To the outside world today was just another day. Today to me however was my wards annual Christmas party, although today’s party wasn’t just a Christmas party it was also our closing party.
At the end of November the past patients were discharged and staff were temporarily redeployed to new departments. So today allowed us all to meet up one last time, celebrate Christmas together and say goodbye to our wonderful ward for the last time.
I walked round to the hospital from home with Piglet in her pram, along with Roo and Tigger who were both eager to attend the party. They have both grown up attending Christmas parties on my ward – in fact Roo fell asleep on the floor in the middle of the dayroom when she was just a year old amongst the noise and celebrations of the party. As we approached the ward I was feeling OK about it all until I saw a skip outside which was piled high with old equipment and furnishings from the ward. It felt like they were clearing us out and leaving no trace of all the years of love, compassion and dedication that has been shown.
The party itself was joyful with photos from across the years stuck up on the walls to remind us of times gone by. Whilst there was no Christmas decorations this year we still kept festive with Christmas songs playing loudly in the background. All the children were happy to see each other again and enjoyed having free rein over the corridors and rooms when usually they are restricted to the dayroom and garden.
Colleagues past and present greeted each other and exchanged stories from the goings on that have happened on the ward over the years. Whilst ultimately the party was about saying goodbye it was lovely to reconnect together and close the doors one last time as the family unit we have been over the years.