If you wonder if angels are real, just walk the corridors of any hospital or hospice facility at Christmas, and you’ll become a believer.
I am on my way today to spend some time at Seattle Children’s Hospital, a place where beautiful baldheaded children sing Christmas carols, and random miracles seem to happen almost every day. I am bringing gifts for the angels: the Doctors, nurses and caregivers who care for these brave little kids, and who fill the hospital corridors with spirit, hope and courage all year long.
No one goes through life without being touched by the angels. We all have caregiver memories and stories:
Someone soothed your father’s fears in Intensive Care, or held your daughter’s hand when she chipped her tooth.
Someone brought your baby into the world, or massaged your back,or saved your life.
Someone wheeled your mom outside the hospital for some sun, or fixed her broken stitch, or mended her broken heart.
Someone sat with your family, broke the news, and led a prayer. Or made you laugh when you thought you would cry; or gave you hope when you thought you would die.
I remember when my Dad was 96. It was December, and he had come home to spend his last Christmas with us. We all knew that he only had a few weeks to live, and he knew it too. But somehow his hospice nurses and caregivers made those final days at home feel so full, rich and spiritual for all of us. Because of them, some of our Christmas gifts that year were strength, courage, wisdom, faith, forgiveness, peace, joy, laughter and love.
Dr. Christiaan Barnard once said that for every famous surgeon who receives a Christmas card or a note of thanks, there are twenty nurses, anesthesiologists, lab technicians or hospice workers who should have received one but didn’t.
Is there still an unused Christmas or New Year’s card in your box? If you think for a moment, you’ll know exactly who to send it to. If possible, include a donation in their name to their hospital or medical specialty. Thank them for their touch, their strength, their smile, their caring heart.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, one and all.
- No one goes through life without being touched in some special way by a care-giver.
- Care-givers need love and care, too.
- Care-givers are the first to be called, but often the last to be remembered and appreciated.