N.S. woman receives husband's final Christmas gift, 4 years after his death

A Nova Scotia woman has received her husband's final Christmas present, four years after his sudden death.

And, she says, the gift came right when she needed it most.

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Elsie Turpel says her husband, Charlie, used to love the holiday season.

Speaking from her snow-globe-filled Nova Scotia home, Turpel said her husband used to buy all his presents months in advance, and he was fond of giving festive ornaments to decorate the family home.

Following his death, Christmastime became difficult, she said.

"It was really rough this year," Turpel told CTV Atlantic.

But then, Turpel received a surprising present from her late husband.

"It was just like he was giving me a shove saying 'OK, smarten up. You have to do this,' " she said.

Turpel's daughter, Anna Isenor, says it was a co-worker who finally delivered the Christmas gift.

Isenor followed her father's footsteps and took a job at his former work place, Dartmouth Metals.

It was there that a colleague approached her and handed her a snow globe from her father.

"He said 'This was supposed to be for your mother from your father the year that your father passed away,' " Isenor said. "He said, 'Can you give it to your mother for me?'"

According to Isenor, her father's co-workers didn't want to give the ornament to the family right after his death, because they were worried it would upset them.

Instead, they held onto the snow globe until this year.

When Turpel found out about the gift, she was stunned.

"(My daughter) said 'I've got a delivery here from Dad,' and I said, 'What'd you say?'" Turpel said. "Nothing was sinking in."

Isenor said the snow globe inspired her mother to decorate the home for the holidays, just like she used to when her husband was alive.

"She was all excited, and got up at 4 a.m. to put up the Christmas tree," Isenor said.

Turpel strung up the teddy bear ornaments her husband bought one year, and propped up the Santa figurines and other snow globes he'd given her and the children.

And she placed the newest ornament, his final gift, in the centre of her dining room table.

Now, the family plans to continue Charlie Turpel's tradition of giving holiday decorations to each other every year.

Isenor says she has so many decorations at her house that they don't all fit on the tree.

And Turpel says she plans to give an ornament to each of her seven grandchildren this year, in memory of their late-grandfather.

With files from CTV Atlantic


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