My sister Nancy and I drove to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak tonight to participate in Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams. She’d been wanting to do it since last year at this time, and tonight we finally got the opportunity to do it together. Along the way while driving down 16 Mile Road, we saw an unusually bright light in the sky, and both of us immediately started laughing and yelling, “It’s Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer!” No explanation was necessary. When we were little girls, our Dad used to say he saw him in the sky, and we would get so excited! We now know he was only seeing an airplane, but back then – we really believed it was Rudolph. Anticipating Christmas when we were young was easy, and our Mum and Dad always made it so fun.
Each night at Beaumont during the month of December hundreds and hundreds of people show up from the community, and the lengths of creativity people go to in order to cheer up young pediatric patients at Beaumont’s Children Hospital is so heart warming. Not only was there a man dressed up as a reindeer, but one family had decorated their dog with real Christmas lights! Fire trucks, police cars, and ambulances from Royal Oak, Clawson, Birmingham, and Berkley, Michigan showed up. The ladder took a fireman dressed as Santa to each window of the hospital’s pediatric patients. We waved our flashlights at the children, and they waved their flashlights back at us.
We sang Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas with a crowd of people we’d never met, did the wave with our flashlights and laughed with folks we may never see again. It’s the simple kinds of things like this that bring folks together, and that’s pretty cool if you ask me.
We watched as the nurses and patients’ family members in the windows of the Medical ICU where I work waved their flashlights to participate from inside. Someone sent me a picture of what it looked like from up on the fourth floor to see all of us down below shining lights at the pediatric patients. Nancy said she wondered what it must look like to airplane pilots flying over Beaumont. I told her it probably looks pretty cool to Santa and Rudolph too 😉
I love that so many people from our community want to encourage and cheer up little patients. And I wonder if they realize that it even boosts the morale of the staff. I know that it does because I hear the excitement of my midnight co-workers anxious for 8 p.m. to arrive so they can peek out the window. Tonight, I saw them all in the windows trying to catch a glimpse of it.
Our life’s issues can seem so big, I suppose especially at this time of year. But getting the chance to participate in something like Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams – well, it somehow seems to help put those things into perspective. And then those issues don’t seem very big after all.
I do hope those kids have sweet dreams tonight.
We stopped at Ray’s Ice Cream in Clawson on the way out and got one scoop of ice cream (or at least, Nancy would like you to believe it was one scoop).
Ya know, for so very many reasons, I keep telling people this Christmas season just keeps getting better. But getting to encourage the kids, sing Christmas carols together, and eat ice cream on a 32 degree night with my sister just like we did as little girls? Well, I’m really not sure it’s gonna get much better than this! Thanks Nancy!
If you haven’t gotten a chance to participate in Moonbeams for Sweet Dreams at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital, I would encourage you to get there before the month is up. You won’t regret it 😉 Promise! And what the heck, while you’re at it – get some chocolate mint ice cream at Ray’s in Clawson too!