• 64°

Sarah Stultz: Thanks to those who work on the holidays

Nose for News, By Sarah Stultz

Three out of the last four Christmases I have spent in the hospital in some fashion or another.

On Sunday, as we visited my mother-in-law, who is still in the intensive care unit at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, my mind shifted back to the first Christmas after our daughter, Sophie, died.

We were in St. Marys again with our son, Landon, who was being monitored after experiencing several seizures that week. Being such an emotional Christmas already, the hospital was the last place I wanted to be. At that time, particularly, the hospital brought feelings of worry, fear and sadness.

We felt fragile, wishing for some sense of normalcy to return to our lives. What was wrong with wanting to spend a quiet Christmas at home?

I will forever be thankful to those who went out of their way to make Christmas in that hospital as good as it could be. Whether it was through gifts, carols or a simple “Merry Christmas,” those people cheered up the sad and made us feel glad.

Though we will be back in the hospital visiting my mother-in-law on Christmas Day, I am looking at it from a different perspective this year because we will only be there as visitors, not patients. Having gone through what we have, and having come out on the other side, it has my mind spinning on if there is something we can do to spread that same cheer to others that was so willingly shared with us that Christmas four years ago — and not only for the patients and their families, but also the doctors and nurses who are taking time away from their families to take care of our loved ones on the holiday.

To take that a step further, what about anyone who has to leave behind their families to help the greater good on these holidays, such as law enforcement, firefighters EMTs or others?

As you are with your family this Christmas, don’t forget about those who, for our good, are leaving their loved ones this holiday to protect us and care for us. Let them know they are appreciated.

We never know when we will need them.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.