I just saw the emergency helicopter land on the helipad near my hospital room window. My first thought was, “Wow that’s loud! Please don’t wake up my sleeping baby!” But very soon after that, I started thinking about who was in that helicopter. Were they OK? Was their family already here? I started thinking about the accident that led to the need for the evacuation by air and hoped there were no other victims. I immediately started wondering what could be done to help those people and that reminded me of my own circumstances. Even though we are not at the hospital as a result of trauma, we did arrive on the doorstep under rather sudden and dire circumstances. There was little warning and not much time to prepare for what we might discover upon our stay. We were met immediately by our first responders (concerned friends, helpers, and loved ones) and that has made all the difference in our ability to cope and face this difficult situation. I’ve learned so many lessons already from this trial, but the one that has made the biggest impact is how people respond to folks in crisis. These people show up. They hold your hand, feed your belly, take care of your children, and don’t take no for an answer. Most of these people have faced a dark time in their own lives when they realized the same thing that I’m just now understanding completely. Help whenever, however, whoever you can! Yes, it can be awkward when you don’t know what to say, but here’s the thing – it doesn’t matter. It’s the showing up that counts. Showing up doesn’t have to be in person by any stretch. It can be by praying, making others aware of your needs, sending a funny joke at the right time. It’s simply making an effort. I have glimpsed this realization before, but over time the clarity slips away. To make a difference in other people’s lives, I think I just need to practice more often. I use the “I’m so busy!” excuse more than I should. Heck, we’re all busy. I need to practice finding time to write a note, make a phone call, cook a quiche…whatever it takes to reach out and make someone in crisis feel cared for. I think I’ll start with the tired mom of the sick little boy I met in the room next to ours today. I see a warm plate of food in her future. And maybe some of Charlie’s hand-me-downs. Practice.
MH had a good day. She is awake more and more, playing with her toys and smiling at her silly daddy. She is obsessed with the ET light that glows at the end of her fingertip. She waves it around and stares at it with a perplexed look on her face. I hope she realizes these new tubes and wires are not here to stay. An epidural to make her comfortable, a catheter, two IVs, an oxygen monitor. Blerg. Hoping for more freedom of movement soon. She is taking an antibiotic for the MRSA. She seems OK. Still no pathology report. We thought we might hear some news today. Hopefully they won’t make us wait until Monday! Fingers still crossed. Charlie and Poppy got to wave to their baby sister from the perimeter of the “clean room” today. They have been holding up as well as we could have hoped so far. Glad I got to tuck them in tonight. Sweet snuggles.
Thanks to Lindsay (Max and Meyer) for picking up Poppy and Charlie for a fun play date at the pool. They had a great time and were tuckered out! Thanks to Lisa for the special “Healing CD” she and her daughter made for MH. So creative and thoughtful! Thanks to Megan for the perfectly adorable and customized thank you notes. A little MH in each of the flowers! Those will be used soon and often. Thanks to John F. for the decadent grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch (and dinner!). Thanks to Aunt Bonnie for the pretty flowers. Thanks to nurse Karen for singing to MH at 3:30 am so I could catch a couple of hours of sleep.
The helicopter is back again. Hmmm…