Two posts in one week? (Crazy talk, I know) But something happened that I wanted (& needed) to share with you all.
Yesterday I delivered 6 more baskets (5 to RMHC and 1 to St. Joe’s) and while I was there at RHMC waiting for Chery,l our POC at the NICU, I noticed one of the baskets was sitting on a back counter with a box of some kind. It had obviously been used; there was a folder and other papers tucked into the basket. I thought perhaps something was wrong with it or a parent had sent it back, not wanting it. So I asked if there was a problem with it and if I needed to take it home and fix it or whatnot. The answer I got was not what I was expecting.
The little baby that the basket belonged to passed away the day before yesterday.
And, I lost it. Even thinking about it now brings me to tears.
The nurses had gathered the baby’s things up from the room and were waiting for the parents to take everything home. Cheryl says sometimes it takes a few days before parents are ready to pick up their babies belongings. It’s just too hard. I can’t even begin to comprehend how hard it is.
The box that was with the basket is a standard “keep sake” box that the hospital gives out to parents when they lose a baby. It holds hand prints, foot prints, molds, bracelets and other hospital items. What struck me about the situation, aside from terrible grief for a precious little one I’ve never met or known, was that the only other items they had to pick up were the basket and its contents.
Cheryl and I stood there, both choked up, unable to speak for a moment. There were no words.
She went on to tell me how grateful parents are to receive the baskets, and in instances like this, those blankets that we’ve provided are the only personal items the baby had to be wrapped up in. That stuffed animal was the only one the baby had. When the parents take them home, while they are small and only a few, those items will be the only things aside from pictures that they have, to hold on to. Those were THEIR baby’s things. Their baby’s books. Their journal of their life altering time.
It rips my heart out to even think about. I look at Toby and I can’t imagine. My heart is broken for them. I think the sight of that basket on the back counter will forever be burned into my mind. Now I know what that means. Where they are going & Why they are there.
But it’s one of the reasons we do what we do.
You guys know this, and I know this. We’ve mentioned this scenario before as a “this could happen” but haven’t yet had it happen. And now it has. Which is why, we keep working without abandon, we keep pushing, keep asking for support and donations. Everyone who has helped, has made this possible. Think about that for a second. Your generosity has ensured that a family has their baby’s belongings to hold onto. You have given a family something, when they had nothing.
You should feel proud of yourselves. I am proud, honored and humbled by your support of this project, and of me.
From the bottom of my heart and soul, Thank You.
Those words will never be enough.