Have you ever noticed how confusing it is to say “Thank You” nowadays? When I was young there was one official way of giving someone a proper “thank you”, you wrote a note. And if not a note, at least a phone call to let your Uncle Larry & Aunt Lois know that you got the scarf, the card, the gift certificate, if you weren’t going to write an official note, but you could only get away with that if it’s family. Now we have email, Facebook, text messaging, and these ways of saying “Thank You” seem almost insulting at times, so what is the new protocol? I’ve always hated writing notes, which is too funny since I’ve always loved writing. Maybe it’s because it was one of those things my mom made me do as a kid, maybe it’s because I always want to be very personal and creative when I write them so I spend way too much time and energy agonizing over how to write the card. Or maybe it’s because I have the worst handwriting known to man, next to my sister, and it never looks as good as I want it to look. No matter what the excuse I’ve been horribly overdue in sending out “Thank You” notes in any format, so I thought I would dedicate most of this blog to doing just that.
Thank you. Thank you for reading our story and following along. Thank you for staying with us as we took this blog from Caringbridge to our own site. Thank you for sharing this blog with family and friends. Thank you for all of your comments on the blog, your words of encouragement have kept our spirits up during the darkest of hours.
Thank you for leaving us comments on Facebook. We don’t reply to most of them but we read them outloud to each other regularly and are so touched by all the love and support. Thank you for liking our pictures of Aleck and telling us how cute he is and how much he’s growing. We think he’s the cutest kid ever created but we are a little biased 😉
Thank you for the phone calls. I’m terrible at reaching out to people, and really haven’t been a great phone person since high school, but I promised myself when Aleck was born that I would at least try to answer the phone as much as I could and return the phone calls, not necessarily in the most timely fashion but in my fashion.
Thank you for the emails. For those who aren’t into putting their thoughts for everyone to see, we love getting your personal email messages after a blog post or even just on a Wednesday to say you are thinking about us, sharing your stories to distract us from our stresses, virtual hugs we cherish.
Thank you for meals. Home cooked, take-out, hospital delivery, home delivery, getting fed is this wonderful nurturing reward where we feel taken care of, and that’s a wonderful feeling.
Thank you for all the gift cards. When I’m heading out to Target and Craig wants to know how much I think I’m going to spend it helps make that conversation so much easier when I say I’m using the gift cards. And when the cupboard is low and the bills are due, making a run to Trader Joe’s or a call to Peapod is that much easier with all of your help.
Thank you for your hand me downs. Your childrens’ old clothes, books & toys they don’t want anymore, it’s so much easier to have therapy at our house all week when we have a selection of toys to help motivate Aleck to reach a little higher, stand a little taller, sit up a little longer, it’s huge. Since we spend so much time at home in sessions and practicing our skills it’s become so important that we have enough here to keep him going. Plus with all the throwing up he used to do, we would have weeks where he would go through three outfits a day everyday, he’d be naked by the end of the day if it wasn’t for your generosity. And please keep those books coming! I had to read him 7 before 7:45am just to coax his full bottle in him (only left 1/2 an ounce…not bad at all).
And lastly Thank You for all the donations. In just over two weeks we are almost halfway to our fundraising goal, and it’s with mixed feelings that I send out this “Thank You”. We’ve had to swallow a lot of pride and a lot of feelings of independence lost these past 16 months, and it’s not easy. At thirty-something you feel you should be able to pay for your life and it’s a horrible feeling to feel that you fall so short of this simple idea. As Micheal Jackson used to say, “If you can’t feed your baby (yeah, yeah), then don’t have a baby (yeah, yeah)” Words to live by. My parents keep asking us if they can give us more help, but they give us so much already we keep joking that if we get anymore help from them we should just move in with them…hmmm…it’s not totally out of the question. And we used to be able to afford our lifestyle, to plan trips, go out to dinner, and even shop at stores other than Target and Old Navy for clothes. But with everything that Aleck needs I just can’t work like I used to which has been a huge financial loss for our family. Instead of being on set producing shoots I’m in therapy with Aleck 5 days a week and we’ve only just begun this journey.
So thank you for your love, your kindness, your messages, your phone calls, your gifts, your donations, and your virtual hugs that we can feel from coast to coast. Even as we get down and low and we feel like we just keep getting kicked while we are already down, you are a reminder to us that we must have done something right somewhere along the road. When people we knew only briefly, or haven’t spoken to in years, even total strangers, are coming out of the woodwork to help we just have to think that we are good people fighting the good fight.
In Aleck news, he’s finally kicked the stomach bug and things might be on the up & up for the first time ever (Kenohora, poo, poo, poo). He finished his entire first bottle yesterday morning without having to read six books, move locations, or have a roll session. Whew. He also hasn’t thrown up in over a week and the only vomiting he’s had has been due to that stomach bug. So there’s a real possibility that the tonsils pushing on his throat added to that oversensitive gag reflex, but we aren’t ready to let our guard down quite yet. And on top of it all, Aleck is now hungry. He was screaming at me this morning as I finished getting him dressed, letting the acid-reflux medication kick in before starting his bottle, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Finally I sat down in his glider with him on my lap and as he threw his body back in a fit of rage I grabbed the bottle and said, “Well, I’m not sure what you are crying about but maybe this will help” and then watched him gulp down 3 ounces of his bottle without taking a breath or a break. One of my friends said, “Lynn, you have to anticipate when they are going to be hungry by offering the bottle sooner.” And even though I totally agree with that concept, that strategy hasn’t worked for his entire life! We’ve gotten in the habit of pushing the bottles later and later just so that he’d be hungry enough to eat a significant amount. This new behavior of screaming out of hunger is an amazing turn of events and I can feel the tears of relief well up as I write this. The idea that I could have an actively eating child is literally my dream come true, my bright light at the very end of this very dark 16 month tunnel of trying to feed Aleck. And the best news of it all, it wasn’t my fault. He didn’t throw up because I overfed him since that was an impossible thing to do, and offering him the bottle 6 times a days wasn’t any more effective than offering it 4 times a day. It wasn’t my stress or mood, it wasn’t where I fed him or through which bottle, and it didn’t matter if I stood on my head or not, the feeding issue was completely out of my control and that’s a huge relief. Our work isn’t done, of course it isn’t, and he’s still not where he should be, but holy cow, a huge weight has been lifted from our household. Please cross your fingers that it’s just keeps getting better.