Many Glendale residents spent Christmas morning with their
families, unwrapping gifts and beginning to prepare food for meals to
be served later in the day.
Larry and Josie Sacino spent it in the hospital.
Josie Sacino had been a patient at Glendale Adventist Medical
Center for exactly three weeks and counting on Dec. 25. She remained
in critical condition on Christmas Day, a result of complications
from hip surgery and her Type 1 diabetes.
The holiday began quietly for the couple. Larry Sacino slept in
the bed next to his wife on Christmas Eve, and did so again on
Christmas. A few holiday decorations adorned the room -- stockings
were hung on a bulletin board, and a miniature tree stood below.
The Sacinos watched some television and wondered when sons Jeffrey
and Laurence Sacino would stop by with their families. There was no
gift exchange -- that had been done the night before, over coffee.
Larry Sacino gave his wife of 55 years a pair of pajamas.
Granted, Christmas wasn't the same as in years past. Normally, the
"whole gang" would be over at the Sacino's Glendale home.
Josie Sacino, 80, would be cooking spaghetti and meatballs for
Christmas dinner. Jeff Sacino would bring the turkey. The food isn't
quite the same at Glendale Adventist, Josie said.
"I miss having the works," she said. "There's no sausages, no
desserts. I wish I had something homemade."
The weeks leading up to the holiday also hadn't been easy. Larry
Sacino, 80, suffered a heart attack while visiting his wife. He
underwent double bypass surgery, and a four-day hospital stay.
Despite the bleak hospital setting, the couple didn't mind
spending Christmas at Glendale Adventist, they said. There were more
important things to think about.
"It's just another day for me," Larry Sacino said. "It doesn't
make any difference. We're taking it one day at a time until she gets
out of here. All she wants is to go home. Every time the doctor comes
in, that's what she asks him."
The circumstances also hadn't dampened the spirit of Christmas,
the Sacinos said. After all, they could still spend it with family.
"Having my family around makes me feel better," Josie Sacino said.
Said Larry Sacino: "The meaning is still the same. We know we've
got our family. We can't be together all the time, but we're together
Doctors were unavailable to discuss Josie Sacino's prognosis.