Labor of Love
Last Thursday I went to visit Brian Rossi at PCH! (Phoenix Children’s Hospital) Brian is a young man Mother’s Grace has worked with in the past. He suffered a brain injury as a young boy and has been in a wheel chair since then. He was in for Spinal surgery as his spine was pressing on heart and lungs after scoliosis had taken over. Coleen, his very graceful Mom who is a single Mom, managing a career and a special needs child was working from Brian’s room as will be her norm for his entire stay of 3 weeks. After visiting the Rossi’s, I went down to drop by another family. Baby Bradley is in PCH being treated for a brain tumor, he was dxed. at 4 months and is in out of the hospital after 10+ surgeries and to receive chemo for one year.
Bradley’s Mom is a former principal at my son’s elementary school and she is a young graceful Mom. When I walked by I saw Mom and Dad with baby Bradley, tubes coming off of his tiny body and mom holding him with the most distressing emotions expressed in her face. I felt like an intruder into this very personal and visible pain. I did not stay but struggled the rest of the day trying to think of how to best help this family whose life has been stalled for over 4 months.
When I was visiting with the Rossi’s a representative of PCH was in the room and I asked how many patients were in PCH this week, she replied, “over 300”.
It occurred to me that 300 Moms were in the hospital with their precious babies that day perhaps fighting for life, maybe grateful for an imminent release, or preparing to say good-bye. How many times a month do I zoom by PCH down to PHX and look to the right and see the looming building with the beautiful children as patients? Moms and children dealing with overwhelming illness as we are dealing with everyday normal life. Their life stops, there is no one at home to make dinner, clean the house, do the laundry, get the mail, I have heard it described as the “twilight zone”.
Our family’s life stopped 5 years ago, when my middle son was admitted to PCH and diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes! We were in shock, our heads were in the clouds, mostly in denial, we were just like robots slowly ambling through each day. My Husband was so busy caring for me and my son that he had no time to get dinner-
So many friends did wonderful things for us, meals, cards, flowers. What was the nicest gesture? Letting us know that we were cared for!
So many search for the perfect gesture but truly what I believe brightens one’s day is generosity of spirit. Last week I was speaking with a friend and she asked how to pitch in and help one of the Mom’s we support, currently she was making meals and wanted to do more. She described to me her process for these meals:
“I take the day and block out other commitments, I plan the meal, the shopping the recipe, I pray over the food, I make a beautiful meal wrap it with up with love and try go through and imagine all the emotions that that the family must be feeling, and pour my love into each detail of the meal. By the end of the day it has been an emotional ordeal for me, “A true labor of love” I want the family to know when they take a bite of the food how much I care an that I am there with them”!
WOW, I was so moved by this undertaking, as I am the one who signs up for a meal and has Pizza delivered…YIKES I have really been missing the boat.
I think this is a beautiful tribute to Graceful Moms everywhere that put their heart and souls into beautiful meals for other Moms. I remembered back to when my family was in a similar spot and a Mom brought us a beautifully prepared meal with a sunflower in a vase, a bright cheery card, napkins, get well plates, dessert, and a handwritten note to “put dishes outside that night and we will be buy to collect them and wash them”.
I don’t remember the exact meal, but I do remember how thoughtful the whole presentation was and that this Mom really demonstrated her time and care through the meal and we felt better that night knowing someone cared!
Right now there is a Mom out there that could use a Meal and the love behind it, this simple gesture can change the course of their day!