Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pay it Forward

What an inspiration that family has been to us over the last year. 

If they only knew. 

How many times we have talked about that day.  How many times we remembered them and their sweet daughters.  How much inspiration they gave us when times were tough.  Amid the craziness of life with two preemies and all that goes along with it.  Specialists and therapists and in and out of the hospital.  Remember the triplets.  Tests and illness and surgery.  The triplets.  Monitors and medicine and home oxygen.  Triplets.  The impact they had on us - it was great.  Unbeknownst to them. 

If they only knew.

Well, in October we participated in the Small Wonders Miracle Walk, a fundraiser for the NICU at the Children's Hospital of Illinois, held at the Riverplex in Peoria.

We were chosen as the ambassador family, so we had the opportunity to do some PR stuff and share our story.  We were also on the steering committee, helping with registration.  It was kind of chaotic, keeping track of the kids with all the activities going on. 

But anyway amidst the craziness, Eric comes up to me and says,
Look over there. 

I look.

Its them.

The family.

A year has gone by.  The girls are bigger.  But no mistake.  Its them.

I am instantly drawn to them.

I want to talk to them.

I have to tell them how much they have impacted our lives.

I have to!

I hesitate.

Will they think I'm crazy?

I shrug it off.  I march right over to the mom. 

You don't know me, but I know you, I say.
(yeah...that does sound a little creepy)

I'm nervous.  How can I convey to her the impact that her family has had on ours?  The words are spilling out of me so fast I just hope she can keep up. 

You guys.  Last year.  At the NICU.  Us.  Bad day. 

I tell her the whole story in a rush and I'm crying and I look up at her and I see tears streaming down her face.

We hug.

Then she tells me the most amazing thing:
they had that same experience when her babies were in!

Pay it forward.

We talked about the kids for quite a while, and she told me that even though they live a ways away from Peoria, whenever they are traveling through town, they always stop at the hospital.  If she sees someone in the waiting room at the NICU, she stops and gives a hug and a kind word.

I just want them to know: I've been there, she said.

She is an amazing mom and a very sweet person.  I was so glad we got the chance to finally meet officially and that I was able to share our story and the impact her family had on ours.

When it was time to go, I felt like we were old friends.  She told me that when she got home she was going to call her sister, who lives in India, to tell her this story. 

I was so very touched and as we were walking away Eric hugged me and said,

Well how do you like that, our story is making it halfway around the world.

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