“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” – Harry Dixon Loes
When we were living in Ohio before moving back to California, my husband, daughter and I used to enjoy the Smith’s family Christmas light display. We never met the Smith’s but each time when we would turn on the street leading into and out of our neighborhood; there would be the Smith’s family house with all the lighted trees in the front yard. It never failed to move me when we would be driving past, it was so simple and yet so lovely. The Smiths had lots of trees in their front yard and somehow would drape Christmas lights over tree branches of various sizes and create this beautiful display of Christmas trees.
Of course I started asking my husband to make beautiful Christmas trees like the Smiths in our own yard, we had lots of trees too. It never happened during our years in Ohio. While we had other decorations and lights, we had no Christmas trees made out of lights. Then we moved to California and no longer had trees in our yard for him drape lights on. This past year I was reminiscing with him; ok, trying to make him feel guilty for never draping our trees with lights when we had trees, and I saw a look in his eyes that told me that somehow I was going to have lighted Christmas trees in our front yard.
I have to give my husband credit, when he decides to do something, he gets in this mad scientist trance and it remains until he has the thing figured out. I have seen him construct a pulley lift system for moving things up and down from a two story high attic that had the precision of clockwork so I was curious but not doubtful. Well, when he told me he was leaving for Home Depot I knew he had arrived at his solution.
That night, I had my Smith Christmas trees in my front yard and just as it was when I saw them in Ohio, I was incredibly moved. The three of us looked at the trees from across the street and then up close in the yard, but my favorite way of looking at them was through the white sheers in our living room because it added a winter wonderland effect. I was so thrilled with the result that I told my husband that I have to write the Smith family to tell them about it.
When looking on line for the Smiths address, I saw an obituary of Mrs. Smith from just a couple of months earlier. I read with tears in my eyes when I saw that her husband had preceded her by a few months; they were married sixty years. I went to find my husband and said how strange it was that this year was the year we finally had the lighted trees in our front yard. I ended up writing the Smith family a note letting them know how much their parents Christmas display meant to us and that their parents are still lighting up our lives out in California.
It is generally difficult for nurses to ask for something, nurses are more comfortable with giving. Nurses make do in many situations; however, for things to change, nurses need to get comfortable asking and remaining persistent even when not receiving what is asked for. Many times it is not the first or fourth request that gets met but persistence is often rewarded like a flower breaking through the rocks of a mountain.
I want to thank all the nurses out there that work during Christmas, I know that many of you will be the “light” for many patients this season.