When I was four or five years old I had pneumonia over Christmas. I don’t remember a whole lot about the ordeal since I was so young, but what memories I do remember, they are vivid in my mind.
I remember I was admitted to the hospital a few days before Christmas and stayed several days after. I remember being way too excited that I got to pick out my Looney Toons hospital gown. I remember my brother writing a note to Santa so he knew where to take my presents. And I remember the special visitors who came by to bring a little holiday joy.
My grandmother came several times to the hospital but on one occasion in particular she brought a whole basket full of my toys from home. She sat with me in the hospital room and made sure I felt comfortable in such a foreign place.
Nearly two decades have passed since my last stay in a hospital, and for that I am very thankful. But that is not the case with everyone else in my family.
Tonight, on Christmas Eve, I found myself with my grandmother in the very same hospital that I was in twenty or so years ago. She isn't in the hospital for anything major but that doesn't lessen the fact that it is over a holiday. And though she is no stranger to hospitals, that doesn’t diminish me sitting with her. We sat and talked but I mostly listened to her because even being in a hospital bed doesn’t slow her down.
She shared memories of loved ones now gone and reminisced about Christmases passed. She also told me something that I will never forget: “Make memories because someday you’ll need them.”
It’s never a good idea to go against a grandmother’s advice.
Three years ago I started a tradition with myself to post a photo from wherever I am and with whomever I am with on Christmas Eve.
So it is fitting that this Christmas I share a photo of me and my grandmother. I love her so much and I am thankful for precious time spent with her, even in a hospital on Christmas Eve.
Ciao for now,