Santa Maria @ The Hospital

“…and Mary pondered these things in her heart…

As a bed-fast quadriplegic my Papa was well looked after by the medical mafia of Williamsburg, dedicated doctors who regularly came by the house to check him over. But there were numerous times Papa was in and out of the hospital for medical emergencies and diagnostic stays.

@ the hospital, he always asked the names of nurses, doctors, LPNs, lab technicians – anyone who came into his orbit.

The thing is, Papa remembered their names. (I sometimes have trouble remembering mine, and it’s where I’m from!)

During his last stay in the hospital (an hour before he passed) Papa asked the name of the lovely Spanish American nurse attending him. She said, “Maria.”

He looked at her and said, “Santa Maria.”

She quickly yelped, “Oh, no! More like Mary Magdalena.”

He said, again, slowly (each breath an effort): “You are santa Maria.”

In Spanish santa = holy.

She cried.

We cried.

A bit later as my sisters and I recited Psalm 23’s “and He leads me beside still waters,” Papa’s contorted face eased into peace. As our precious Mama clasped his hand, Papa went to rest in the Everlasting Arms of God’s everlasting Love.

During Advent we hear the word holy often: “Silent night, holy night;” “O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining;” “Infant holy, infant lowly…”

We ask God to make us holy. We’re at least meant to try? Like, it’s a part of our faith?

“Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.”  (Hebrews 12:14)

I pray, Lord, make me holy as You are holy. Then, I get a little scared.

What needs to change? Attitudes? Actions? Absorption (me, me, me?)

To be holy means it’s not about me, its about drawing closer to God: letting God’s ways mend my ways into a heavenly blend with a holy aroma.

Santa Virginia? Nada. Not yet, anyway, but maybe one day by the grace (& mercy!) of God.

“God calls us to collaborate with Divine Purpose. But we cannot do it ourselves. We need everlasting Love pushing, nudging, if not outright shoving.” Madeleine L’Engle

grace, peace & holy Advent blends

Virginia : )

p.s. My Papa was never one for languages (except Biblical ones.) How he knew santa is holy in Spanish had to be Holy-Spirit engendered. (Although back in the early 1950s he completed his studies in California & worked a few jobs there. Maybe all those Santa names attached to CA cities somehow rubbed off on him.)  🙂

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16 Responses to Santa Maria @ The Hospital

  1. Carol-Jo says:

    I so appreciated you writing about your Dad.
    Thank you, Virginia for your thoughts and insight. Brought little tears to my eyes..

  2. Bernadette says:

    These stories you tell about your parents are very moving. Thanks for sharing them.

    • Virginia says:

      Thank you, Bernadette. My parents impacted my life in big ways – & small ways – in how they dealt with daily challenges of all sizes with joy, grace & humor. I miss them! 🌟💜🌟

  3. Your ‘Papa’ sounds like he was a very special man. He had to deal with such physical issues… but he managed to look outside of himself caring and recognizing others as being important… and knowing others’ names even is a wonderful trait. I try so hard to ask and remember .. the asking is easing.. the remembering is not. Diane

    • Virginia says:

      Papa’s mind was sharp as a tack. He memorized whole Scripture passages & hymns. When his pain raged @ night, he would go over verses in his head & find peace & comfort (& distraction from pain.) I’m with you, Diane, remembering is tough. I have to write stuff down or it’s forgotten!

  4. TMH says:

    Your ‘Papa’ stories always illustrate the good in people.

  5. brigette kirtley says:

    I think your Papa would call you Santa Virginia… sure of it.

    • Josh Parker says:

      Amen! Virginia, thank you so much for sharing with such compassion, openness and honesty. Much love from Laura and I to you, Dwight, and your whole family this Christmas and always!

      • Virginia says:

        Thank you, Josh, from one honest broker to another! Much love to you & Laura – hugs inclusive- & to your precious ones. ✨💜🌟🤗🌟💜✨

    • Virginia says:

      Brigette – LoL – not when I enacted portion control for his favorite foods! 😜 But, thank you for that spirit-lifter-upper vote of confidence. ✨🌟🌷🌟✨

  6. elvagreen123 says:

    Back in the early 1950s I was in grammar school in California learning how to count in Spanish. Papa was a cool guy. Have a good holiday, Virginia!!

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