Friday, December 26, 2008

So, THIS is Christmas....

I spent Christmas Eve with my parents and my niece, Davina who is 7 years old. It was just the four of us because my brother and his wife spent Christmas Eve in the pediatrics unit of Mt. San Antonio hospital. My 5-year old nephew, David, had a serious asthma attack that day and was admitted to the hospital for a series of treatments and observation.

This might sound as if this was an awful Christmas, but not so. In fact, it was one of the best Christmas' I have spent with my family. The true spirit of Christmas, that of sacrifice, giving and thankfulness filled our home and lifted our spirits.

We spoke to my brother on the phone, and he told us that Davey was doing very well, was in no pain, but that he still needed further treatment the next day (Christmas day). He and his wife would be taking turns spending the night there.

I had a really lovely Christmas Eve getting to know my niece better. We watched Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, along with my mom and dad. How cool...this was the 1971 version with Gene favorite! I was 10 years old when I first saw it in the theater...great trip down memory lane for me. My mom, Davina and I also assembled and painted a set of really cute cardboard insect models as a gift for Davey. My dad got a kick out of how "into" the project my mom and I got.

My little niece surprised me with what a really good kid she is. She decided on her own to make her brother a "Get Well and Merry Christmas"card and she did just that. Wrote everything out herself. She never fussed about having to wait to open her presents from Santa which were at her house. We had a few things for her to open from us on Christmas morning, but she knew that she would be waiting to open the rest once they were all able to return home.

So Christmas day we headed off to the hospital to bring Christmas to Davey and spend the day with him and his mom and dad.

The pediatric nurses and doctors were wonderful. Sure, they are paid to be there, but they did so much more than the minimum. They worked to keep the environment cheerful, playful and full of Christmas while carrying out their duties...really great people. When we arrived Davey was excited, in fact, a little too excited..he needed to be reminded several times to relax as he was not quite ready to be released yet and needed to rest. I noticed he had a new huge bright red fire engine and a street cleaning truck on his bed. When I asked if Santa brought them I was told "no, they were from the people at the hospital". They provided gifts to all the sick children. How sweet.

Later that day we were all in the playroom and in comes a family who introduces themselves and as the "Smits". The Mom, dad and four kids came to bring some Christmas cheer to all the sick kids. They too were handing out toys. They even gave one to Davina although she was not a patient there. What great parents teaching their kids about giving at not only toys, but some of their day to bring happiness to less fortunate kids. (This makes me tear up even now).

I don't think I've ever spent a more meaningful Christmas with my family. Pulling together in a time of need, supporting and loving one another in a circumstance that could have made everyone very grumpy, ungrateful and depressed. For the record, my brother and his wife were amazing, they were tired and yet remained positive and worked beautifully together with no bickering. I'm not a parent, but I so respect and admire that job, especially when it's done well. I'll be there as "auntie" to help in any way I can.

Davey is back home and doing well, and we are thankful.

This is Christmas.


Trail Runner Con Dios said...

Goatie, I'm so glad you've started blogging. It's really nice getting to know your softer side. :)

You definitely got a good taste of the Christmas spirit. I'm glad Davey is okay, and just for the record, I still haven't seen it's a wonderful life. lol

[hmmm] said...

What a great Christmas. So happy to hear that your nephew is back home and doing better. I had many a nights in the hospital with my parents and can appreciate where this story is coming from.

It's so awesome to hear and read experiences like this one. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah S said...

crazy. It sounds like you have a great family... what a blessing!