It is hard to believe another year has come and gone without Emery in our house and our lives. She would be celebrating her 10th birthday in a month, the big double digit birthday. I try to imagine what she would look like and how her voice would have changed. I wonder what she would be playing with (I guarantee Beanie Boos would still be a major love of hers) and who her closest friends would be. There isn’t a moment that passes by where I don’t recognize the quiet that has blanketed our lives, Emery had so much love and life to give and I miss hearing her tell me she loves me and having her climb on my lap or listening to her incredible laugh.
The moments that help me feel better are those when I know her legacy is helping other families and children who are coping with CHDs. We started a tradition of delivering Beanie Boos to kids at CHOA on Emery’s birthday & hosting a dinner for the families in the unit. We plan to do that again next month and would love to collect as many Beanie Boos as we can. When we hand the gift to the families they are so surprised by the unexpected gesture and grateful to see their kids being loved by others.
You can send Beanie Boos to us at 705 Cheswich Overlook SE, Marietta, GA 30067 or you can make a donation online and we will buy Boos.
I also wanted to share some feedback from families who have used the new kitchen at Egleston, this gift we were able to make is doing more than I even anticipated. Thank you all for the support that continues to put wind in our sails, especially when the weight of the loss sometimes feels to much to bear.
“This afternoon in the kitchen 4 women were sitting at the table sharing lunch and conversation. For that one moment in time they had privacy, a table to share, and possibly a little taste of normalcy (which in seminary they taught us means “shalom”).”
“I wanted to let you know a story about a sweet little 10 year old who was recently listed for a heart transplant who is on the CSU. She got up a few days ago and made cupcakes for the staff on the CSU as a thank you to them for taking such good care of her. She also made herself eggs for breakfast yesterday. I heard this story and immediately thought of you guys and how this would not have been possible without you!”
“I just wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU!! I cannot put into words how amazing and helpful the kitchen has been during this stay. Our son was born with HLHS and we spent almost all of his first 6 months of life at Egleston. I remember the long walks to the family waiting area just to grab something out of the shared cardiac and NICU refrigerator. This stay, what a difference! The convenience of only having to walk a few feet to the kitchen is only the beginning. New friendships have been made, delicious food has been cooked, and just having a wonderful place to be able to go and “get away” without actually having to go very far. I spend a good bit of my time in my kitchen when I’m at home, so having one here makes our stay just a little bit easier. My son is 12 days post Fontan and we are on day 4 of our temporary fat free diet due to chylothorax. Because of you all, The Reese Family and other donors, we have been able to cook for him and make a not-so-fun diet a little more bearable. What a gift you all have given to your fellow cardiac families. We are forever grateful ❤️💙”
“I wanted to let you know what an impact the kitchen is having for our families. I love when they cook together and eat together. We had a mom bake cookies the other night and share them with the families on the unit. I feel it is just what you were hoping to do. I love it!”