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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Habitat for Humanity...........

Well needless to say this has to be the worst and hardest year of my life, of Chad's life, of Viola's life and most certainly Thurston's life, although thank goodness he wont remember any of it! If anyone would have ever said to me that my brand new baby would be in the hosptial close to an entire year I probably would have told them that that was a mathematical impossiblity. Even when Thurston was first born, and went through all of those dips and turns in the first few months I just still kept thinking about his first birthday and how we would have all of this hospital and medical complications behind us. I even told my uncle that next year at this time(March 8th) we would meet up and how we would all have gotten through our ordeals and that we would celebrate. WOW is that not furthest from the truth. When you are in the thick of all of madness, thinking about the future is sometimes the only thing that gets you through the hardest moments, knowing that in a years time, that you will have gone through it all and survived. Well thank goodness we all survived, but we are in no way shape or form over any of the hard parts, not even close. Thurston will be having his trach surgery on Monday. He will most definitely be in the hospital for at least a month after and most likely through his first birthday. We are relieved with this painstaking decision, but we are also scared out of our minds, from the dangers of the surgery and anesthesea, to the many complications that the trach can bring, and the uncertainty if even that will be enough to bring him home.

And still, there have been some really beautiful moments this year, that unfortunately still does not overshadow the tragic aspects of what has happened to my son and my family, but I would be remiss if I underestimated the enormity of what has carried us through this last year. I cannot even begin to describe the generosity that has been bestowed upon me and my family, the selfless acts of love, the warmth that swooped in and wrapped its arms around our home. Just today we got yet another christmas present at our doorstep (anonymous), and so so many acts of its kind, that continue to lay the foundation on which we are resting upon at this very moment. Each and every act building upon each other like bricks, prayers and love the mortor, providing us with an emotional shelter and keeping us safe from the tedious and harsh environment that has enveloped our lives.

I meant to write an extremely long thank you letter on Thanksgiving, to every single person that I could possibly remember that has helped us, from the smallest gestures, to the hugest of gifts, but of course everyone knows that that night the only thing I typed was 911 into my phone. So I feel that before Thurstons surgery, while I have some time, I would write out in detail everything that I possibly can(and I apologize if I have forgotten anyone), to thank those that have helped us, and maybe for everyone to see just how many beautful wonderful people have participated in building our little habitat for humanity.
(please come back often as I will be constantly adding to this list, and really I did not forget any of you, it just might hit me later on but I will add everyone I swear, you all have meant the world to me)

To Thurston for fighting tooth and nail even when I told you it was ok to let go. Thank you for wanting to live, to be here. I am not sure if I ever mentioned this but your name, had you passed away, was going to be Sterling. Although yes a very vintage old name, it also means 'litte star". I thought if you had passed away, that every night I could look up into the nights sky and find the smallest star, and tell you how much I loved you and that you would always be a shining part of my life. We are forever grateful that you ended up being Thurston instead. Thank you for enduring so much pain and discomfort, even now with so much air shooting up your nose, and tape on your face, and a pulse ox and stickies all over your body, and with so many drugs filtering through your system, and so many pokes and prods, and continued surgeries, I cant even begin to imagine what this has been like for you. You must really want to be here.

To my Husband who thought that he would never be able to handle it if anything bad happened to the pregnancy or the baby....I have to say, you have handled it with the utmost grace, calmness, compassion, and patience I have ever witnessed in another human being. Without you, I truly would be lost forever and I love you with all of my heart.

To my darling Daughter, who has had to endure an entire year witnessing her mother crying, who has been ignored more times than I care to think about, and yet who has more patience and whines less than most adults I know. Thank you for being such a wonderful big sister and giving up so much for your little brother, I adore you and you are my hero.

I am really tired now, and I will finish this in the next few days but I wanted to update you and again thank every single person whose kindness you will never know has made an unbelievable impact on our lives, and without, we quite literally may not still be standing. Thank you thank you thank you..

