This holiday season has been very different than anyone I can remember.
This year with everything going on with the twins it was easy to shut out the cheer and succumb to the fear and sadness pressing on our hearts.
I love our home during the holidays. Usually everything is up the day after Halloween but this year our tree dried out and fully died before we could get it up and the only other decorations are our stockings hung out for Santa on the fireplace mantle.
If you even look at our tree or sneeze around it about a pound of pine needles fall off of it. We bought a tub of plastic ornaments from Target and threw some lights on it and it is probably the best tree we have ever had.
It did exactly what we needed it to do, brought Christmas cheer to Noah. Our dead tree might as well have been the tree at Rockefeller Center in NYC to him, he loved it.
We even let him touch the tree and play with the ornaments (which led to only having about 4 ornaments on the top of the tree after a week of having it up) this tree was for Noah.
While the tree brought so much joy to Noah it was a little harder to get into the Christmas spirit for us.
This Christmas we were sad that they boys were celebrating their first Christmas…they weren’t supposed to till next year.
It made me sad to think when I was pregnant I was so worried they would be born too close to Christmas and I wouldn’t be able to make their birthday’s special enough every year, I would have been so lucky to have that problem.
Every time Kevin and I became overwhelmed by it all there was always someone right there to pull us out and not let the darkness consume us.
We have been so overcome by the love and generosity from friends, family and even strangers.
A week or so ago we came home from seeing the twins and were met with a gift from an 18 year old girl, who herself is a twin. She went out and collected teddy bears for the boys, the bears are the same but a little different just like our boys. She also bought a few things for Noah since this has been so hard on him. We were going to save them for Christmas but that night he was miserable. He is over it. He misses Kevin so much. Kevin is gone when he wakes up and when Kevin gets home we have to go straight to the hospital in order to hold the twins and by the time we get back Noah is asleep. Well this time he was almost asleep and just lost it when Kevin and I came to pick him up from my mom’s. He was so tired and miserable so we let him open up his gifts. He went from miserable to ecstatic. The little light up book and little toy animals helped him come out of how bad he felt. When we got home from my parents he and Kevin read the book over and over and played with the animals until Noah fell asleep. While Noah doesn’t know where the book and toys came from, it was just happy distraction for him, to us it meant so much. They were gifts of love from a stranger meant to lift us up and that they did.
A local church dropped of diapers for the twins, a gift for Noah and even gift cards for the grocery store for us. We were so taken back, these strangers cared about us and our family.
One of my mom’s coworkers dropped off groceries when we were staying with her and one of Kevin’s employees and his wife brought him groceries to bring home. A family friend that use to work with Kevin made meals for us. A fellow NEC mom dropped of NEC awareness bracelets for us at the NICU and people have dropped off teddy bears and cards for the boys at Children’s, most of them anonymous, some people just strangers, some close friends but all just going out of their way to send love.
People from near and far, some strangers, some people we haven’t seen since high school and some as close as family have donated to Aiden and Evan’s trust to help with their medical bills and the cost from all of this.
Two of our dear friends setting up a fundraiser event for the boys and a way for all our friends and family to all get together and send love and prayers to the boys. When getting out of the house has been near impossible, not only time wise but emotionally we just haven’t been up to it, getting to see our family and friends while supporting our boys is the perfect way to take a step in that direction.
Then in what has been nothing short of a miracle to us Kevin’s company set up a way for people to donate vacation time to him since he used it all up with their birth and Aiden’s battle with NEC and started having to use unpaid days. He wasn’t going to be able to be there when they came home or if anything else came up. We had just accepted that and tried to figure it out the best we could but they were so generous Kevin will have more than enough time when our boys get to come home.
My old boss and his wife, who also work for the same company knew we got speeding tickets the day Aiden had his surgery and almost died and the boys were at different hospitals and we were told to come see Evan because he also had NEC. We were leaving one critically ill child to go to another and speed cameras tagged us going 47 and 48 in a 35. We weren’t sure how to come up with that money during Christmas or if we should try to contest it and they came and gave Kevin the money to pay them.
All of this is so humbling.
Kevin and I decided not to exchange gifts this year when the twins came early, our boys were enough. We just wanted them healthy and for people to pray for them.
But this out poor of support and love has been a gift that I cannot express enough gratitude for.
Kevin and I do not like to ask for help, let alone receive it. I always feel like there is someone else out there that could use it more and we could figure out how to get by.
My mom keeps telling me through all of this, “now is the time to let others help you, you both will be able to help others when things get better.”
I just can’t find a thank you big enough for these people. I can’t find words to tell them how much they mean to us. I have wrestled for so long with trying to find a way to thank all of these people and all the help they have given us.
So to all of you…
In a time in our lives where comfort seems unattainable, you have given us some.
You have reached out and touched our hearts and let us know that no matter how dark things get, there is always light.
No matter how horrible, raw and consuming this feels you are all there combating that huge negative force with love.
You have made us feel so very loved.
Every act of love and kindness Kevin and I have dedicated to pay forward ourselves and with our boys as they grow older.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
This year even though under our tree there were few wrapped boxes with bows we were given a gift more precious than anything you could wrap and put under a tree.
We were truly reminded of what Christmas is all about.