Snow globe gift for wife arrives four years after husband's death

Published on December 16, 2015

Elsie Turpel looks into the globe her husband Charlie ordered shortly before his death four years ago. The globe was just recently delivered.

©TC MEDIA/Lynn Curwin

Charlie Turpel ordered the globe just before he died but it wasn't delivered to his widow until this year

SHUBENACADIE N.S. – There’s no denying Charlie Turpel’s love for Christmas.

One year his wife Elsie mentioned she’d like to have a tree decorated with teddy bears. Charlie turned up with an assortment of tiny teddy bears to fit the order.

Through the years, the couple’s home twice sustained serious damage during storms, including when hurricane Juan blew through. Amid the destruction, many of Elsie’s globes and antique ornaments that had belonged to Charlie’s grandmother were destroyed. Her husband responded and she quickly had a new collection of tree trinkets.

So receiving a snow globe from Charlie one more to add to her collection was just what Elsie needed to lift her spirits this Christmas, though it came as quite a surprise.

Charlie died four years ago.

Elsie got a call from her husband’s former workplace, Dartmouth Metals, where their daughter, Anna Isenor, still works.

“She said, ‘We got a delivery today from Dad,’” said Elsie. “It was a big surprise but very appropriate because I was so down this year I didn’t know how I’d get through Christmas.”

Apparently, the globe Charlie ordered four years ago had been stored away by someone who felt it might be too upsetting for his family to receive so soon after his death. It was forgotten until recently.

“Charlie was so into Christmas he would have specialty gifts bought for Christmas by February or March,” said Elsie. “He loved to give. I never knew what he would come home with or when he’d bring flowers.”

She was 16 when they were married, Charlie was 22. A number of people told her she was too young.

“We had hardships but I wouldn’t change any of it,” she said. “Our struggles really and truly bonded us closer.”

The snow globes seemed to hold special significance for Charlie.

The scenes depicted in them likely reminded him of the outdoor activities they enjoyed together: camping, canoeing, horseback riding and making friends with wildlife. On their 25th anniversary he proposed to his wife again; they renewed their vows on horseback.

But this latest gift from Charlie goes beyond the joy a snow globe can bring. It holds a prominent place at the centre of Elsie’s dining room table but more important are the feelings it’s stirred in her this Christmas season.

“This gave me more Christmas spirit. I was feeling down and this changed things. It’s like he knew what I needed.”