December tends to be a busy month for most of us, and this year was no except to the rule. It was a little too busy the first couple weeks, with a few too many appointments, some visiting, book club and society, and a few extra social events/parties, etc. I didn't take my camera to most things ... so you're in luck I won't get too long winded.
With the business of "the season" my mind often turns to thinking of those with chronic illnesses. Those who can't partake in the business because there health or that of a loved one won't allow them and especially those who are in the hospital. My mind often turns to those in the hospital throughout the year, not just at this time of year. It often crosses my mind that while I'm busy doing this or that, or enjoying and outting, holiday, beautiful day ... just going about life ... there are those stuck in the hospital where time stands still and the reality of what is going on outside stops. There are those who spends weeks there as the world keeps ticking like nothings wrong. When I spent long-term time in hospital with James I would go into "stand-still mode". I seemed to forget that time kept ticking and when we would finally arrive home again it would take me some time to realize that two weeks, six weeks, eight weeks ...etc had just passed and we were in a different season. If I look at my calendar now and count back six weeks I can't believe all that I've done in those past six week that would not have happened if we spent them in hospital ... the world outside stops when you are dealing a sickness. It didn't bother me then, I didn't care that I missed out on the things going on, I didn't care that it was suddenly the middle of summer when I still thought it was spring ... we just kept ticking and adjusting.
One thing I remember about our hospital stays was how it irritated me that during the month of December people suddenly feel this great desire to show their love and affection, to get into the "spirit of giving" ... and so the children at the hospital get showered DAILY with gifts as well as DAILY people coming in to entertain the kids, do crafts, put on shows, singing, along with more gifts, etc. We could have started a gift shop from all the items we received during our December stay. This is wonderful that people desire to do these things ... but are the kids who stay there in February or May or July any less sick or in need of attention?? We received items/gifts at other times of the year at the hospital but they were few and far inbetween and usually came from the nurses, staff, child life specialist as a reward or encouragement toy. There were shows and craft times throughout the year, but not near as much as in December and most certainly not daily. I cannot even begin to imagine what the place must be like the days before Christmas Day and Christmas Day itself.
I often think about those times now and can well imagine how busy the hospital is now ... but by the end of the week all will die down and go back to "normal". So for all of you out there who love to give/donate, or as a group want to take your time to do crafts, singing, shows, etc for the children ... think of them at the end of January, at the middle of March, at the beginning of May, during the summer ...etc. When a child is hospitalize long-term the days become very long, with the same drawn out routine each day ... the days in December are no longer then those during the rest of the year, a teddy or gift brightens a childs face any time of year.
So I think I got a bit sidetracked from what I intended to blog about ... just releasing some thought there :) Back the the not-so-regular scheduled program.
Just a couple pics of a couple December joys.
We got together one evening for a bake exhange. We each baked 5 dozen of an item and then we divided it up between all those who were partaking so that in the end we could each take home a variety of baking to enjoy.
The before goodies ... and the after variety to take home
Afterwards we did some chatting and singing of Christmas Carols ... and Laura took just a few pictures :)
On another evening we enjoyed our gift exchange with my side of the family. The kids have finally come to realize/accept/acknowledge that Santa is not really. They have been very doubtful the past year, but have been afraid to take the step to declare him false ... so we finally helped them out on their indecisiveness.
Matthew had great fun that night. At 10:30pm I finally decided to put him down to bed, even though he didnt' appear the least bit tired ... he was just having so much fun.
Marietta received a few items for her rabbit, Thumper. Some chewable toys that Thumper can crawl in and on. She was quite happy about this. As well she was thrilled to receive a collection/variety of items for making cards. Although Marietta says she likes to do crafts she does not spend very much time at home doing them. If she does get something out, or if I encourage them to get it out then she has a lot of fun, but never has the incentive on her own. The one thing she does do on her own often is make cards. She uses old cards to make new cards as well as gets ideas from other peoples cards. We had run out of old cards to use and so a collection of craft stuff, stickers, cards and envelopes, etc was very much what she needed.
Rebecca's favourite present. Rebecca has been begging for a pet for some time and has finally decided she wanted a fish. After seeing how much work it took Marietta to feed, clean, and train Thumper Rebecca decided to stick to an easier to maintain type of pet. Since Marietta had to wait until she was eight to get a pet we told Rebecca she could not have a fish(s) until her 7th birthday, but that she could request fish stuff from Santa if she was sure that's what she wanted. She was very thrilled with this present, especially since it wasn't just a large fish bowl but an actual small fish tank/aquarium. She keeps begging to get her fish but we keep reminding her that her birthday is still three months away.