There are times in life when you realize who you can truly count on and who you can truly depend on time and time again.
The first time I realized this harsh realization was when my water broke. It's really easy to be there for someone for a couple of days. What really opened y eyes for the first time were the people that were there for me after the first couple of weeks and the ENTIRE 10 long weeks. I learned I have some flippin' amazing friends. I had friends that e-mailed me all the time, sent me text messages, sent me cards and made me feel like I not only mattered, but I was important to them. I had friends visit that I hadn't seen from high school, friends sending fun puzzles and coloring books for Kaitlyn and friends that made my birthday truly special. Those friends (and some are family ), I strongly believe, are the reasons I made it as long as I did. They kept my spirits high and never once told me how I should feel or how I should behave or how I should react. They were true friends.
I learned again while Matthew was in the NICU. That was one of the most stressful times of my life. Staying in the hospital on bed rest was a cake walk compared to life at home without Matthew. There were some amazing people in our life who did so much to make it easier. Whether it was a phone call or e-mail to check on us and Matthew, or an action to make things easier on Kaitlyn or remove some of the tedious tasks of life to life living.
When Matthew came home, I won't lie, there were times that it was hard. Taking care of Matthew was an enjoyable breeze. I loved every moment of it. But, there were times when it was incredibly lonely. I worred about Kaitlyn missing out on things that others were doing, I missed the daily interaction I had with people before I went into the hospital, and I was dissapointed when people didn't come over to see us, for whatever reason. Again, my friends were there for me. They lifted my spirits, they made me happy, they brought me so much joy. They took Kaitlyn to birthday parties, on trips, and made her feel special and loved. They brought Sunday dinner to our house, they made a sincere effort to bond with Matthew and they brought me my favorite food when I was alone with Matthew, without being asked. I had friends during this time (and my hospital stay) that while I had never met face to face, would do the kindest and sweetest things. They would e-mail or call to check on us, they would send fun little things for Kaitlyn, they would stop by and visit with us, they made us feel like we were still an important part of their lives.
With Matthew's passing, I have become so incredibly grateful for these friends. These are the people who have been there for us in ways I could not even begin to describe. There is one group of friends in particular who have warmed my heart more than I can ever describe. They have been so kind and strong for me. They have sent me the most meaningful things, including a tree to plant in his honor with an amazing stone to remember Matthew by, a beautiful necklace with footprints, Matthew's birthstone and his initials. And when I asked for opinions on how to explain it to Kaitlyn they sent a kit to explain grief to a toddler. An amazing friend who had previously lost a daughter, sent me an incredibly meaningful poem that I will always treasure. In addition to those friends, we've had friends that have done what might be little things to them but mean the world to us. Friends that loved Matthew and continue to do so. Friends that have made an effort to be there for us now, friends that still call and e-mail and message me. I may not always respond, but that doesn't mean I don't love and appreciate each and every one. And those that respond to even my meaningless e-mails mean more than you'll know.
I don't know what the lesson to be learned is with Matthew's death. I can tell you, from the bottom of my heart, I do appreciate each and every friend that has been there for me. Thank you. I only hope that I can be at least 1/2 the friend to you that you are from me.
I want Matthew's memory to always live on. I want Kaitlyn to always know what a special little girl she is and how important she is to so many people. I want to make the personal resolution to put those first that have put us first. I think that with good friends (through blood or internet connection or through experience) life can be so incredibly meaningful. Thank you for giving that to me.
In loving honor of our precious baby boy, we will be mailing out flower seeds to be planted in his honor. They should go in the mail Thursday. I have envelopes addressed and ready for our family and close friends. If you are interested, please let me know. Post or message or e-mail me your address. I would love to have pictures of gardens planted in honor of our angel above.
Again, thank you for your friendship, thank you for your kindness, thank you for being there for us.