• by Natalie Alexander

I Couldn't Be Bothered With Christmas Until I Met Adem's Mum


I can’t be bothered to put up any Chrissy decorations. They sit in a dusty box in the shed. Apart from the hassle, I’m just not interested. It’s hot, there’s limited space, hubby's indifferent and visitors are rare. I could go on…

Trying to hang those annoying Christmas lights only ends in disappointment with tangled cords and blown bulbs. The wind keeps blowing my Christmas cards (2 in count) off the kitchen shelf and I’ve left it too late to write my own.

Christmas should make me sparkle and shine but it doesn’t! It's the pressure that turns me away, along with the commercial focus on consuming. Separation, clashing in-laws and fractured families make Christmas difficult.

Recently, I surprised myself by joining a Secret Santa gift exchange at a Christmas party. To prepare, I trundled to the shops, to purchase a frivolous gift for $20. I bought a blue tooth shower speaker, silly enough to warrant naked singing in the shower. I needed to wrap the gift but had no interest in doing that myself. So I walked out of the shop with my Secret Santa gift and came across a charity gift-wrapping stall.

A beautiful lady served me, and she wrapped the gift meticulously. She told me about her charity store that was established to support the legacy of her son Adem.

At age 17 years, while suffering an aggressive form of leukemia, Adem started a charity called "Team Adem." He desired to make a difference to others, by using his illness and experiences to help those going through the same. Sadly Adem lost his battle to his illness at a young age (Team Adem Crosby).

“Team Adem” continues to raise money to assist patients with cancer. As Adem’s mother shared her story, I broke. My tears fell hard. The legacy of Adem had touched my own family. You see my dad has been receiving treatment by the same clinic Team Adem supports. Dad has received the utmost care. This care is visible by positive staff attitudes, high tech infrastructure, the kindness of volunteers and skill in the treating teams. It’s this kind of care that has given my own dad the all clear from cancer.

Adem's mum handed me back my attractively wrapped gift and wished me a Merry Christmas. As I gratefully held the gift, the spirit of Christmas filled my heart. I was touched how this mother was volunteering with such grace and love, despite her profound loss. I was touched by Adem’s legacy that enabled me to spend another Christmas with my father.

Christmas is the message of hope and love. This starts with our hearts and follows with our actions.

I think I’ll take a walk down to my shed…

To aid Team Adem in their commitment to support people affected by cancer and their families, please consider giving blood or visit https://www.teamadem.com.au/donate/ to make a financial contribution.

Natalie is passionate about human rights issues, matters of the mind and interfaith insights. When not in deep thought, Natalie loves to travel, drink good coffee and keep fit where she resides on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.

See all previous articles by Natalie Alexander

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