Thursday, November 28, 2013

Different is Okay, Even Good, Thanksgiving PCMC Style

Boy, this year's Thanksgiving is a far cry from last years, or any that I've known.  But different is okay.  Different can be good.

Last year, I knew it was the last time for a long, long time that we would have all our children under our roof for the holiday season.  I've had friends who thought that it was so sad.  Not me.  I've gotten to know many people over the past three years (and if you stop and think you know some, too) who had "lasts," birthdays, holidays, whatever, and had NO CLUE that it was the last.  Knowing made it easier to keep things in perspective, to focus on the important things, family, fun, spending time together.

Sunday morning, I woke at 2:30 a.m. to the Code alarm on the unit.  I sat there and prayed.  There were only five patients on the floor, and one was in trouble.  I tried and tried to hear the sounds that come creeping back when it resolves successfully.  I tried to rationalize that with it being the middle of the night, and so few patients, that maybe I just missed them.  But that wasn't the case.  I found out Sunday afternoon that it was a friend's baby.  Her beautiful, perfect soul escaped from her tattered body and went Home, leaving a huge gap in her family.  I ache, I ache so badly for them.

So today, we're still at the hospital.  But that can be good, too.  See, we still have Aaron.  And my priorities have been socked right back to where they should be.  Saturday evening, I was impatient, wanting Aaron to hurry up and get better so we could be home, slightly irritated that my schedule was being interrupted.  There was so much to do!

Sunday, I remembered that this is what I need to be doing.  And yeah, it's taking time to get him back to where he'll be safe at home.  But that's okay.  It's the look on his face during a rough IV poke, when he sees me that reminds me I'm choosing the best from the pile of good, better, best.  It's the change in his eyes when I take his hand from "I just can't do this, it's too much" to "There you are, Mom, okay, if you're there, it will be okay." I remember, oh too vividly, standing over his cradle three years ago, sobbing that I just wanted one Christmas, please, just one.  He wasn't doing well.  In fact, less than 24 hours later, they Lifeflighted him from our home.  And we got our Christmas, and two more have gone by since, and yet another approaches.  We are so, so blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
This year, Mary and David are serving the Lord, teaching people about His goodness and sharing the gospel.  William and the rest of the kids will have Thanksgiving breakfast with his mom.  Then they'll come to the hospital for a traditional dinner here.  The good people here provide a traditional dinner for the immediate families of those patients who are here.  Then they'll go home and have a "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" tonight.  And frankly, if giving thanks is what it's all about, my guess is they will be very thankful for that.  I mean, they're kids.  Toast, pretzel sticks, jelly beans, and ice cream sundaes on regular dishes are more up their alley than china and crystal goblets.  It sounds like a winner of a day all the way around.

George Washington declared Thanksgiving Day as "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God."  He didn't say anything about turkey or sweet potato casserole or pumpkin pie. It was a day for remembering blessings.  And blessed we are.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  
~Thornton Wilder

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