Ryan Tubridy received a heartbreaking letter from the single mother of a disabled young man this morning, which he read out live on air.
The unnamed mum wrote into the RTE Radio One presenter to tell him of the difficulties she will experience this Christmas, which reminded us all to count our blessings.
Her letter began: “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 continued: “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.”
The woman pointed out that the purpose of her letter was not to complain about her circumstances, but to remind people to appreciate the little things in life.
“I’m not a poor mouth giving out. Sometimes, well a lot of the time, parents should be thankful for what they have,” she said.
“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.
She added: “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.”
Listeners responded in their droves on Twitter, with one tweeting, “#perspective keep it real this Christmas … For many it’s not the easiest or most wonderful time of the year..”