Fifty-One Years, But Only Fifty Christmases.
As I was catching up on my Facebook feed, one of my nurse friends shared an update that made me tear up. You could feel the powerful emotions exchanged, the passion she has in nursing, even as she communicated her experiences and recalled them from earlier this week. She begins with a recollection of a mother and daughter coming to be tested for COVID-19, and her exchange with them.
“Earlier this week, I had a mother and daughter come in to get retested, after the mom tested positive a few weeks ago.
As I asked the mom if she’d had any symptoms, her eyes welled with tears as she told me she’d been married for 51 years, and that every single day, for 51 years, her husband woke up early to make coffee before she woke up.
One morning, she woke up, turned to him, and asked him why he hadn’t made coffee. He held up his cup, smiled, and asked, ‘Do you really think I’d miss a day, after all these years?’ and her heart sunk, because she realized she’d lost her sense of smell. They got up and got tested.
(Her daughter gently interrupted her, and told her mom that I didn’t have time for the whole story, as she gestured to the 3 hour line wrapping around an avenue block. I shook my head and said it was fine.)
They had both tested positive and went straight home. The next morning, the husband woke up coughing and he kept coughing, and coughing, and coughing until they called 911 that night.
The EMTs came, and as she cried, kissed her husband goodbye, and told him how much she loved him, he promised her that he’d be home for Christmas, and that they’d go get their tree as soon as he was.
She looked up and asked me if I’d gotten a tree. I told her that I hadn’t, that it was the first time I ever hadn’t, but I just didn’t have the energy or heart for it this year.
She nodded and told me that there weren’t any left anywhere, anyways. and that she knew, because she was still waiting for him to come home. I told her that I was so sorry, and that I hoped he would be soon. She shook her head, stood up to leave, and said, “51 years, but I guess only 50 Christmases. Anyway, thank you for being here, Sweetie”.
Yesterday, the daughter came back, carrying a paper-wrapped bouquet. She choked up as she handed it to me, and said, “My dad passed away last night. I know this isn’t a tree, but thank you. You took the time to make my mom feel heard. Thank you for that, and Merry Christmas”.
It was a bouquet of tree branches with a rose❣️.
Merry Christmas. Love your people hard while you still can, and remember that so many will never again get that chance.”
We want to thank the Original Author, Jen Lovallo, for allowing us to share her experiences with you.