Thank you to all of the nurses(especially his primaries Mommy Ami, Gladys, Lourdes, Mary Lou, and also Terri, Linda, Heidi, Corina, Analise, and every nurse at North Austin I think you all had him at one point or another and to his Dell primaries Michelle and Peter and all the other wonderful nurses at Dell, All of the doctors and at North Austin and Dell, to Yvette the director at North Austin all respiratory therapists(oh gosh I am so sorry there are just too many names to remeber but you know who you are), social workers, pharmasists, Nurse Practicioners, assistants, volunteers, child life specialists, Chaplins, Custodians and every person who had every part in saving my sons life time and time again, who cared for him, held him, read to him, played with him, played music for him, you all have been such a huge part of his life and I couldnt be more grateful for everything you have done.

Thank you to my mother who has flown out to help us numerous times, giving up so much of her own life and needs. Thank you for endless hours on the phone. Thank you for listening to me scream, whine,moan, bitch,cry, pout, cry, and thank you for never thinking that I was crazy, just extremely lost on this unbelievable journey. Thank you for loving your grandbabies like they were your own. Your support means more to me than you will ever know and you epitomize what a mother truly means.

Thank you to my brothers and sisters. Julie thank you so much for making arrangements each and every time mom came out even at the last minute and thank you for all of your texts of support I love you big sis. Shannon thank you so much for all of your texts and emails and for all of our long chats and thank you for loving your boy so much, I love you little sis. Lonnie thank you so much for all of your support and always responding to all of fb posts, you have been such an incredible big bro even though you have had a pretty rough year as well and just know I love you to pieces. Thank you to my sweet little brother Patrick who also has had such a rough year, mom always tells me how much you love your little nephew and I just love you so much. I miss all of you and wish we could be closer. I know this journey would have been a million times easier had we lived in Ohio and I cant wait to see all of you again.

Thank you to my Pops and his wife Barb. Thanks for calling and checking up and for understanding if I dont get back to you for a few days(or weeks). Thank you for your donation and I just love you guys so much and wish we could be closer. You are the best POPs in the world and I know alot of my strength comes from what you taught me way long time ago as a kid, all that persistence has paid off!!!!
Thank you to Pat and Fred my in-laws who drove out and endured their own tragedies this year, who have helped us financially in so many ways, who are the most dedicated grandparents, and who take over the household, cooking, cleaning, organizing, revamping our yard and garage, fixing everything in their path(especially Fred). We are more appreciative then you will ever know and adore both of you. You are two of the most amazing generous people I have ever met and am so grateful that you raised such an incredible son. Thank you so much for that!!!!

Thank you to Chads Brother Brad and his partner Juan who flew out and watched their niece and who surprised us all by creating the most unbeliveable playroom for Viola. You guys did so much while you were here I thought maybe Fred had flown back out lol. Thanks for being the best Uncles ever and the best brother in laws a girl could ask for.

Thank you to my beautiful friend Karen who flew out and sacraficed so much to do so. Thank you for giving me my hippy cow pow back right when I needed it the most. Thank you for dropping everything in your life to be in mine. I love you so much Karen, you are my little shnarkle pow sparkle friend!

Thank you to my dearest friend Susan who has threatened to fly out on numerous occasions but it just was always bad timing. Thank you for constantly taking my mind off of all of this and regaling me with your own crazy life. You always always know how to make me feel better no matter how horrible I feel. Thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder and calling me. Thank you for always remembering to send me and the kids gifts, and especially sending past momentos that you come across, those are always a lark. I love you so much and thank you for being my best friend for more than 21 years. You are the best!

Thank you to my Uncle Mike and his family. I so looked to you for strength knowing you and your family were going through their own hell, and I so enjoyed our back and forth bantering, and cussing missives, and truly understanding what it is like to go through something horrific and terrifying. I love you muchos!!!!

Thank you to my dear dear friend Johanna. I adore you. You have been with me every step of the way and you have helped me so much with watching Viola, to gift giving, to just being there and listening to me when I needed it the most. You are definitely a keeper and I cant wait until things settle down so we can get back into doing things together more.

