This is an open letter of sorts, a broad recognition because while one day I may find the time to personally write you individually today is not that day.
My guess is that since you were moved to donate you know our story…Rileys story. Be it the back story or the current unfolding it was enough to move you and that floors me. I keep a tight circle…my name is familiar to loads of different communities but my daily circle of interaction is close. My regular/non “baby in the hospital” life is routine and mundane littered with equal amounts lame first world problems, procrastination and laughter. Whether your gift was a monetary donation via Gofund Me, gifts cards, packages sent, food delivered, gifts dropped off, etc…it’s all been appreciated beyond belief. Because of you I have stopped stressing about parking, eaten, colored, read and last but certainly not least seen my girls eyes light up at the thoughtful presents…from stuffed animals to jewelry making kits to valentines balloons…they know they are on the minds of many (and sparkly stuff just helps) 🙂
Being here again I’m grieving not only Rileys illness but the opportunities I missed to help others during her health. These walls remind me that on the other side there’s likely a first timer or a child sicker or even more unfathomable than those scenarios…a child alone. My brain is constantly flooded with ways I can help/support/influence/ educate parents like us or children like Riley and has been for as long as I can remember but my action has lacked. I envy you…those who just take it. Those who so quickly act. Being in this situation again I’m disappointed in myself that I’ve spent so much time crafting these lofty plans in my mind as opposed to simply acting. My ideas or intentions aren’t serving anyone…yours did.
I’m not beating myself up I promise…I mean maybe a little bit in a healthy way. That being said I am baffled that so many are once again showing up to help…be it old high school classmates, acquaintances, friends of friends or even complete strangers…I’m in awe. You likely haven’t been sitting around for years like I have pouring over how you can best create a platform to assist the families of hospitalized children…but when you saw an opportunity you took action. You read, overheard, inquired or stumbled upon our trials and chose to be apart of the triumph.
This journey that we are on is going to be long. Life alteringly long. The hospitalization portion will end at some point but our daily lives will be forever changed…the “new normal” we’d crafted since leaving the hospital back in 2014 is no longer applicable. And that’s okay…I’m in…I love this little family of ours more and more with each complication but logistically I may scratch a hole in my head before I figure out how it’ll all work. I never had the notion that Riley would be a “normal” kid but I never anticipated this. No matter what portion of your hard earned income or precious energy you’ve gifted to us it’s helping far beyond your expectations. Scouts honor. With every donation I’m moved by the action, by the decency of the humans who’ve chosen to follow us and by the ability of others to so selflessly give.
I’m not only grateful but humbled and empowered to be more like you all. Life gives us lessons and apparently I missed something on the last go so in this retest I’m taking notes…I’m learning strength from Riley and compassion from you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.