Small Thanks, Big Change: Gratitude from a Hospital Room
An idea started peculating in my brain on Christmas morning. Michael was in the hospital but doing well, and I had taken the boys to visit. We stopped in the cafeteria first, everyone hungry after an early morning of finding what Santa left under the tree. I was very thankful for the hot food and warm smiles of the staff. I didn't hear one bit of grumbling about being there on Christmas morning.
I was also trying not to grumble- my boys were happy, and my husband was on the mend, but it wasn't where I wanted to be. It probably wasn't where they wanted to be either- but thinking on it more, I'd bet that at least a few of them volunteered so those with young kids could be home.
As I let the boys pick their food, including a request from Drew to see if they could put chocolate chips in the pancakes (and yes, they found some), I wanted to tell them thank you for being there and being open, for serving hot food, and for doing it with smiles. (I know it was a management decision to be open with full menu for staff and patient families, but you never would have known it wasn't their choice.) I wanted to tell them that on a morning like that, it meant the world to have my boys smile over the buffet of choices, and the time saved from cooking to instead be with Michael.
But I don't do that. I save words for things I think, not things I feel. Sometimes I put them here- but that's pushing it. To be vulnerable enough to tell someone how much their simple actions meant? Hmmm.... well, it was Christmas morning, a morning for miracles. So as we paid, I looked the cashier in the eye and told her that though I knew she'd rather be somewhere else, it meant a lot to people like us, and thanked her for the cheery attitudes. She did seem a bit uncomfortable, but sometimes that's a good thing.