The holiday season is a time of hope and love. We have all never needed those gifts more than we do right now. The challenges we’ve experienced in 2020, the compromises we’ve made, and all that we have lost will give way to the promise of a better tomorrow. Last week, we started to see glimpses of this promise, with the arrival of the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine in our hospital systems. Frontline workers were given their first doses of real hope in nine months.
As a community, we’ve been through a trying year. Some of us have lost loved ones, families and friends have been separated, and many of our neighbors have been in isolation. This virus succeeded in pushing us apart, but that did not stop us from pulling together when we needed each other most. Your commitment to leaving no one behind has provided great relief to those affected by COVID-19 in our community and in our hospital. Your generosity of spirit is alive and thriving this holiday season! Charitable donations, Christmas cards, and care packages to our nursing teams have brought joy and a sense of normalcy. Through their tears and unimaginable fatigue, our caregivers know you are there, and that great compassion is extended to our patients.
Judy Garland’s version has always reduced me to tears. The haunting melody starts out by asking for our hearts to be light, because next year, all our troubles will be out of sight. If we make the yuletide gay, now, then next year all our troubles will be miles away. It feels like the perfect bargain to ground us in the seasonal present. Despite a year of difficulty and sadness, there is the promise of what is to come.
The song goes on to painfully remind us of our faithful friends who were near to us at some point in time, will eventually be dear to us once more. One of the many sacrifices we’ve made this year has been enjoying the physical presence of our loved ones. The promise that someday soon we all will be together is a powerful message of hope. If only we are patient and dutiful in the present, we will be rewarded with the love and physical connection of our friends and family very soon. Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow, something I think we’re all experts at by now.
As hard as it is to experience this non-traditional holiday season, I believe that the wait will be worth it. When we can all be together again at an event or meeting, with friends in a pub, or with grandma at Easter dinner, we will do so knowing it is safe and normal again. Our gratitude will be deeper, and our hearts will truly be lighter.
On behalf of Ascension St. Michael's Hospital Foundation I wish you a Happy Christmas and I can’t wait to greet you in the new year! For your friendship, love and support in 2020, I thank you and wish you a peaceful holiday season filled with great promise of better days to come.
All my best,
Ascension St. Michael's Hospital Foundation