September 5, 2013

“Can you believe it, can you even imagine?” “How do you think they’re holding up, how are they going to get through this?” These are bits and pieces of conversations I am sure many of you have had with your loved ones since hearing about little baby Riley. I can invision being in your shoes…as parents I can see Chris and I hearing about something like this happening and having these pained conversations with genuine concern. We have both said it feels more real to us when we think of the reactions of others and the conversations they are having about us because we can imagine being in that position more than we can being in our own. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a St.Judes commercial and said to myself “oh my god I just can’t even understand how anyone could deal with having a sick child.” Well…as a parent of a child in the hospital now let me be the first to tell you I still don’t understand. I have no clue how we are getting through this, but we are. While we are living it day to day I honestly still don’t think I fully comprehend that this is our life…and that is okay. In fact I am pretty sure it is a defense mechanism and I’ve decided that since I recognize that it can’t be all that unhealthy of one 🙂

Many of you can look back on a time before you had children and remember wondering over and over how you would know what to do and just as everyone said when the baby came you just did. Instincts kicked in, energy stores came from nowhere and a love you never thought possible suddenly consumed you. It is the same thing with this. If you had asked me how I would know how to deal with this I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Again, I still don’t. The ability is beyond me…it is too big for me…I am just a Mom. But, as a Mom you pull from somewhere, you follow your gut (which is bigger these days thanks to just having a baby) and you figure it out. For me so much of it has been leaning on others and knowing I cannot get through this on my own and being grateful every second that I don’t have to. Our family, our friends and even strangers have stepped up and are carrying so much of the weight that it has turned what seemed impossible into something manageable.

Recently an old college classmate of my brothers (whom I had met once briefly what seems like a million years ago) posted a quote on facebook that brought me to me knees and uplifted me all at the same time.

 “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”

 -Jane Howard. 

In reading that I realized just how much I needed one and how amazingly fortunate I am to have one hell of one behind me. For everyone who is following Riley’s journey I want to thank you and encourage you to continue to think of us in a positive light. I know many of you are aching for us and trust me I know this situation is sad. It is so sad, so unfortunate and so unbelievable but it is okay, Riley will be okay. In situations like this people feel the need and urge to help, to do something, to contribute. I am constantly being asked “What can we do, what do you need?”, it has taken me while to be able to give a good answer for that because in all reality all I need is an immune system for little Riley and our life would be back to what it once was. But since all of the nurses have assured me that there isn’t one floating around in the halls I decided it was time to really give it a good long think…”what do we need?”…hmmm…..well… donations are obvious, turns out your mortgage doesn’t go away when your baby gets sick and while medical insurance picks up most of the tab they are nice enough to leave a hefty portion for mom and dad. We truly appreciate every dollar but it’s not all about money and we know not everyone is in a position to help, while the financial burden is just that it is the least heavy of all. So with that being said here is what I have come up with:

– Take me back…make me laugh…remind me of something so ridiculously funny that for a moment I am able to escape what is happening in the present and be lost in past. We have known a ton of you since we were (as Chris likes to say) knee-high to a duck so I know there are stories in your minds that would give me a good chuckle. Call em’ in, email em’ over, text away…whatever ya got 🙂

– Throw out your “time-passing” tips…I’ve already received one of these which was to watch the horribly fantastic show Pretty Little Liars on netflix. There is just something about bad juvenille television that allows you escape adulthood. When I need to not think about all the heavy stuff…boom…PLL it is, those dumb broads and bad acting take me to a mindless place that is sometimes oh so welcomed. I’m half way done with the series though so quick quick gimme a back up plan 🙂

-Book suggestions…it’s probably a good idea that I use some of this quiet time to read, it would be a tad unfortunate if I completly fried my brain with network television drama so fire away. I know what many of you are thinking and yes I’ve already gone through the 50 Shades trilogy and am pretty sure “Mommy porn” isn’t the best baby bedside option 😉 Gimme something that inspired you, helped you or is just down right good reading.

– Pick a date…I’m generally in San Jose Thursday-Sunday and Presley loves herself a playdate so if you have kids, love kids or want them someday and need a quick dose of birthcontrol in the form of “toddler time” then lets do it. Chris is beyond amazing and has taken on taking care of Presley while I’m away like a true champ but lets get real, dude needs a break…some man time, a few hours to go shoot guns or work on his car or whatever it is boys do to relax. Poor guys loves me too much to ditch me when I’m in town but he needs to so give me an outing that makes it okay 😉

– Have a drink for me…okay make that two and then the next time you see me have one with me. Whether it is a week or a year from now I am sure I will need it and be it to drown a bit of sorrow or celebrate all we’ve overcome it’ll do the trick. Bottoms up to baby!

-Share the story…tell others about baby Riley and our journey through social channels like facebook or over a greasy meal at your favorite restaraunt. Not because it’s a sad story but because someone you know or someone they know may be going through something too and stories of triumph are always uplifting and let me tell you so far this little baby is kicking this whole ordeals ass. 🙂

That is all I have come up with for now so for those who have asked, options have been given…ready…set…GO! xoxo

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