This season my mom has called numerous times in tears. "I can't do this! I can't. It's too hard." She's cried in front of more people than she's cared to. She has shared with more people than she's wanted. We've had many conversations about why it's worth it. We've talked about the smiles all her tears will bring. Sometimes she doesn't care, but I know she does. She's hurt because Aviana isn't here enjoying the holidays like she would have been had this accident not happened. She comes around fast though. It's useless, she's gone. What are we going to do. Nothing. So let's do some good. It's just a thought process.
While I know there are times we're both tired from our story and having to repeat it, I also know there's an overall healing taking place in every connection. My mom says she can't, but she always does. I wish you could see her. The woman is persistent. She powers through. I'm more impressed with each passing year. The people out there love her, and those who stall or give her the run around, well - they are just a challenge for her. She walks out, cries because she misses Aviana and doesn't understand why they don't understand it's for the benefit of others. She then gets mad, simmers down, regroups, later goes back and they become her best friend. It's a cycle. It makes me laugh, but then again not. I understand from both points of view; this work is important to us, but they are bombarded this time of year.
This year as we were getting started, we ran into a few roadblocks. Tahoe Forest has different requirements. They needed to get approval for everything. This ended up taking some time. The result was this - we weren't able to provide any care packages for the Cancer Center. Unfortunately they would be too much of a potential complication. We also weren't allowed to include any snacks or beverages either. We can however provide the gift cards you so graciously provided.
For a moment last week, I was at a standstill. Before redirecting our efforts back to Kaiser Roseville, I inquired about other departments. Pediatrics, this wouldn't work. They offered one which was a perfect fit, right along with hospice. The Extended Care Center. I toured the facility and couldn't be happier providing the packages to these lovely men and women. They are patients who have dementia, Alzheimer's, some have cancer, had a stroke or some other illness. They require a high level of care for an extended period of time. As I looked around, and talked to some of these people, I envisioned them receiving one of our care packages. Of course it matters greatly to me what's in our gift baskets, but at the very same time - not at all. As I looked at their faces and into their eyes, what matters most is that we're thinking of them.
I called my mom right after leaving. I told her of the people who were in the Extended Care Center. I asked her to remember all the people who would sit, waiting for someone to come visit back when we would pick grandma up of the day. My mom remembered well. My mom used to go up to many with a warm smile. She would touch their arm, talk to them. That's a feeling that's never left me, of seeing my mom - so loving, so gracious - to a perfect stranger. Week after week, my mom showed love when there was hardly anyone there to give that love. While in the ECC that very same feeling came back to me.
As my mom is out sharing our story, I want her to capture what she felt all those years while visiting my grandma. I want her to feel what I felt that day in the ECC. And no matter how hard - while being within those hospital walls - it all makes sense. The worth always outweighs the pain. And the best part, it's because of and in the name of our dear, sweet Aviana.
Thank you for being with us - through the highs, the lows, and all the parts we're still trying to make sense of.