Imagine a child. A beautiful Child. A child with sparkling eyes and a smile that lights up a room. A child loved by a young mother, a young father — as precious to them as the air they breathe. Can you see this child?
Imagine the color blue. Softly at first. So faint you’re not even really quite sure you see it. But it’s there. Sensed before it’s seen. Creeping, seeping into cherished features… lips, fingers, toes.
Now imagine the color white. Stark white. Chillingly sterile. Antiseptic whiteness enveloping this child — pulling them back from a horrific shade of blue in a tangle of wires, tubes, and beeping alarms.
Imagine the young mother weeping as she stands in this tight room of white, far from home, stroking the treasured child’s tiny head, unable to cradle the child in her arms as she longs to. Imagine the young father, holding her close, trying to be strong for all three of them. Imagine the anguish in their hearts as a hurried surgeon tells them the child needs surgery. A risky one. One in a long line of surgeries the child has already had to endure. One of many the child has yet to face.
Imagine long, restless, fitful nights. Nights the young mother spends holding the child’s hand. Praying for every breath, every heartbeat. Imagine the young father’s threadbare soul as he worries. Worries about his child’s pale little face, his exhausted wife, and the bills. The bills that haunt his family’s every waking thought.
Now imagine it’s you. Your child. Your husband. Your wife. Your family.
What would you do?
What would you wish for?
What would it mean to you if someone you had never met held out a hand to help you, your child, your family?
I can tell you from personal experience, exactly what it means. It means everything. Jacqui is here — a joyous, sparkling part of our lives because people cared. Some of the most thoughtful gestures came from people we didn’t even know. People we had never met. And I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for them. I know how important the little gestures are. Jacqui didn’t get where she is today from one person doing something huge. She got where she is through a whole community of caring — many, many, people doing countless little things, that when added all together changed her life, and ours.
Which is why my heart just breaks for Pam and her adorable little Rhett at Rhett’s Journey, and for Tammy and her precious little Parker, at Praying for Parker. They are amazing moms, with heroic families. And although my family lives on a relatively tight budget stretched thin with our own medical issues, I cannot just sit by and do nothing but watch as these other two families struggle. Since I don’t have an excess of income that I can draw from, I spent a lot of time trying to think of what I could do to help these two wonderful families. About a month ago, I realized I could certainly gift them with a little bit of my time and creativity.