December 27, 2020
A 101-year-old World War II veteran, John Lister, was pleasantly surprised when thousands of people responded to his touching story of grief following his wife's death.
It seems that the wonderful spirit of Christmas has already picked up some speed. This year, many people have discovered what it means to be away from loved ones either through social distancing restrictions or by losing them to the pandemic.
Although everyone has had to deal with the pandemic one way or the other, it has been even harder for some people like World War II vet John Lister.
Lister, a 101-year-old WWII veteran, was left all alone after his 92-year-old wife of 70 years, Ella, passed after she caught and battled the novel coronavirus.
Wrought with grief and pain, Lister told ITV News all about his loneliness, grief, and isolation, as he fought to live life without his darling wife. Speaking to ITV, the grieving husband who resides in his Griston care home, said:
"It's being lonely. I mean, sometimes I'm in my room, and the only time I see anyone is when they bring my meals."
The remarkable story of love unshaken neither by time nor grief, sparked an unbelievable reaction of kindness and sympathy from several people. Just days after the sweet 101-year-old shared his story, hundreds of people responded to his touching words in the most precious way.
The Normandy veteran was elated after the care home where he resides was flooded with thousands of Christmas cards, presents, and notes, from people who heard his story.
He reportedly received over 7,000 Christmas cards. The letters came in from different places in the world —Brazil, the US, Canada, and Australia!
They all encouraged Lister telling him how much of an inspiring gentleman he is. According to ITV, one person made a promise to Lister — they promised to build a memorial bench for Ella.
Lister's favorite Norwich City Football Club also sent him a Canaries-inspired gift. A fellow football fan also sent Lister a yellow and green blanket — the club's colors. The World War II veteran and his carers were touched by the simple acts of kindness.
The spirit of the season will also show up on Christmas Eve in the UK. A woman named Mary Beggs-Reid started an online campaign on Facebook, asking people to bring a little magic, hope, and togetherness.
Hundreds of thousands of people reportedly signed up to take part in the event — they would all ring a bell or a saucepan for the last two minutes on Christmas Eve.
Whether it is people standing up for a man who stood up for them in the face of war many years ago, or it is people ringing bells in togetherness, one thing remains certain — humanity is alive, and it is beautiful!