Holiday traditions help make celebrations extra special – whether it’s your Great-Grandmother’s fruitcake, the mistletoe in the hall, or your family’s treasured ornaments that are passed from generation to generation. The Renaud Family is no different, always gathering at Mom and Dad’s to celebrate each Christmas season.
Mom wasn’t just the official hostess, she was also the certified “wizard” in the kitchen, and a baker of treats beyond compare. Mom, Roz, explains, “It was always so special, and every year it seemed to grow bigger as our three kids, and then the grandkids, all came together – we have four generations now!”
When Roz was admitted to our Hospice in June of this year, all four generations felt the impact…and the unspoken knowledge that they wouldn’t have Mom with them for this year’s Christmas celebration.
“My parents have been married for 68 years, and this would be all of our first Christmas without Mom,” says daughter-in-law Sandy. Roz has always loved Christmas, revelling in the decorations, the family and, of course, the huge Christmas dinner. “My Dad always dressed up as Santa,” says son Michael. “But he’s getting older too, and we knew his heart wouldn’t be in it without Mom, our ‘Mrs. Claus.’”
Some families might have quietly accepted what fate was handing them, and just braced themselves for a difficult holiday season without Roz…but not the Renaud Family!
They decorated Roz’s room in sparkling holiday finery, including a fully loaded Christmas tree. The family also rallied to pull out the decorations and the family recipes.
“We decided that we were going to move everything up, and celebrate ‘Christmas in July!’” says Sandy.
“We talked to the Hospice staff and they all agreed right away to help us put this together for Mom.”
Hospice staff also arranged for the family to have access to the apartment kitchen in the lower level of the Residence, and everyone pitched in to create the perfect Christmas feast.
Staff and volunteers helped the Renaud’s get our beautiful Conservatory all dressed for the festivities too, so that this family of 20 could enjoy the day, together.
There was such a sparkle in Roz’s eyes as she watched her children put this special celebration together. “We had turkey and dressing and everything, they did such a good job. Everyone got dressed up for the party, and we all sat down and enjoyed Christmas dinner together. We even had Santa come in to visit, it was just a perfect day.”
The holidays are always a time for traditions, for family, for celebrating together…whether it happens in December or July. They created memories that will stay with them always – and Mom was at the centre of it, which is right where she has always been.
Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday or just a quite day of peace, our Hospice is there for our families and for our community. With your help, we can continue to care for our patients and their families, every season, all year ‘round.
For every $150 donated, your donation will cover the unfunded cost of one night in our Hospice Residence for a patient, like Roz, and the Renaud family.