Angie’s special Christmas surprise

Duncan's Angie Bond hugs her son Bobby Bond, who she hasn't been together at Christmas with for five years alongside her best friend, Pam Wixom. Wixom was instrumental in making the Christmas surprise reunion a reality.
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Crouched waiting in a neatly wrapped recliner-chair-box-turned-Christmas-present, 20-year-old Bobby Bond waited for his mom to open her special Christmas surprise.

“Bobby had to hold her up because her legs went weak,” explained Duncan resident Roz Wilson of the moment her daughter Angie Bond saw it was her son Bobby in the box.

The mother and son hadn’t been together at Christmas for five years.

The 42-year-old mother of two from Duncan is terminally ill.

She was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease when she was 33. Huntington’s disease is a hereditary brain disorder that affects body movement, emotions, thinking, behaviour and perception of the world.

Folks with HD become less able to control movements, recall recent events, make decisions, and control emotions.

“I had no idea,” Angie said when asked about the Dec. 7 surprise. “Big change,” she added of her son who’s grown close to six feet in height.

Bobby currently lives in Mendota, Illinois. He moved there to be with his dad five years ago.

Bobby and his sister Ashley Bond — who lives in Duncan with her mom and grandma — were born in Holland but grew up in Mendota. That’s also where Angie became best friends with Pam Wixom.

Wixom was behind making the surprise Christmas visit a reality. And although her visit was short, Bobby is staying until Jan. 6.

“That’s true friendship,” Wilson said of Pam, noting she also dressed as St. Nick and was able to entice Angie to the big present waiting for her by the front door. “She really wanted Bobby to see his mom.”

For Wilson, who tears up every time she watches the video of the surprise, the toughest part was keeping it a secret from Angie.

“It was kind of spur of the moment, but we knew for a little while and it was hard to keep a secret.”

When Angie’s visitors arrived to the house Wilson kept her daughter busy at the computer playing solitaire.

“Pam snuck into my bedroom and got changed into Santa’s suit while the others got the present ready,” Wilson said. “It was just so nice of her and such a wonderful surprise for Angie with all of her family surrounding her.”

It was a special moment for Bobby, as well.

“I felt as if it wasn't really happening. It really didn't hit me until I was on the plane here, that I was really coming back to spend time with my family,” he said. “I’m really grateful that my mother’s friend, Pam Wixom, could make  all that happen for us.”

Wixom was happy with how the surprise worked.

“Angie and I have been good friends for many years.  She is a great mom, and I know her kids bring her so much joy,” she said. “I admire Angie for her courage and ability to always look on the bright side, no matter what she is going through.

“It was one of the most meaningful times I have played Santa. I was so glad to be able to be a part of this special moment.”

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