Fall 2012

Fall 2012
[learning to live a perfectly imperfect life]

12 Days of Giving (Part 1)

Life with Bubba, Chicky and Nika

When Bethany at Life with Bubba, Chicky and Nika began the 12 Days of Giving (on December 1st) I wanted to participate! Her mission was to encourage others not only to give, but to share it on their blog to inspire others.

Somehow, days 1, 2 and 3... then 4, 5 and 6 got away from me. So, I told myself I was too late. If I didn't fully participate in all 12 days, starting on the very first day, then I didn't want to do it. I didn't want to just "sort of" participate. (I've always been a "do it really well or not at all" type of person.)

Anyone else like this?

Well, today I realized that was silly. Sharing even one time is better than none at all! So here I am. Sharing something. It might be everyone else's Day 6, but it's my Day 1. It might be my only day, or it might be one of a few... but I'm here!

(Let me clarify and give me a little credit by saying that this not my only day of giving for the year! I think I do lots of giving throughout the year! This is just my day of sharing my idea of giving... make sense?)

I am sharing something today that I actually do every year after Rylee's birthday. It all started out on Rylee's 1st Birthday. I was overwhelmed by thinking about all the people that had been involved in her life so far -- from doctors and nurses to Early Intervention specialists and therapists - and I wanted to let them know that we appreciated what they had done. I wanted to show them that we'd made it to her 1st Birthday... that she was healthy and happy (and adorable.) Some hadn't seen her since she was in Intensive Care as a baby; others may have only seen her a few times. But, each person had made a difference -- and I wanted them to know.

I started a database of names, and each year I add people to the list. Another doctor, a preschool teacher, a new Physical Therapist, the school van driver... the list just keeps growing.

And each year, after Rylee's birthday, I create a simple 4x6 photo collage of pictures from her party, along with a little message. I mail one to each person on "Rylee's list..."

Here is this year's photo collage...

and a close-up of the message to everyone...

Some people tell me how much the photo means to them... others we never hear from. What I love is putting the labels on each envelope... remembering each person and their role in Rylee's life; knowing that Rylee was a small part of their life. My heart smiles when I realize that we're up to almost 80 names now...

I don't ever want to stop thanking others for being a part of Rylee's life... and our lives.


Rachel Smith said...

That is such a wonderful way to give back. I always think about those loving nurses in the NICU, who never see their babies again and how wonderful that would be.

Bethany said...

That is such a great idea! And yeah, it is never too late to participate! :)

kat said...

Good one on Learning As I Go - it helps a lot!

We clearly share similar parenting experiences and views. I've been reading one that I'm hooked
on - http://todayscliche.com/. I have a feeling you'd get a lot out of it.

Incredible job on your blog; keep it up.