It is Day +33 since Ryan’s transplant, 43 days since we moved into UCLA. While it is probably not a good thing to recognize so many doctors and nurses from various departments as I walk throughout the hospital, I also realize these faces represent the journey that, while long and hard, is so significant to the lives of our little ones. They are a team, a community of sorts, that has fought masterfully for our boys to have life and healing. They have done it for Ryan and Sharon. They will do it again for Geoffrey. It is also for all of us who love them so deeply.
Our community of supporters, thankfully, goes far beyond the walls of the hospital. While Titus and I have been primarily based at UCLA for the last 40+ days with Ryan, friends and family have stood with us to care us as well as our other children.
Nana and grandpa have had the girls with them in Northern California. Sharon and Ella are so happy to be at “grandpa’s house,” playing with their cousin Duncan, and celebrating Christmas and New Year’s (Sharon’s assigned birthday) with my family.
Hope you enjoy Ella and Geoffrey’s versions of Jingle Bells!
Titus’ sister (Senge Linda) and the Herberts (Mel, Mary & Micah) have been an unbelievable, constant help in caring for Geoffrey (and the rest of us). Geoffrey has a lot of ongoing medical issues related to his sickle cell disease. He often needs “bandages” to try and cover his pain. He falls constantly. And yet, it is astonishing that through all of his loss and pain, Geoffrey remains one of the most delightful children on the planet. His love for learning and play is great, and his hugs are unmatched.
Many have stepped in, in such loving ways, to create meaningful experiences for our kids. Miss J teaches Sharon art. Mama H, a mom of some of the “highschoolers”, has brought meals, taken Geoffrey to the zoo, taught Sharon how to sew, made cookies with all of the kids, just to name a few. Gogo Debi stops by often to play. Gogo Kathy has taken the kids to the beach, among other outings.
Honestly, the list of kindnesses, from so many, is long and more appreciated than I will ever have words for.
In a season that feels so raw and unpredictable, the vulnerability of it all has awakened me to the beauty of kindness. I know I keep going on and on about it, but it feels so surprising and refreshing. As Jean Vanier writes, “Community is not an ideal: it is people. It is you and I. In community we are called to love people just as they are with their wounds and their gifts.”
So, thank you to all who are loving my little tribe.