Thank you for three years of good service at your hospital. I have spent more than 18 months over night in various hospitals with my special needs, medically fragile daughter. Her mother spent the other 18 plus months over night and 5 days out of seven for the three year total. I spent much of the weekends.
I tell you these things so you know I speak from a position of experience. We were not always appreciative of the efforts of your pastoral colleagues in the hospitals when we stayed with Sophie. Most of the time, we were scared or angry or very tired. The more evangelical the visitor, the less patient and welcoming we were.
As a really bad Catholic but a good recovering drunk (21 years sober), I was slightly more accepting of faith-based visitors than my agnostic wife. As a Catholic, I am proud to say that the Catholic pastors most clearly showed me Christ by loving us the best way they knew how. This is particularly true of some Catholic nuns who served us and God.
The best chaplains said things like “I am available for listening” or “Is there anything I can do”. Sometimes they just came in and took our food tray away. (As I write this I am moved to tears).
How is that for a “congrats” on a work anniversary.