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Sonia, a resident living in long-term care at Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver, was delighted to receive the gift of poinsettias from Meadowlands Horticultural.
Seniors + Healthy Aging

Tidings of colour and joy!

by Kris Wallace


For folks living in long-term care, the holidays can be an especially tender time of year. One way to kindle the joy of the season is with beautiful flowers. Thanks to Meadowlands Horticultural, 350 vibrant poinsettias are bringing joy – and cheerful colour – to our residents.

For the residents of Holy Family Hospital, the poinsettias caused a minor sensation. 

Robertina was awake but in bed when she heard we were taking pictures with the flowers. We’re told she quite literally JUMPED out of bed to participate. Meanwhile, Alloysia grabbed her elf hat and two stars were born!

Robertina and Alloysia celebrate the season in front of the Christmas tree in long-term care at Holy Family Hopital in Vancouver.
Robertina, seated, and head elf Alloysia are ready for Santa.

For Norma, the poinsettias are more than just a beautiful December tradition. “When I see the poinsettias, no matter where I am, it’s a reminder of the Lord. Thank you to the donors! We will pray for you!”

Norma honours her lord at Christmas with poinsettias in the chapel at Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver
Norma in the chapel at Holy Family Hospital

Those donors are Gordon and Cynthia Wong, owners of Meadowlands. The holiday flower project started back in 2005 to honour the exceptional care Gordon’s father received from the staff at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. The family was so appreciative, they wanted to give back. As owners of a nursery, what better way to show their gratitude than with the gift of spectacular blooms?

Over the years, the Wongs have expanded the initiative to include all of Providence’s long-term care and assisted-living homes in the Vancouver area. They’ve also donated bedding plants, herbs, and vegetables for the rooftop garden at St. Paul’s Hospital. And in 2020, to show their appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our health care heroes, they gave away more than 1,100 poinsettias to Providence staff!

Talk about a wonderful holiday tradition!

Speaking of traditions, Sonia, who lived at Holy Family until her sudden passing just two weeks ago, loved the poinsettias. So much so, her family wanted us to share her thoughts and her poignant last photo, seen at the very top of this story. 

“In my hometown in the Philippines, it was our tradition to offer flowers at Christmas for the Infant in anticipation of his birth. So I placed my poinsettias in the chapel as an offering to Mama Mary and Santo Nino.” 

Sonia will be missed, but we’re so glad her last days were filled with beauty and meaning.

Thank you, Meadowlands!

Sonia, Norma, Robertina, and Alloysia remind us that residents in long-term care come to us with a lifetime of experiences. And that we are entrusted not just with their care, but with their memories. When you give to Lights of Hope you help us meet our residents’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs with dignity, grace, and compassion. Thank you!