games, no books. Just basically a rattle if it makes the right noise.”
In response to the woman’s heartbreaking letter, Ryan said this evening: "Every so often on the show, we are stopped in our tracks by a letter that gives us pause for thought.”
“The simple yet eloquent words of a listener in pain struck a chord with us and our listeners but the outpouring of kindness that followed was deeply heartening and I have no doubt that lady will have a happier Christmas as a result."
She said she buys herself a present from her son which she opens alone on Christmas Day.
“So I sat here and wrapped a present that I bought for myself from my son, which I will open on my own. Surprise. I even brought a present from my dog to my son.”
She said she wasn’t writing the letter to complain, but to make people aware how lucky they are.
“I’m not a poor mouth giving out. Sometimes, well a lot of the time, parents should be thankful for what they have.
“Don’t get into debt over Christmas, be thankful your child will talk to you. Feel lucky that you can enjoy that smile of Santa arriving on Christmas morning.
“I never had those things with my child. We struggle to get through this time of year but we do.
“It’s just a little but harder when you’re on your own. Christmas day is not really our day. But the pressure to have the Christmas day which is sold to us in the movies and the ads is too much pressure.”
RTE received a huge response to the letter, with listeners saying it put things in perspective around the festive season.
Independent.ie readers also showed a huge response to the letter.
Many readers even invited the woman to celebrate Christmas with their families.