Thursday, February 02, 2006

Ronald McDonald House

I went down to RMH with Hannah and her friend Sarah for our monthly volunteer time. Although I usually resent the idea of giving up what little free time I have, I always enjoy myself once we get down to the house. Helping someone purely because you can and expecting nothing in return is such a wonderful feeling.

When we walked in I was surprised to see one of the families that had been there back in December. When I had talked with the mom in December they had thought they would be going home anyday and now 2 months later they are still sitting there. Her daughter Bailey had a bone marrow transplant and had some setbacks, but things now look up, they may be heading home on February 20th (my Hannah's 14th birthday!). Bailey was so surprised we remembered her (she has this infectious voice and is so talkative, she would be impossible to forget). Bailey mentioned that it was her sister's 13th birthday and I could just see the pain in her mom's eyes. For just a minute I allowed myself to imagine the hell of being torn between your sick child and the rest of your family, it was more than I could bear. The family lives in Minnesota. She and her daughter had been in Cincinnati since August, she had missed her other 3 children returning to school, halloween, thanksgiving, more sports events, school events, just everyday things than I could even count. Her family came down for Christmas but could only stay for a week and now a month later she is still looking at another 3 weeks before their reunion.

Through thick and thin, the thing I always know I can count on is having my family to cuddle up with, to lean on each day. Because I have them I know I can get through anything. I can't imagine not being able to touch or hold my children for 1/2 of a year, I have a hard enough time when I am away from any of them even for a couple of days. As much as I rsent the time it takes each week to deal with my dad and the dialysis, I am close enough (only 20 minutes away) that I can help out. I can't imagine having the closest member of my family 10 hours away.

So I came home with a renewed sense of how important having my family around me really is to me! OK so Will still annoyed the heck out of me when I was trying to check email last night and he kept crawling into my lap and pulling up my shirt. But I wouldn't trade it for the world....and I PRAY that I never have to!

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