“Perfection.” My dear friend Jen sent me that word in response to a picture of Avery I sent her today. How true that is. As I type this post, Avery Rose sleeps in her Moses basket in front of me. Perfection indeed.
My heart overflows with love and deep gratitude for all of your friendship, generosity, prayers, kindness, and support over the last 5+ months, and for the love and support that is ongoing. The blessings have come in large and small ways from those we know well, those we know casually, and those we have never met. It’s humbling and such a gift. Every message that has started with, “We have never met, but…” has touched me so deeply. At this point, over 52,000 people have read some or all of this story. Amazing.
Please forgive me for not writing personal thank you notes yet to each and every one of you for all that you have done, delivered, dropped by, hand-made, cooked, donated, and communicated.
I’d like to think that I could personally tell each and every one of you how much you mean to me, Quin, and to my family. Yet, for all of the emotionally and physically exhausted mothers in the NICU who I’ve heard say, “I feel so guilty for not writing more thank you notes…” I’m personally going to release all of us NICU moms from that extra weight and stress by saying it here….
Family and Friends who care…I love you and appreciate you. You know who you are. I know who you are. I will not forget.
I know your spirit and your hearts, and it means so much more than I could possibly articulate. Please honor our childrens’ struggle by continuing to do the same for others in need. It matters. It makes a difference. It really does. Really.
In addition to the absence of hundreds of thank you notes, please forgive me for not replying to every text, email, or voice mail during this time of trial. I do appreciate you and will never forget your kindness. I told Avery continuously about your generosity and kindness while she was still in the hospital, and will tell her stories about you for years to come.
She is perfect because she has been strengthened by mountains of prayer. She will always know that.
Please continue to visit and comment on our blog as you can….each word lifts us up, keeps us believing in her future, and is being saved for our miracle baby to read with her own eyes someday (although it requires your email address, you will not receive emails and no one else can see the address you input). Avery’s long journey does not end with her arrival at our home. She will no doubt have trials and triumphs for years to come. Each expression of caring and love we receive will become part of our child’s legacy and a source of strength for future generations of our family.
With every gesture or kind word, no matter how small, you have each taught me how to care for others during times of need, grief, exhaustion, and joy. I am so grateful. I will “pay it forward.” You are beautiful and allow me to believe in God and goodness even during the difficult moments.
When you think you “don’t know what to say” when those you love are in pain, please remember that you don’t have to say anything. Just be there. Just listen. Just be present. Just be judgement-free. Just care and pray. Just take the extra second to send that note of love. Your presence in our life is your gift.
The simple acts and random kindness from those near and far and have meant so much to us. Small things are huge during times of immense emotional, spiritual, and physical tolls. We will do the same for others in the future because of your caring and the lessons you have taught us about how to help. Each token, every email, every card, and every word has been saved to be turned into a keepsake book for Avery. It will be massive. It will be so full of love.
A very special thank you to Patrick Niehus at AE Strategies for your unwavering commitment and wealth of kindness. You are a rare and beautiful soul who continually and authentically exemplifies integrity. Many thanks to our City of Alexandria Police family for your friendship, support, and for so beautifully “caring for your own.” In particular, Andrea, you are so amazing and special. I pray that Avery’s heart grows to be as generous as yours.
My heart is peaceful and so full through all of your generosity of spirit and all of your thoughtful actions. Through this experience, I am even more intimately aware and deeply connected to how blessed my family is. I pray that I can be the same pillar of strength to each of you someday in return.
From an overjoyed, appreciative heart…