Thursday, November 04, 2010

Tablescape Thursday: A Hospital Tablescape One Year Ago

Sometimes, it's hard to forget. Just one year ago, we were one week away from my son's Make a Wish Trip to Disney. I thought it would be great to go on the trip on his 18th birthday. It would be the best birthday ever! On Halloween, he had a slight fever that wouldn't go away. The next day we took him to the Emergency Room to check the fever and to find the source. By the time we got there, he had low oxygen and sepsis. Within 48 hours he was on a ventilator fighting for his life with the H1N1. Our trip was cancelled.
His birthday arrived on November 12th. It was a Thursday. What was supposed to be his best birthday ever, was his worst. Instead, he was on the ventilator. On Friday, the 13th, birthday flowers arrived for him.
They were beautiful. Later that night, he had complications and they were at a turning point. They had to try to get him off the ventilator or he wasn't going to make it. Somehow, you really don't like those odds on Friday the 13th. They removed the ventilator and he struggled to breathe the entire night. On Saturday, the 14th, the sun shone brightly through the room of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. My son has been in the hospital some 60 plus times however when the sun shines in the room in the ICU, it is usually a turning point and sign that things will get better. That day, I knew he would make it, although he was far from being out of the woods. I was so happy to have him off the ventilator, that I decided to make a pretty tablescape.Proof that you can make a tablescape anywhere, I asked the nurse for two perfectly pressed pillowcases. She brought me a few that were the best pressed as hospital linens go. I folded them over and placed them on the hospital tray. I added Dear Son's birthday flowers as a centerpiece and brought out my plastic plates and silverware that I keep in a box for times like this when I am in the hospital. It saves me time from having to hunt down a plate and plastic silverware, which I abhor. (To be honest, I dislike paper plates, plastic plates, plastic silverware and the like.) I have to use plastic plates when I am in the hospital since real china just doesn't transport well. The tablescape brought me great joy but something was decidely missing. I decided to take one of the carnations and place it in a medicine cup. I placed it in the right hand corner of the hospital tray and somehow this tablescape was now complete. The tablescape brought me great joy that day. It wasn't as pretty as the tablescape that I created for Tablescape Thursday, the afternoon before we left for the hospital. The tablescape that was sitting at home in my dining room. No, it wasn't as glamorous as that by any means. But this one brought more joy. It was a celebration of life, of my son being off of the ventilator. And that is ultimately what tablescapes are all about-about celebrating the good times in life with people you love. And that day, I celebrated the tablescape with my son.

It would be a few more weeks before he could go home and when he did, it tooks months to recover. In May, we were able to take his Make a Wish Trip which he enjoyed. To see more tablescapes, please visit Susan at her blog, "Between Naps on the Porch".


Barbara said...

This has me teary. How wonderful, despite horrible circumstances, you were able to bring some brightness to that hospital room. I am so glad he recovered.

Anonymous said...

What a touching story, which makes it the most beautiful tablescape ever, a true celebration of life!

Maria said...

This is truly the most beautiful tablescape that I have ever seen, it's main component being a mother's love. You have amazing strength and I'm certain that your focusing on something as mundane as a tablescape helped your family feel a bit more "normal" under such difficult circumstances. Thank you for sharing this. I needed this reminder of what is truly important in life. God bless you!

Mimi said...

What a heartfelt post...hope your son is doing well now. Your hospital trayscape came out beautiful and I am sure added a little sun in the room.

Gloria (The Little Red House with the White Porch) said...

Oh, thank God you were finally able to take his Make-A-Wish trip!! And your hospital tablescape was lovely -- you made lemonade out of lemons! You're a great Mom, and I am glad your dear son made it out of the woods last year.

The Tablescaper said...

Wow! I have goose bumps from reading your post. What a memorable birthday, but not in the way you wanted. God bless.

- The Tablescaper

Alycia Nichols said...

You just never know who you'll meet on here. Just one year ago we, too, were socked with a phone call from my then-31-year-old son. He was in great distress and on his way to the hospital...again. Long story short, he ended up staying there for nearly 2 months. We postponed the holidays until he was able to join us. He has been battling the same ravaging disease (Crohn's) for 20 long years, and this was the worst go-round ever. What a difference a year makes. Although he's still having persistent problems, he is SO much beetter than a year ago when we feared we might lose him. I am going to use your hospital tablescape as a beacon to keep up the hope. Thanks so much, and best wishes to your dear son.

Dream Mom said...

Thanks, everyone for such thoughtful comments. It was such a difficult time and it was wonderful to have something beautiful to take my mind off the stress of the moment.

Alycia-All the best to you and your son. As a mother, you never forget the times when our children suffer the most. I am glad to hear things are going better.

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