Another Christmas in the hospital. I’m teetering on the edge between being thankful we’re here, none of the rest of it matters, and feeling sad and sorry that we’re missing out on so much. I’m trying hard to choose thankful, but it isn’t easy. I read about all the wonderful Christmas experiences our friends and family are having and I’m so happy for them. But I have to admit, there is a little pang of jealousy and a little sadness because we should be baking cookies, making gingerbread houses, doing last-minute shopping, wrapping gifts, watching Christmas movies with cocoa, driving through the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights, and looking forward to seeing James’ face on Christmas morning, too.

And just as a few tears fall, I’m reminded of how blessed we are to have James with us, and I gain perspective again. Our room in ICU sits very near one of the family conference rooms. We experienced some meetings in the family conference room when James was in the NICU, and I can tell you, no good news is delivered in that room. Good news is delivered bedside. These rooms are reserved for delivering news nobody wants to hear, news that will come with heartache and pain. I’m thankful that we have not had any meetings in the family conference room at Children’s. My heart aches for the families we’ve seen come and go from that room over the past few days. Their Christmases may never be the same again.

So I choose to be thankful that, although it wasn’t at home with cocoa and popcorn, my mom and I did get to watch It’s a Wonderful Life last night. I’m thankful that I can read Christmas stories to James ’til my heart’s content. I’m thankful that even though we can’t ride through the neighborhood to see Christmas lights, we have an almost perfect view of the beautiful Christmas Tree in the courtyard at Children’s. I’m thankful that James will be given a new little toy Christmas morning because so many people make generous donations to Children’s. I’m thankful that a dear friend searched all of Dallas on Saturday until she found the cutest little Christmas socks for James to wear. And I’m thankful that at times like these, we see love abound from family and friends.

Our Christmas will look a little different this year, but I have my sweet, precious little boy here with me, and I’m beyond thankful for that. Christmas day we will smile and laugh, and probably cry a little too, but he’s here, and that is the best gift of all. So I will continue to choose to be thankful. I’ll need to remind myself of this choice at times, especially through the day tomorrow. And although it isn’t the Christmas we imagined it would be, like my husband said, we’ll drink lemonade.

8 thoughts on “Lemonade

  1. And the best thing is that he has no concept of time (at this age) and you can have your Christmas at home when the time is right. Santa makes special trips when he has too! I hope you have a Merry Christmas. We will be thinking and praying for all of you.

    • You’re right Denise. We will definitely celebarate and enjoy some of our family traditions when we get home. Santa is sneaky like that! Merry Christmas! Thank you for thinking of James and saying prayers for him.

  2. Dear Allison, how brave you are to fight like a tiger for your little one. I hope he comes through this and will see the Christmas lights and eat his cookies when the time is right. Stay strong and give little James our love and good wishes from Bennington.

  3. You are an amazing person to be able to keep such a perspective on everything, Al! My heart aches for James, you, Andy, mom, Penny…you are all in our hearts and in our prayers! So many people from all over the country are praying for you all! I pray that good news and comfort are coming your way soon! Love you guys!

    • Thanks Dave. Not amazing at all, it all falls apart at times, but I try to keep reminding myself of how blessed we are. James is strong and I will do my best to be strong for him. Thank you for all the prayers for him. Love you guys!

  4. What an amazing perspective, Allison. You guys have definitely had a struggle on your hands, but it says a lot about you that you recognize how lucky you still are.

    I’m following along in my reader, and I can’t wait to hear about all of the wonderful things in store for James!

    • Thank you Lindsay! This entire journey with James is teaching us so much about what really matters. Helps us keep everything in perspective. I’ve learned that even on our most difficult days we have so much to be thankful for.

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