City man hoping for flood of cards to brighten parents' Christmas

Nancy
Nancy MacPhee
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Mark Enman's parents Don and Bev, who suffer from dementia, are in long-term

SUMMERSIDE — It’s a miracle that Mark Enman hopes Islanders can help realize.

Mark Enman and his daughters hold pictures of Bev and Don during happier times. The family is hoping for a Christmas miracle and is hoping the public can help.

As a youngster, Christmas was huge in the Enman household, a time when his mother, Bev, loved to decorate, play Santa Claus at Prince County Hospital, write cards to loved ones near and far and display the cards she received in return.

Using tape, she would place the dozens of cards she’d received around doorframes and, often, string the cards along the walls of the family home.

“She loved Christmas, she really did. She started the tradition of getting the tree up early,” Mark said with a laugh. It’s a tradition he now continues.

And, as Bev, her husband Don and four children Mark, Dawn, Brian and Barry sat down in front of the television during the holidays, “Miracle on 34th Street” was always a favourite, particularly the courtroom scene where bags and bags of letters and cards were emptied, helping prove Santa’s identity.

“Christmas was always a special time of year in our household. It came from my mother. She really was the one that drove that Christmas spirit in the home,” said Mark. “It was a family thing. We weren’t the most religious family but we were a very close-knit family, so it was a time to enjoy each other’s company. I have nothing but fond memories of Christmases with my parents.”

But Christmas now for the Enmans is far different. Both Bev and Don suffer from dementia. Now, they are in long-term care, living in separate rooms on separate floors at Summerside’s Summerset Manor.

Recently, Mark took to social media with a plea to the public to help make a miracle happen this Christmas for the ailing couple by sending them Christmas cards.

Already, the response has been overwhelming, a miracle Mark said is quickly unfolding right before his eyes.

The Grade 4 teacher at Hunter River’s Central Queens Elementary School first discussed the idea just two weeks ago with his sister Dawn, who lives in Germany.

They were chatting about how their mother loved Christmas and the tough time the ailing couple is having.

The siblings simply wanted to bring a little joy back into their parents’ lives.

The news spread like wildfire on Facebook, with responses and support coming from not only Islanders but from across the country and the world.

Mark plans to open all the cards with his parents on Dec. 20. He hopes it sparks fond memories of Christmases past and brightens Bev and Don’s holidays.

Anyone wishing to participate can send a card to:

Don and Bev Enman, C/O Summerset Manor

15 Frank Mellish St.

Summerside, P.E.I.

C1N 0H3

 

nmacphee@journalpioneer.com

 

 

Organizations: Prince County Hospital, Central Queens Elementary School

Geographic location: Summerside, 34th Street, Hunter River Germany

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  • Jane
    December 20, 2013 - 23:03

    I think this is a wonderful idea and what a kind son for coming up with it. I hope this helps his parents remember the good times they had over the years at Christmas. My card has been sent and looking forward to hearing all about it ! Merry Christmas !