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Bridgton Hospital

Dec 31 2018

For the first 14 years of our marriage, we would celebrate Christmas Eve with my in-laws in Biddeford, Maine and Christmas Day (or some years December 26) with my dad in Essex, Vermont. Usually we would also connect with my four other brothers while we were at my father's. The last time we did it this way was in the year 1999, when my father was in respite Care. He passed away a few weeks later.

As we prepared for Christmas 2000, my wife suggested we spend part of Christmas afternoon visiting in our local hospital, doing a brief juggling and magic show in each room. Since then, this has been a part of almost every Christmas Day for our family. There have been two exceptions: one year a snow storm prevented us from going. Another year we spent Christmas in Washington DC as part of Sue Thomas's Operation Silent Night. That year we did the hospital visitation on New Years Day.

This year neither of our older girls was able to be home on Christmas, so it was only Sue, our youngest daughter, Rose, and me who went. The hospital is usually slow on Christmas, and this was true again this year. We visited six rooms. Sometimes in was just the patient, other times there were families visiting. In any case, Rose and I juggled to Jingle Bells and Come All Ye Faithful (Rose even did machetes in the small confines of the hospital rooms). We also did three illusions. Each visit culminated with Sue making a balloon animal for each person, as well as leaving them with a Daily Bread devotional booklet. Before leaving, Sue made balloon animals for each nurse on duty as well.

The best part of it all was on our ride home when Rose told us this was her favorite Christmas tradition.

Merry Christmas!

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