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.