This year, Christmas was certainly not what we would have planned, but it was much better than it mght have been had things gone the other way on that fateful day.
We opened presents in Derek's room. Although we were cramped, it was wonderful. We then had a very special visit from Lt Col. Bobbie and her Mommy Lisa!
We were 13 strong for a wonderful dinner with other families hosted by a WWII vet from the 10th Mountain, Bob.
The dinner was at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC and Derek said it was the best buffet he has ever had in his life.
When we returned we had a very special VIP visit..... Dr. Diego and his gorgeous wife, (no, not Dora!) Sara! It was so very fantastic of him to come in on his day off to visit his patients and wish them a Merry Christmas. He is a very special man, and his wife is very sweet.
The VP, Joe Biden, and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, also came for a visit. It was very nice of them to give up time on Christmas Day to come and spend time with the guys. When we got back, we were told he was there, and we hung out in the hall until he came back up. Politics aside, he spoke with the guys in the hall, told stories, and was very personable.
When I found out he was there, I turned to one of the nurses and said I really should be locked in the med room because I did not think I could hold my tongue. I seriously wanted to ask him about a recent comment he made, but I knew it was not the time or place, so I bit my tongue. I told Dr. Diego I needed stitches because I bit my tongue so hard. But, alas, it was about the guys, not about making a point. I do like Dr. Biden, though. She is a lady. Joe is a little too touchy feely. And he wanted to adopt Derek's nurse! Oh no! THAT did not go over well! It was an interesting visit, and as I said, very nice of them to spend time on Christmas Day with our REAL VIPs!
The day after Christmas, more family arrived! We were 17 strong and took over the conference room again. Aunt Barbara came down from NJ with my cousins Michelle, Jonathan and Ainsley. AJ snuggled on Derek's lap in his wheelchair, fell asleep on his chest and lay next to him on the bed when Derek returned to bed. AJ is his 10 yr old cousin. It is great to have our entire family here. The only thing that would make it better is if Krystina's family had been here.
I've been making a lot of ICU rounds lately, trying to assist new familes in the new normal. I greeted a new family that arrived Christmas night. I don't know if I am helping, but I remember those early days myself. Those early days are the worst, when everything feels so overwhelming. I hope someday soon we can see the end of the medevacs arriving and the end of the wounded warriors joining our ranks.
I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas holiday. God bless.