Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Last night at St. Mary's...

and it just all seems so bittersweet. It reminds me of the day that we took her home from the NICU, the second time. The first time she went home, I had this funny feeling-just that something wasn't right. It turned out she had an infection and ended up right back in the NICU again. The second time around was different. It felt...right, but a little bit sad as well.  John and I spent upwards of 18 hours a day with those nurses and doctors. It felt almost like we were moving away, and leaving our family behind. Three days after she came home, I can remember sitting on the couch crying. John walked in the door from work, took off his coat and shoes and immediately asked me what was wrong. Like an idiot, I looked up and said "I miss Beth and Lorianne and Kris." You have to really visualize this though. Here's the original germophobe, sitting on top of a dirty diaper, sobbing like a madwoman--- (which obviously means one thing...RUNNY NOSE) feeding Gracie! Then, when he tried to take her from me so I could get myself under control, what did I say? "No, go wash your hands first!"

So, we all find ourselves in the same position, almost exactly three years later. We are thrilled, excited, overjoyed to be going home. We are READY. And YES...we are sad. For the past 41 days, these people have become our family. They are Gracie's friends and her play people. They have LOVED her. No, not just loved having her around, or loved how funny she is, etc. They have taken OUR daughter into THEIR hearts and shown her TRUE love. They have been here for our best and most victorious moments, such as walking again, running down halls, eating and drinking real food.They have also helped ME through some of my worst. I will never forget Rita taking the time to pray with me, or Cheryl telling me about her experience with a family member's TBI. I will remember the times when I just needed someone to talk to and Katie or Mary or Patricia came in and just sat for a couple of minutes. Derrick picking on Grace to no end...and her very last night here, she got him back. How? "Marry me Derrick." SOO funny!! I'll miss "Davy-baby" as Gracie called her for so long. She always had a smile and hug for Grace, even after she threw up all over her the 1st night here. We will probably all miss Natalie and Katie the most. Natalie was just the type of person that everyone wants to know. Straightforward but sweet. Always busy, but never TOO busy. Katie became Gracie's best friend. She would walk her around all over, take her to do little things just to make her happy. She toilet papered our room one night and then we got her back by getting her with silly string. She's a live wire with a heart. We love them both.

One of the first things I noticed when I walked into St. Mary's was that there were pictures with quotes all over the walls. These are pictures of former patients and employees, all with glowing stories. ALL TRUE. This has got to be the friendliest hospital I have ever had the privilege to spend time at. From the ladies in the security window, the gift shop, cafeteria, and the nursing/doctor staff...these people are the BEST. I love them all, and we will miss them.

Of course this post would not be complete without 4 people who are now very special to us. Jessie, Sarah, Will, and Jessica. They were Gracie's therapist's, aka play people. From the moment we walked into this place, they engaged her and made her DESIRE to get better. Everyday we were here, we got to watch them as they helped people reclaim their lives. They treat people that the world often thinks are now worthless as PEOPLE, worthy of RESPECT.

I will end with some pictures...
Natalie and Grace


Shontae andNatalie
Gracie reading to Grandpa

"Eating" pizza at her going away party
Josiah is SO happy that sissy is coming back home!!
Derrick just told her she was showing too much leg.
Katie, Mahra, Derrick and Grace

Meg with Grace
and Katie...we will  miss you!


Heidi said...

Beautiful. ::sobbing::
I know you will miss them so! What a blessing they will always hold a special place in your hearts!!!

Anonymous said...

The hospital will miss Grace too, she was a bright spot in their day and they all loved her ,even Beverly the housekeeper!

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