As we approach this year's Thanksgiving holiday, the general 2020 theme of “yeah this is not great” is looming heavy. If you are like me, I am sure your Thanksgiving holiday is going to be a bit less “traditional” than in years before. My version of the “traditional” Thanksgiving is spent with loved ones, sharing stories, throwing around the football and consuming a wonderful feast followed by the ceremonial loosening of the belts.
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving in 2020 is likely to have fewer loved ones gathering together to celebrate, but even more sadly there will be a few more perpetually empty chairs in households across the country. This will be the first time many families will have to deal with a holiday that typically represents joy, but now only serves to point out what has gone missing from their lives. It is important to keep in mind the families who have lost someone special, their Thanksgiving will undoubtedly be a somber occasion.
While hurt and loss are pulling up a chair to many a Thanksgiving table this year, the beauty of the human spirit will invariably overcome in time. We will move forward, we will be thankful for what we have in our lives, we will be thankful for the memories we have of loved ones lost, and we will bind together and persevere on a path forward as we, and those that have come before us, have always done.
As we take stock of what we are missing this year and what we still have to be thankful for, it is equally important to remember that while you are enjoying whatever you make of your Thanksgiving this year that there are healthcare workers at hospitals across the world spending their Thanksgiving Day not with family but caring for patients. This Thanksgiving I encourage all of you to think of those who are taking care of us and carrying us through these difficult times. And, if you yourself are a healthcare worker, then I have a message for you from all of us here at Access…
Thank you, healthcare workers, for working tirelessly to treat the sick.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for comforting the people whose families cannot be with them.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for constantly putting yourselves at risk.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for being human and feeling the pain of your patients.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for getting up and doing it all again the next day.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for clocking countless hours because you care.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for communing with death more than you deserve.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for not giving up, even when you want to.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for your love.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for your example.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for your resilience.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for your power.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for your compassion.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for carrying us through this time.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for the long days that turn into long weeks that turn into long months.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for bringing light to our darkness.
Thank you, healthcare workers, for enduring.
Thank you for answering the call over, and over, and over again.
When we think of healthcare workers, often those thoughts are limited to doctors, nurses, and other frontline staff. However, there is an army of other healthcare workers supporting the frontline staff, and their quiet work deserves our thanks as well: IT workers keeping the systems up, maintenance workers keeping the lights on, environmental crews keeping things clean, food service teams keeping people fed, and so on. Thank you for what we see you do and thank you for what we do not see you do.
While 2020 has been a complete kick in the pants in more ways than we can count, it is because of our healthcare workers, who are fighting every single day, that we will see this through. Thank you, healthcare workers. We salute and raise a turkey leg for you this Thanksgiving.