Yesterday, I got the itemized hospital bills (if you’re ever in the hospital – EVER – request one of these. trust me.) from Luke’s last three hospital stays and I chuckled to myself. Three. Just since January.
You know, there are times when I just want to fast forward life and get to Luke’s one-year mark. Everyone keeps telling us what a big milestone that is. Then, I get frustrated, because I don’t want to miss out on the next five months getting there.
What a catch 22.
I find myself obsessing about all of his developmental milestones, wondering if he will catch up, or if he won’t. No one has that answer for us, we just have to wait patiently. And we all know how good I am at that! One day at a time. One day. at. a. time.
For those that have supported us these past 11 months, yes May 28 is when I had my amnio, I just have to say thank you, once again. You might think, “Oh, I just brought a meal” or “I just picked up your kids once from school” or “All I did was send a quick email”. It all made a difference. Anyone that’s been in our shoes, and for those of you that will be and don’t know it yet, reaching out in whatever way you can offer your gifts of help means more than you may know.
Often times, people will tell us they’re not sure what to say or how to help. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to know. So the next time a good friend gets cancer, loses a child, gets fired from a job, or something equally horrible, just reach out…in whatever way you feel called. Yeah, you just might say the wrong thing. But that’s ok.
Throughout each of our hospital stays, and this time was no different, we were once again reminded of how lucky and blessed we are to be so close to Dell Children’s. Those doctors and nurses are really amazing. Of course, we’ve had a few that surely didn’t mean to choose pediatrics as a specialty. But for the most part, they rocked it. Big time.
We jokingly say that everyone at Dell knows our son by his first name, kinda like Madonna or Prince or The Pope. He’s just “Luke.” As much as I don’t like being a frequent flier, there are perks to riding in first-class. It’s comforting and reasurring to know that Luke is infamous around 78723. And, I am fully aware there are other kids that wear the same shoes he does.
I’m actually tearing up thinking about all those sweet people – the PICC team, the nurse practioners, the sweet lady in admitting, the funny one in pre-op, the nice cashier in the gift shop, our rockstar surgeons, the wound care team, the sweet voice of pain management, the respiratory therapists, the “we have the perfect toy” childlife specialists, the chaplains, our sweet housekeeper who loved on Luke, the “nervous as hell” residents, the imaging transport team, the caring nurses in NICU, PICU, 3 North, 3 Central and 4 North, the kind volunteers who rock babies, the laugh-out-loud clinical assistants. So many faces, so many hugs, so many tender moments. I so wish I could gather them all in a room and hug each one of them and tell them thanks. Guess that’s what the blog is for, right?
I wouldn’t trade a single moment at Dell. God has allowed us to share our faith through Luke. And he’s allowed us to experience love on a whole other level. The thing I love with equal passion is the relationships Luke’s story has allowed us to deepen. We’ve connected with friends we haven’t seen in for-eva, forge new ones and strengthen the ones we already had.
I’m pretty sure the entire hospital staff knows we’re Catholic. Really, during our last stay we had two sisters (shout out to Sr. Maria Gemma and Sr. Elizabeth Ann) and four priests visit Luke’s room in less than 24-hours. Total providence, I might add. But the conversations we had with the staff after they left was pretty awesome. I’m reminded of St. Francis of Assisi’s words, “Preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.”
This post ended up being a potpourri of stuff – reflection, thankfulness, therapy. Thanks for hanging with me…