A mother shuffles down the same hospital hall she has walked 100 times before. Her legs are so tired she can barely lift them to walk normally. She braves a smile when passing the nameless faces she recognizes but doesn’t have the energy to greet with conversation. Before “that day” a month ago , she relished the opportunity to talk to a stranger. She enjoyed getting to know a person’s story. Now the only story that runs through her mind is the memory of “that day’ when her child became ill, the sound of the ambulance siren, and the concerned faces of the emergency room nurses as they tirelessly worked to save her child’s life. In fact, nothing is like it was before “that day.” She lives in a world of IV starts, beeping monitors, tubes, and endless conversations with nurses, doctors, and specialists.
The mother enters her child’s room to see her husband sitting in the chair beside the bed staring at the frail little person in front of him as if waiting for a sign, any sign that will give them hope. Her husband who before “that day” was quick with a smile and a joke, now with tears in his eyes, folds his hands in prayer and begs for a miracle. The mother thinks about last year at this time. The last minute shopping trips to the store, getting upset at her husband for watching the football game instead of helping, her obsessive need to have everything look perfect, and even the argument she had with her sister about how long to cook the turkey. All those things seem so unimportant now. Her heart is broken. Her child is lying in a hospital bed and there isn’t anything she can do about it. All that really matters is seeing her child’s smile again.
The parents sit together in quiet conversation, hand in hand, both silently wishing they didn’t have to be there but knowing there isn’t anywhere else they want to be. As they watch their sleeping child, their hearts fill with gratitude. They are thankful for the beeping of the monitors that indicate life. They are thankful for the love of family who have cried with them, prayed with them, and encouraged them to not give up hope. They are thankful for the nurses’ and doctors’ knowledge and dedication. They are thankful for God’s strength which they rely on to make it through everyday. The thankfulness they feel this year at Thanksgiving is more heartfelt than ever before because this year they are thankful for what really matters.
This Thanksgiving celebrate life and love for it is all that really matters