Christmas is a touchy time of year for many people, and most of all for those of us who have lost – or are losing – loved ones.
But the staff in the Special Care ward at the Seniors Village where Don now lives turned a potentially-blue Christmas into something amazing.
On Christmas Eve, which always has that soft air of expectancy, whether one awaits Santa, the Christ child, or just Christmas snow, the staff got all the residents into their pyjamas right after supper. They had invited all the families to come around 7 and many many of us did, bringing the children young or grown up, as well. When we got there, everyone was up, and whether in wheelchairs with a warm blanket tucked around, or sitting expectantly, in a quiet pleasant mood.
We ate delicious treats, drank hot chocolate or eggnog, and, with determination if not great skill, sang carols from the songbooks. Most of the residents too sang along to those old familiar, comforting favourites.
Then as the residents began to get sleepy, we were thanked for coming – as if the thanks weren’t all on the other side!
Each family caregiver was given a beautiful card and a rose. I wasn’t the only one choking back tears.
The card for me was addressed “To Babe – love Don” although someone on the staff had written it. Whoever did that though, knew that Don usually called me Babe. It recalled that story of a few years ago when he forgot my name for half a day, and we finally settled, in gales of laughter, on Babe.
The entire night was touched with a magic grace, and will be a Christmas Eve I will always remember.