Everyone has a way they receive love. Gary Chapman covers the topic thoroughly in his book The Five Love Languages. From what I remember of the book, and from what I identify in myself, is that we receive from all of the five ways love is expressed, but each of us has a primary love language. Evidently, my primary love language is quality time. My secondary is acts of service.
But one thing I love so very much are words. I love written words and spoken words. I love the bridge words create connecting one person to another. And recently, I received the most beautiful words from a beautiful family.
This family gifted each nurse who took care of their baby with a rustic cuff and the letter below. I've changed a bit of the letter to protect the family's privacy, but wanted to share because of the insight it provides. Sometimes we get so focused in, we forget how much value each of the little things holds in the hearts of those we as nurses get to care for.
As I read through this letter, the following passage of scripture was stirring in my thoughts.
Matthew 25:34-40 NLT Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me." Then these righteous ones will reply, "Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?" And the King will say, "I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"
NICU Nursing Gifts: Letter From A Family
Hope- a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, a feeling of trust.
We were so excited when we finally had our son on that autumn day in 2016. He was beautiful and sweet and just perfect. Then two days later we were told he wasn't going home with us and that our perfect little boy wasn't medically perfect.
Our emotions leapt from total joy and excitement to fear and confusion. The next few days are totally lost in our memories, and the following weeks were so emotional and draining. There is nothing to prepare you for the sadness and complete helplessness you feel as a parent with a child that is sick to any degree, let alone in and ICU where we weren't sure what the problem was or what the solution would be.
The things we do remember are the people who were there to take care of our son. Upon arrival at the NICU, a nurse had prepared our baby's bed with personal bedding and had placed the sweetest blue knit cap on his precious head. Within the first few days, our little man had a handmade name tag on the door to his room. A few days later, a nurse brought in an outfit and said, "Let's dress this sweet boy!"
Being such an emotional time, I had never even thought to put clothes on my baby!
November arrived and our little turkey got to make his very own first craft! A turkey! Made using his little footprint.
Nurses who had taken care of him before would stop in on their shifts just to check-in on him. We really felt as though the nurses here cared for his health and loved him as all children need to feel loved.
Although we as his parents were not the patients ourselves, we felt cared for. The nurses here engaged in conversation with us both medically to keep us updated and socially to keep us feeling sane and a part of the world outside of that room. Each night, a nurse brought in fresh bedding for us to sleep on and always asked if we needed anything else. We received comfort in the form of positive words or encouragement, friendly smiles and even a few much needed hugs.
You are what gave us HOPE. We desired for our baby's health to be taken care of and we had to trust that it would be. In some cultures, blue is representative of hope. The shade of blue we chose is the same shade of blue as the knit hat he received in his first night in the NICU.
When you wear this bracelet, please remember that what you do matters. You give hope to a lot of families. Your kindness, patience, and individual care matters. We are forever indebted to this staff and this facility.
Love, a NICU Grad's Mom & Dad
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