Thursday, December 30, 2010

A letter

To all of Joshua's NICU Nurses and Doctors,

I know you are out there, and I know that some of you read here faithfully. This letter is for you. This letter is to anyone and everyone that was involved in Joshua's care (and my care for that matter!). You know who you are! :o)

There are so many things that I want to say to you. So many hugs I want to give to you. So much love for you.

I guess I will start off with a simple thank you.

I'm not thanking you for taking care of Joshua. I'm thanking you for caring for Joshua. There is a big difference. Anyone with a degree in nursing could give Joshua his medications on a regular basis. It doesn't take anyone extremely special to do that. It does however take someone special to invest their lives into their patient and his family, and that is what you have done.

You cared for Joshua. And for that I am thankful. More importantly, you loved Joshua. You knew him, you knew me. The care that we received from you was not only great from a medical standpoint, but from a personal and relational stand point.

You have no idea how much it meant to me when you would just stop in, admire him without saying a word, and leave. You have no idea how much it meant to me when you would not only ask how Joshua was doing, but also how my family and I were holding up. You have no idea how much it meant to me when you would fight for Joshua's well being and help get whatever I needed. You have no idea how much it meant to me that I was able to go back to the hotel each night and sleep soundly because I knew that Joshua was in good hands (that alone is a HUGE deal). Thank you.

You mean even more to me now that he is gone.  So many of you continue to follow our family. So many of you continue to email me, ask Kim and Rosie about us, and care enough to send  us cards- just to let us know that you were thinking about us. It shows me just how much you truly cared for my sweet baby boy.

After my experience in the NICU, I have a deep appreciation for all that you do and all that you have to endure. Your job is painstakingly hard, yet you do it with grace, determination, skill, and compassion.  You care not only for your babies, but for their families as well. You laugh, cry, and share your life right along with us.

You will always have a special place in my heart. You knew my child. Other than myself and Shane, you were the only ones who knew him. I would be devastated if he were forgotten or lost in the mix. You were his family- our family- and we love you.

So thank you. Thank you for caring. Thank you for investing in our lives. Thank you for the skill and compassion that you use on a daily basis- even when you are tired and weary yourself. Thank you for being there for me during the darkest day of my life.

Please don't ever hesitate to email me or leave a comment on my blog. I love hearing from the only people who ever really knew my son. It keeps his memory alive.

With much love and adoration,


brookie said...

Jill - I am at work today. I told a few people about your blog today. Now they are all reading away. And it is spreading like wild fire. We can't get enough. Thank you. There hasn't been one person yet that doesn't remembered Joshua. It would bring you joy to see it.

Avery Tales said...

This is such a wonderful post Jill. NICU nurses and doctors have no idea how much they mean to the families, ESPECIALLY those of us whose babies never went home. I have these same feelings for our NICU family, which is why I love working with Footprints Ministry. It has given me the opportunity to stay connected to those who cared so much for Olivia and to show God's love to the Moms and Dads in the Unit. Once again, this post was perfect.

Have fun in the Smokeys! You are so close to me. If I weren't heading to the lake this weekend I'd drive up and meet you. :)

brookie said...

I am supposed to tell you that we all remember baby "karen" (Please tell me if that statement doesn't make sense)

Karen Jensen said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. And so very glad you had loving professionals to help you through it.

Jen said...

I truly believe that it is a calling to work in the NICU and PICU. I just read your previous post from the nurse and it just has me in tears.. How special for you to have so many caring nurses and doctors.. We had a nurse with Ella and an Aide that we requested each time they were on duty, and when we went in for our last stay, I guess there was a staff meeting and both of them, as well as others we had grown to love, each came in and comforted us and shared memories with us.. angels on Earth for sure.. anyway, I haven't been commenting much lately, but I am following and praying for your family still.. ((hugs))

Stephanie, Daughter of the Risen King said...


Mari said...

I think this is a great post. We spent only a few short days in the PICU when Kevin had pneumonia (unrelated to his small bowel resection). Most of his time in the hospital was in the regular peds ward and occasionally ambulatory care (for MRIs, etc.). I remember very vividly how kind words, patience, humor, and sensitivity were manna for us. For us, the Child Life staff were also monumental. To think that there were people to prepare our children for every procedure (the NG tube, for instance) was an ordinary day for them, but for us, it was a part of the healing process. Our story was not the most dramatic, 12 days for the surgery and post-op, but those 12 days were a small lifetime in our family. We often speak reverently about our son's surgeon, but in reality, the men and women on the sixth floor of our hospital were the ones who walked the journey by our sides. I struggle commenting sometimes because your loss is so enormous, but I truly appreciate your attempts to honor every part of the process. Much love, M

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