Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Take a sad song, and make it better.

May 29th will mark one year since we made the big move to SDCH. Norah was much healthier than the prior attempts to transition to the long term care facility, and we had a better plan in place. But we were still nervous. We had mixed feelings about SDCH. It was there that she died for nine minutes. But it was the staff there who not only shared in the grief of that awful day, but also helped to bring her back to us.

As to be expected, we hit a few bumps in the road after moving back. One day in particular, Norah was having a rough day. I had a hard time getting in touch with the nurse that evening. After three attempts, I was in the car at 10:30pm to see what was going on. I had expected to see her alone, crying in her crib. Instead, I walked into her dim room at almost 11pm, finding Norah in the arms of her aide, Chris. She was rocking Norah, singing "Hey Jude" as a lullaby.

As my readers may or may not know, Jeff and I are huge Beatles fans. Jeff's brother Jared played "Blackbird" on his guitar as I walked down the"aisle" of our beach wedding. Our first dance as husband and wife was "Here, There, and Everywhere". We have been to see the Love Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. To find Chris taking such sweet care of my girl was so touching. It was a very special moment that I will always remember.

Chris was one of the big contributors to our trust-building. She was there five (sometimes six) days a week, taking perfect care of Norah. She tended to her medical needs of course, but also to her emotional and developmental needs. While many have played their parts in Norah's development, Chris wins extra points in this department. When Chris was on shift, we never worried about Norah's needs being tended to.

Chris recently took a fabulous career opportunity at another hospital. While we were beyond excited for her, we were of course crushed. And let me tell you: everyone agrees that SDCH isn't the same without her. Even Harper asks about her regularly. On her last day, I presented her with a special gift. Made with bits of Norah, and bits of Chris, I hope this mixed media canvas will remind her of how she has changed Norah's life (and that of many others). Thank you, Chris. We love you!
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