I never knew I would need you. I never knew the kind of connection I would have with you. I never, for once, thought that one of my children would literally depend on you with their life.
I didn’t know how much I would need you, or how much I would miss you when we no longer “needed” you.
You changed his diaper when I couldn’t muster the strength or when he was so critical I dare not touch him. You never missed a feeding, well, the dang thing beeps at you until you can’t do anything but reset it HA, but he never went without. You always talked to him, cheered him on, let him know he wasn’t alone. You kept watch night after night, letting me try to rest. You took record of every single medication, every diaper change, feeding, bath, and line change. You gave everything you had when he coded, alongside physicians calling the shots, you poured out all of your heart, sweat and energy to get him back. It worked. I got 5 more months with him. You noticed trends and would speak up at rounds. You would keep him comfy, cozy and calm.
The thing is, you took care of me too. You talked with me. You noticed me. You let me look my worst, act my worst, operate out of exhaustion and emotion deluxe. You explained things in words I could understand until I started to understand. You let me do what I could to be mom. You celebrated milestones, big moments and small ones alike. I’ll never forget the ordeal it was to get to hold him the first time. IT WAS A WHOLE THING. All the tubes, all the lines, the whole deal was a mess, but you made it happen and then you celebrated it with me. You let me cry and cry. You encouraged me and told me that I was doing amazing through it all. You asked me about my family back home. You shared your own stories of your own kids and families.
You did more than you could know. You shared the load. You carried part of the weight. You watched him die with us. You gave him his final bath, dressed him in his fancy outfit. Plaid button down and a nice pair of denim, like his daddy. You cried too. I saw it and I’m so thankful.
You showed up. Yes, I know it’s your job, but you did more than clock in and out. You did life with us for 5 months. You did ugly, hard, dark, life or death decision making days with us. You also did some lighter days in there too, and for that, we’re forever thankful.
You are never forgotten, or under appreciated in our house. I wish I could spoil y’all rotten. I wish I lived close enough to volunteer, support and be a part of your lives still. Maybe someday. For now, I will love you from afar, I will never tire of keeping in touch, sharing lives over the interwebs, celebrating your kids, your marriages and grieving your losses. You are forever a part of my heart and my life.
I can picture each of you as I write. Each of you had a part in this story and I see you clearly. I will always see you, even when you feel unseen.
Thank you nurses. Thank you. I wish there were more words to express my love for you.