We invite you to remember your loved ones who have died by committing an act of kindness in their honor. Love, kindness, generosity, sharing, these are the gifts we can give to them.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Filling the Stocking has begun!

We have begun to receive responses from friends and family and have begun our own filling of Theo's stocking.

We baked cookies all this past Sunday morning and packed them up in tins to take to the staff at VCU's PICU to say thank you to the nurses and staff and let them know how often we still think of them and their amazing work, to try to convey our deep gratitude for how wonderful they were to our sweet boy. The nurses in the VCU/MCV PICU not only do their difficult jobs incredibly well, but are so full of love and compassion. I know they genuinely loved Theo and many of them spent extra time with him in his room, holding him, talking to him. We will never forget their kindness to him and to us.

We got to see one of our favorite nurses, Judy, and she was thrilled to meet Lula. She remembers Theo well and took our gifts of cookies and donuts to share with the rest of the staff. We also got an update on how all our other nurses are doing. It was difficult to go into the PICU, as it has been every time we have gone back, but we feel that it is important to let those wonderful people know that their work does continue to touch the families they work with, long after the children they served have left the PICU.

We also took some cookies to our friend Amy who recently had a baby girl--Welcome to the world little Abby Sue! We took extra so that she could share them with her nurses and visitors or save them all for herself and her husband John.

Other things we have done this week:

The counselors at my workplace adopted an angel from the Angel Tree--a ten year old girl named Joy. We are all contributing to her Christmas gifts.

Our friend Nicole along with two of her friends puts together a wonderful project called The Mother's Gift Circle. They gather donated gifts and wrappings of new and gently used baby items and then get together to make gift bags and packages to deliver to Richmond's Public Health Department. The Dept. runs a program for pregnant teens that focuses on prenatal health care and parenting skills. It has amazing success at keeping the girls in school and at preventing second pregnancies. The gifts are used as incentives to keep the girls in the program and are often the only celebratory elements of the pregnancy.

We have been carefully saving all our gift bags from presents we received for Lula since our baby shower in April as well as collecting items to give. We also added some items that belonged to Theo we never used including a beautiful quilt and several other "boy items". This morning Jamie took a car load of gift wrappings, baby clothes, shoes, blankets and other items to donate to this wonderful organization. Please feel free to email me if you would like more information.

Kindnesses I have received from others this week:

Received 12/1/08
Karla, Jamie and Lula,

Being that I have Theo's picture on a slide show on my desktop, I am reminded of him everyday.
For some reason, I'm always doing something to help folks out. Just this past two weeks, I've picked up trash in the neighborhood, given away non-perishable food items to folks that neededit, gave away clothes to folks that needed and recently bought gifts for two Angels from the Angel Tree.

Today, two of my co-workers and I donated 40 hours of Leave Time to another co-worker whose father is ill and in the hospital. She needed to go to Tennessee to be with him and didn't have the leave time.

I donate this last act of kindness to baby Theo.

Received 12/2/08
Dear Karla, Jamie and family,

I feel so lucky to have the children I do. They are so giving, loving, caring, understanding, grateful, etc. and their arms are always open to everyone in need. I couldn't have ask for any better.

I too lost a child--before birth--which I think about often, especially in October when the child was to be born. The loss was at 5 months. I never thought to have anyone expressing that loss with me so I only have the loss within myself.

Knowing you and your family and how you have kept your memories and love alive with others really makes me think and wish that I would have done more to express my feelings of my child even though my child was unborn, it was my child. Of course, this was many years ago, the child would have been 23 now, but I still think about the love I felt. We never even agreed on a name. We didn't even know if he was a he or a she actually.

I like to do things to help others when ever I can just because I know that I have been so lucky to have the most wonderful, beautiful amazing, girls ever and I have the privilege knowing such wonderful people like yourselves that make life worth living.

May God bless and you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Healthy New Year!


Dear M.,
I am honored to share about your baby's life here. I am so sorry that your precious child died and want you to know that I am glad that Theo's life can help you to honor and remember your own baby. No matter how young or old, when our children die, our hearts are left wounded. The wound may heal, but leaves its imprint behind. Sharing your story and that of your baby's life and death is a kindness in itself, as it helps you to heal as well as helps others to better understand how deeply the lives of our children who have died continue to touch us. I hope you will continue to find ways to honor the life of your child and the ways that your life has been touched by that little soul. Thank you.
Sending love and hugs to you---