CHRISTMAS WISH |
December 24, 2009
Name: RN Clara Hart
Posting date: 12/24/09
Stationed in: a civilian military hospital in the U.S.
Milblog: From Our Perspective
Who would swipe a Christmas tree from a wounded soldier? That was the question we were asking ourselves at work last week. The parents of one of our wounded had placed a small artificial tree in his room. Frequently the only lights to be seen were the glow from the heart monitor and the twinkling lights on the tree. This particular patient lies in a quiet slumber waiting for his brain to wake up and take notice of his surroundings. He has lain that way for weeks.
One morning we noticed the little tree was gone, and we began a feverish search. As the other nurses and I stomped around the unit muttering under our breath “Who in the hell would appropriate a Christmas tree from a wounded guy?” his mother sat quietly holding his hand. The next day his parents brought in another tree complete with lights, garland and ornaments. As we expressed our outrage and offered our apologies his mom said, “There is obviously someone who needed it more than we did.”
Last week the family was told "Santa" wanted their Christmas list. They were handed a blank form and given 24 hours to fill it out. Initially they refused to write anything on it so we jokingly threatened them, telling them if they didn’t we would and heaven knows what could end up on it then. They laughed, mentioning several things, but were unwilling to write them down, saying over and over, “We don’t need anything."
One of the other nurses finally took the paper and began to write. Gift certificates for restaurants (so they wouldn’t have to eat fast food all the time), gift certificates for Target and Wal-Mart (everyone needs toiletries), home cooked meals. It was a collaborative effort, and once we had the list started we left it with them so they could add more items.
The following day they handed it back to us. As they walked away we looked at their wish list. The very first thing on it left us looking at each other with aching hearts. They had written, “Prayers so our son wakes up on Christmas Day.”