What an amazing day July 31st turned out to be!

I woke up to this...
Oh, no, this wasn't what woke me up. It was Lauren screaming her head off with glee in her crib. Literally screaming. I went in and she was holding the rail, jumping and screaming and having the time of her life.

Matt came home early from work and we set off to the hospital with Elysha playing the role of official photographer. Matt had arranged for there to be a large cheque with our final donation total as we handed in the last of the money on that day. Our goal for the fundraising was $3000. On the day of the garage sale, we brought in more than that in cash alone! We were flabbergasted to find out that we raised $9000 in total! Take that, goal.

We took a picture of Lauren with the cheque and she thought it was great. They've asked us if we would be interested in sharing Lauren's story with the Miracle Network and/or during fundraising events or volunteer events. One of our prayers was to find ways to continue to give back and this is such an answer to prayer. Of course we said yes! Let's see what we can get Lauren's face slapped on.

I'm glad that we went there before going to say thank you to the people in the ICU because, let me tell you, my makeup didn't look as pretty coming out of there.

We brought in a box of KitKats (for a "break") with a thank you wrapper and we were pleasantly surprised to see her primary nurse, Princess Carrrie, there! It was perfect timing. But then it got better and better. Her nurse, Tanessa, was there, a bright and spunky nurse who often had us laughing in the ICU, a place where laughter is rare. We were visiting and then another of Lauren's primary nurses, Carolyn, was there. This is a huge deal because Carolyn doesn't even work in the ICU anymore! She was just on-call and happened to be in that day. But wait, Lauren's last primary nurse, Anna, was there too, another nurse who doesn't even work in the ICU anymore but just happened to walk in. It was so nice to have them all there to show Lauren off and say a few words. The doctors and surgeons are often seen as the ones who do the amazing work, but these nurses are such a huge part of our time in the ICU. They were the ones who were at Lauren's bedside, watching over her 24 hours a day. They forged relationships with us, showed so much love for our little baby and made us feel like she was safe right where she was. They surrounded us with so much love and support and we were strangers to them when we first walked into the ICU one year ago, tears streaming down our faces as we saw our little girl laying in that bed. It takes a special person to be an ICU nurse and we are so blessed that were able to have our daughter cared for by them.

So, after sharing that with them, and crying a little, we were also able to give them small gifts to give to the parents of the children currently in the ICU. I know for us, we were so touched by the kindness of people, many who barely even knew us. I wanted to be able to do something to try to show that kindness so we gave KitKats with Starbucks cards to encourage people to take a much needed break. The nurses always told us that we needed to take care of ourselves to take care of Lauren but it is so hard to take that break. In the evenings, Matt and I would take the time to go for a walk around the outside of the hospital and it was often the only sunlight that we saw. We would walk around and crunch the fallen leaves under our feet and try to talk through some of what was going on.

It was a day filled with Lauren being her crazy self and brightening up our lives. In the evening my family came over and, after Lauren was sleeping like an angel, we ended the night with a prayer of thanksgiving. I can't imagine what our lives would have been like if we were anywhere else on the afternoon of July 31, 2012. And thankfully I don't have to. This year, July 31st was a day of celebration. The only tears shed were happy ones.

1 comment:

  1. $9,000 WOW!!!! Congratulations. It has been so amazing to hear about your journey through the words and pictures you've shared this past year. Our God is so great and faithful!! Praise be His name.


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