Love, Kindess, and Grace


All in all it was 60 days of hospital life. We actually found a rhythm to our life. N spent nights at the hospital. I would take H to school and then relieve N so he could go to work. Friends delivered H to the hospital after kindergarten or at the end of the day. We'd have dinner together and then I'd take H home to bed.

We filled the windowsills of Lou's room with potted bulbs. We covered her crib in a rainbow silk. Slowly the room filled with knitting, magazines, and books. It was a time of great fear, but we made it our loving nest.


March brought storm after storm. Once I arrived home in the evening to find no power and a foot of snow. Our neighbors had been watching and met us at the door. They had shoveled and raked the roof. They brought flashlights and tucked us into bed leaving a thermos of coffee.

Every neighbor on our street provided us with a meal. Every parent in H's class brought us a meal. A friend who worked at the hospital stopped in EVERY morning with coffee and a smile. At one point Lou stopped eating. He then arrived EVERY morning with a thermos of organic oatmeal loaded with cream and maple syrup. She ate.

My internet friends coordinated mailings of who knows how many hundreds of little gifts for both girls. We probably ended up with around 45 stuffed animals!

The organization I directed gave me paid leave. The Board took up a collection for us. The museum community of Vermont sent emails and flowers. Our little girl had touched many of these folks as she had been bundled about to lots of museums while I worked.

N's sister drove 3 hours each way twice on several weekends to take H home with her. N's parents flew up. My mother sat through both long surgeries with us and braved several snowstorms to help. My father called every single day. When Lou was admitted for the third time, we flew up N's mother from Florida again. N and I just needed more mothering.


It's funny, but I had never had to really accept help before. I had never had to just say "thank you" and know that I could never reciprocate. We had never been on the receiving end of some much love, kindness, and grace. It sustained us through the long days and nights in our little room.

Dawn  – (February 12, 2008 at 8:13 PM)  

This story is quite beautiful in that it gives hope to hear about the goodness of other people.

Lisa Anne  – (February 12, 2008 at 8:15 PM)  

This is the most touching part of Lou's story, all those people there to support you and your family during this time, this is where I find hope in humanity. When my brother was in the hospital so many people I never even knew I was related to were there to support our family during this time. Lou could only get better with all this love around her. I wish her a great birthday!!! A celebration for everyone in her life:)
(I will look for that "Rome" movie in Netflix)

Henitsirk  – (February 12, 2008 at 8:47 PM)  

Isn't it humbling to accept help like that? I remember hearing that my stepmother-in-law's sister, who is a nun, was getting all the other nuns in her convent to pray for my son! And the meals...I always tell parents-to-be to have someone arrange meals, whether there is illness or not. It was a tremendous help for us.

Thank you for sharing Lou's story.

Tara  – (February 12, 2008 at 9:25 PM)  

This chapter truly illustrates that home does not depend upon where you live, but the family and friends you have around you and the support you provide for each other. It's been very moving to read of your journey through this time. Thank you for taking the time to share it.

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