We had a hard time getting into the day-to-day routine after the Christmas break this week. Early mornings and late nights. Jacob on two different antibiotics for bacteria in his ear and his gut. Night nurse on vacation, new nurse in training. Dish washer broken, new floors needing adjustment. Trying to get the house back in order from the big Christmas decoration party taken over our house. I felt I didn't sit down all week long, it was a race!
Sarah had a birthday party tonight. I was running her over to the party, and was then going to just relax - finally! Another mom was dropping off at the same time as me. The birthday girl's mom introduced us. We both recognized each other from school, and we all started chatting about the winter break. In the middle of talking about the craziness of the holidays, the other mom's fleece jacket logo gave her away. It said Children's Hospital Urgent Care North Campus. I dropped the holiday discussion, and said I recognized her from Children's rather than school.
"That is right. You are the mom delivering labs every week", she answered. Yes, I am that mom, and you are the one printing my son's lab labels, giving me vacutainers and colorful lab tubes. You are the one always giving me a smile, and asking for my son's name, birth date, and address.
And then it clicked for both of us. Our daughters have had a special bond for three years. Her daughter lost her brother in 4th grade due to a rare genetic disorder. This was a major event for Sarah we had to talk and process for weeks. Sarah telling me in the ER parking lot of Children's once that when Jacob dies, she will not be alone because of her friend who has lost her brother. She will have someone who will understand her. We were two moms finally meeting after having heard our daughters' stories for years.
In the hallway of the birthday party, we started talking. The mom telling me her story about her son. How he fought in the PICU the last month of his life. How hard it is to go from having two children to having one. This is the first time I met a mom who truly could tell me how it is for the surviving sibling. It was a powerful encounter with hugs, tears and sincere discussion. The birthday girl's mom crying and hugging us, and so happy we met tonight.
And this is what is so beautiful about life. I was tired. I was ready to relax, shut off my brain for the evening, and instead I had a conversation I will keep with me for life. I will never again just deliver my labs after knowing her story. We all have a story, and the beauty is when someone is willing to let you in on their story. It makes life meaningful.
To a busy new year!