Thursday, January 2, 2014

Timing and Cookies at the NICU

There's something about timing. It's all in the timing. Call it chance, call it God, call it source energy, call it coincidence, call it what you want.

Each year, @ and I make and decorate holiday cookies. We eat a few, but I take the rest to the parents at the neonatal intensive care unit where @ spent his first Christmas. I include a letter with his picture, telling our story then and now. 

This year, I made the cookies, bagged them in tidy sets of three, wrote the letter, and... didn't take them to the hospital on the 23rd as I'd originally planned. And I just plain ran out of time on Christmas Eve with work, dinner with friends, and a candle-lighting service. On Christmas we headed up to my dad's for a few days.

The cookies waited patiently.

On Sunday, TG and I ran errands, finishing with a trip to the hospital. As we were waiting to give the cookies to the receptionist, I offered a bag of cookies to a couple that was leaving.


They told me that their baby was a fighter and doing well. Then they told me he was a surviving twin.

@ is a surviving twin. 

Believe what you want, but I believe I was meant to meet that couple. I was meant to share a little bit of @'s story and show them a picture of a thriving ten-year-old. I was there to let them know they weren't alone and they had someone to call.

I was right on time.

-----

This year's letter:
Dear Parents & Families, 
A few years ago, my son and I started bringing cookies to Good Sam for the families of the NICU. In 2003, I found myself spending the holidays at the NICU. My son is a surviving twin born at 26 weeks. He had a rough first few months and gave us plenty of scares. But he was tough. He still is. 
This year he turned 10. He’s smaller than his classmates, but on track with school and everything else – despite all the challenges of his first year. 
I know this isn’t where you expected to be right now. But you’re surrounded by some amazing people – nurses, doctors, care providers, and other families. 
@’s early arrival gave me an amazing gift. I appreciate his every victory, silly joke, and strange little quirk all the more, knowing how hard he fought to be here. And it gave me perspective -- some of what seems like a big deal at the time most often isn’t even close in the long run.
People will tell you how strong you are. And you won’t feel strong. Or you won’t want to be strong. Or you’ll be tired of having to be strong. But you have the strength you need. And if you feel like you don’t have enough – borrow some.
Best to you and your little ones.

2 comments:

MommaWriter said...

I love your note, especially the bit about strength. It's something I will always remember from those days...how very, very strong I didn't feel. Nice job, Mom! So glad you were there for that famiy too. Sometimes not being alone is the biggest comfort of all!

Stacey

Wordjanitor said...

Stacey ~ Thanks! It means a lot to hear from another member of the "NICU club." It's a club I've always described as one you'd never purposely join, but filled with some pretty amazing people who share a rare experience.