Celebrating Thanksgiving In The Hospital

We celebrated our Canadian Thanksgiving from inside a hospital this year. It was probably the most meaningful Thanksgiving we have ever had.

When I was told that my husband would be stuck in a hospital until long past Thanksgiving this year, it saddened us as a family. Thanksgiving was always a big day for us. We would plan it well in advance, deciding who would host the meal and who would bring what. The day would be a real festive celebration, and the key figure in that celebration and the one who would enjoy it the most was always my husband.

As head of the family, Bruce always relished these family times. He was so proud of his family, and so thankful for every one of them including our two wonderful son-in-laws and all five grandchildren. He felt the disappointment keenly when any of his children couldn't be with him on this special day.

But it looked like this year he would miss it all: no sitting at the head of the table with his beautiful family all around him; no delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings prepared just the way he liked it with loving hands; no sitting in the middle of a room filled with happy song; and no reminiscing with the family about all the good things the Lord had done throughout the year. The prospect of his Thanksgiving this year looked gloomy.

But that is not what happened. His family loved him too much for that. None of us could have enjoyed the family meal knowing he was alone eating hospital food.

It was my daughter Susy who made the suggestion. “Why don't we see if there is a room in the hospital where we can bring the food and eat it all together right here?” It sounded fa- fetched, but I said I would check.  And that's how it came about that we wound up having our Thanksgiving in the hospital.

Everyone prepared their part of the meal at home, and then brought it and set it up while the nurse cleaned up Bruce. I brought him down when everything was ready. My husband ate a big meal that day, including a double portion of pumpkin pie.

After the meal we took him back to his room, and brought in the instruments. We sang and played around his bedside for a while and then we all gave a word of thanks for the Lord's blessings before we parted in prayer.

Although I hope it never has to happen again, I will always look back on this year's celebration as being the closest our family has ever come to really understanding the meaning of Thanksgiving. 

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