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Generosity we never wanted (but couldn't live without)

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Wide White: Generosity we never wanted (but couldn't live without)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Generosity we never wanted (but couldn't live without)

On more than one occasion over the last few days after receiving a card or a gift, Jamie has looked at me with tears running down her face and said, "I never wanted this." I mumble back something like, "Never wanted what?" The gift? These circumstances? The card? And she responds simply, "I just want to hold my baby girl."

We've been overwhelmed by the generosity of others. But the visits, the gifts, the meals, and the babysitting serve as constant reminders of the little girl we're missing so badly. We never wanted this attention. We'd much rather just be that friendly family you see at church or the nice guy at work or the people you catch up with in their annual Christmas letter.

But the last few weeks have thrown us from that quiet, simple life. We've gone from elation at the prospect of meeting our baby on the ultrasound screen to planning a memorial service in less than 3 weeks.

Yet as much as those gifts serve as painful reminders of where we're at and the loss that brought us here, they also serve to lift up our spirits. They tell us Kaylee Hope mattered, that someone else loved her and wants her family to know that.

People have reached out in so many different ways. I'll tell you about a few of them.

I've said before that it's been difficult to tell people how they can help. We aren't sure what we need or how to ask for those needs to be filled. So, a friend who lost her own baby at 28 weeks gestation setup a care calendar for us and scheduled meals, babysitting, and date nights for the next few weeks and months. She knows what's needed in a time like this better than we do and is doing the asking for us.

And that's just one example of someone simply stepping up to fill a void we hardly knew existed.

One card read,
None of us understand what your family is going through right now. But, in the most trivial of ways, we all know what it feels like to not want to make dinner...or to have forgotten your lunch because your mind was somewhere else...or to have cried yourself to sleep last night and JUST NEED a cup of coffee. We hope this gift takes some of the pressure off at home while you're adjusting to your "new normal."

Our prayers are for you and your family."
Inside the card were 8 gift cards ranging from $10 to $30 each to various restaurants, coffee shops, etc. This came from a Bible study made up mostly of women Jamie knows from the church she grew up in but doesn't see very often any more.

After mentioning wanting a purple bracelet (I was thinking of simple string tied around my wrist since Jamie had purchased some purple string), we each received a silicone wristband that says "Kaylee Hope," a silicone wristband that says "Miss Beautiful - Kaylee Hope," and a bracelet with "Kaylee Hope" engraved in them. In addition to those gifts from 3 different people, we received additional offers to purchase silicone wristbands, but we thought the 200 that Jamie's cousin purchased would probably be enough.

Saturday night found us at a Mark Schultz concert thanks to friends who went to Praise FM and got us tickets and backstage passes to meet the artists before the show. While backstage we were approached by one of Praise FM's announcers (PK), who asked if we were Joey and Jamie. She told us she'd read my blog and had been praying for us.

Backstage with Mark Schultz

Jamie was going through names of people who had signed up to help us through the care calendar last night. Neither of us recognized one of the names. In the section where this person had entered their relationship to us they simply wrote, "friend of a friend."

These are just a few examples of how we've been blown away by the generosity, support, and goodness of others. I know I'm leaving out others that deserve mentioning. Hopefully I'll be able to thank each of these people adequately. But what's been so humbling is how time and again when we thank people, their response is, "No, thank you. It's an honor."

I don't think these people are saying that it's simply an honor to help us. I think they're saying that it's an honor to help love and honor Kaylee Hope. It's the kind of honor that's reserved for those who have passed away.

We want nothing more than to revert back to life with all 3 of our children. But so many of you are showing us that even in Kaylee Hope's death, her life can and must be honored. You're teaching us so much about the value of generosity, of how important it is to love those who are hurting, and of how meaningful and critical it is to help those left behind when a family member passes.

At the risk of repeating myself...

Thank you.



Blogger mrclm declared,

Words cannot express my feelings for your loss. Having been through this with friends and family is hard enough. May God's grace and mercies comfort and bless you.

3/15/2011 12:25 AM  

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