Holiday spirit lives on in heart warming letter

A month after the Robinson’s holiday plans were derailed, the unexpected celebration that followed a medical mishap remains on the mind of one Saanich woman.

“It was looking pretty grim for Christmas,” said Cindy Robinson, who was hospitalized Dec. 17, for a broken foot following a fall.

The Saanich woman has osteoporosis as a result of long-term Prednisone use for rheumatoid arthritis. She checked into Aberdeen Hospital in Victoria on Dec. 17, one week before her 84-year-old mother was scheduled to arrive from Toronto in time for Christmas dinner.

“All plans were cancelled when (my daughter) Cindy was admitted through the emergency department to the hospital,” said Nadine Robinson in a handwritten letter she sent to the News last week. “Our focus was on her medical needs. Six weeks hospital stay was anticipated.”

The Robinsons had invited two friends over for dinner, one of whom had just undergone a bone graft of his foot the week prior and was not in optimal health.

Reluctant to give up on their plans, a wheelchair bound Cindy arranged for transportation back to her in time for the Dec. 25 dinner. The 55-year-old ordered four turkey meals from a nearby restaurant, at the Howard Johnson Hotel and Suites on Elk Lake Drive. Along with the food came a little something extra for the family and friends under stress.

“Not only had four Christmas dinners arrived with large crackers to pull at the table, complete with hats, but a box of Purdy’s chocolates, a sleeve of nuts and a bottle of white wine were also included.” Nadine wrote in the letter.

Restaurant manager Heather Brewer admitted she had some trouble getting into the Christmas spirit last month, until she received the order. The extra goodies and meals were delivered free of charge.

“I was worried that they would be offended,” said Brewer, who had decided to surprise the Robinsons with the gift.

“The young fellow who delivered the food said there was no charge and we were all just floored,” Cindy said. “It brought tears to all of our eyes.”

Nadine has since flown back to Toronto and written in letters of thanks to the restaurant. Cindy is expected to stay hospitalized at least one more month until her foot heals.

“I felt that we were rescued from having a dismal, unpleasant event,” Cindy said from her hospital room Jan. 31. “It was that unexpected bonus, one of this thoughtfulness that touched us all very deeply,” later adding that “It was like the true spirit of Christmas came through and it was quite inspiring.”

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