Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Memory: Hospital stay for Christmas

Christmas is only (gasp!) NINE days away. I still have shopping to do, a menu to plan, and oh yeah, a baby that could come at any time. I'm not stressing all that stuff though, because all that is peanuts and of little consequence. After the scare we had last week (car accident - I'll write about it later) I am grateful for the health and safety of my family and everything else shadows in comparison to that.

I am also reminded of a Christmas 28 years ago. I was only six years old and can't remember much about it, but I do know my wee, 4-month old baby brother spent it in an incubator in a local hospital.
(This is my baby brother, Kasey, being held by our Grandma Carol. He must have been on the mend when this picture was taken because for the first couple of days he pretty much had to stay in the plastic bubble.)

Shortly before Christmas Kasey came down with a horrible cough that turned into full-blown pneumonia. It's scary enough in adults, but downright terrifying in infants and small children. Kasey's case must have been bad, because I remember my mom taking him to the local doctor, and then directly to the hospital. I remember my mom and dad talking in hushed and hurried voices, probably trying to hide their fears from their six- and three-year old daughters.

I think I only got to visit Kasey in the hospital once, on Christmas Eve. I was a little scared to see my baby brother enclosed in clear plastic, but cheered to see his little crib festively decorated for Christmas. My mom explained that some of the nurses and volunteers had gone through and put up ribbons and bows on all the baby's incubators and Santa Claus came through and gave gifts to all the kids spending Christmas in the hospital.

Kasey was released from the hospital a little after Christmas, his lungs fully recovered. As far as I know, his Christmastime hospitalization had no permanent effects on his health. It does, however, serve as an important reminder that when we're asking for gifts, or writing out our wish lists, we should never fail to be thankful for our healthy and safe families.
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