Thank you to my dear friend Allison, Jesse, Nicole and Josh(sorry you guys are a foursome, I just cant separate you! :) Allison thank you for calling me weekly especially in those first few fragile months. You have no idea how much those phone calls meant to me and how much I needed someone to reach out to me especially since I was on major withdraw mode. Thank you all of you especailly Jesse for helping move that monstrosity of a playscape into our backyard. You have no idea what an enormous gesture that was especially since all of you had so much going on of your own. Only dedicated friends would help out with such an insane project. Thank you Josh for your Raki's and healings and Nicole my little brown recluse, I have felt your love from miles away. I have always felt your presence and power and I know that Thurston benefitted immensley from your energy. You are an amazing group of people and it is a priveledge to have you in my life.

Thank you Janet Yudichak for sending me the most amazing vintage tea set. That came very early on in our journey and I just couldnt believe the beauty that someone I had only met once(however connected with instantly with our love for antiques and all things vintage) would go out of their way to send me something so beautiful and lovely and antique. That set will always remind me of the beauty that abounds in the human heart. I cant wait to be able to give you the biggest hug ever!

Thank you to tom Yudichak, chads childhood friend, his beautiful wife Julie and their pretty darn incredible son Justin. You guys have given us consistent support throughout this whole ordeal with gifts of homemade yummy bread, cards, a wonderful frame, and just some really great nights where both Chad and I could just feel that life was a little normal even if just for a couple of hours. We love you so much and just appreciate having you in our lives, especially since I love playing board games and you are one of the only families that do toooooooooooo!!!!

Thank you to Tom's brother Bill for sending us gas cards, you have no idea how much that helped us. That has been one of our biggest expenses actually being so far away from the hospital and going up two sometimes three times a day takes its toll(sorry environment, I had to see my son :)

Thank you all of the Ronald Mcdonald House volunteers, especially you Peggy who have constantly inquired about Thurston. You all are amazing and I cant believe you find time in your day to volunteer. You have no idea what a haven you have built for us families in need and we really appreciate all you do.

Thank you to my dear dear friend Janut and Jim. What an amazing amazing gift you have given us by not only coming out once for three weeks in the deadest heat of summer, but coming out again for another three weeks to help us out. The companionship both Chad and I receive from you two is immesurable and it is incredible to hang out with two amazing people we have so much in common with. Thank you for buying all of our groceries and cooking us the most fabulous meals and watching Viola all day while I visit with Thurston. You two wont be able to get rid of us now!!!!!!!

Thank you to my amazing and dear O'mammas, each and every one of you have been there for me either by encouraging emails, offers of babysitting, setting me up with amazing meals, phone calls, gifts, visiting me in the hospital, and of course for all the amazing donations to our auction and for spreading the viral word all over facebook. You guys continue to hold me up and I want to thank all of you for everything you have done for me.

An extremely and unbelievable thank you to Melanie for organizing the most amazing auction. I just dont know how you did it all and cant believe the amount of time, donations that you put into it and you have no idea how much we appreciate it, even though you are so busy. We love you immensely and cant wait until we can just actually hang out without that at the forefront of our conversations. You are an amazing lady!!!

Thank you for all of the people that donated and bid and solicited for our auction. I am in the process of trying to make birth announcement/thank you cards and I hope to send them out sometime in the new year. I cant believe how many people donated time and money and how unbelievable and successful the auction was and how much it will help us out. We just were blown away by all of the response. Thank you so very much!!!!

Thank you to Donna R , Devon, Pey Pey and Emby and Steve for helping me out with Viola and for being so amazing and supportive through this whole thing. We miss you guys so much and would love to see all of you soon.

Thank you to my dearest dearest Inspire friends. I truly dont know what I would have done without you. You ladies are amazing and especially to my sweetest and dearest friends Jennifer and Anais, two parts of my three amigos, you continue to give me strength daily and my heart aches everyday for Benjamin and Natalie. I love you guys so much. Also to Rhonda, Courtanay, Florinsmom, and Mygirls mom. You guys have been amazing with all of your advice and support let alone for your unbelievable gesture and I am forever grateful to you.

Thank you to my built in NICU family, Jen, Michelle, Beverly, Candace, Questa and the many more families that I met. You guys amaze me everyday with your strength and it has been great to relate to people who have gone through it all. Thank you Jen and your neighbor who donated all of those canned goods and their preschoolers who donated, I cant even believe what a generous and thoughful gift and we just cant believe how total strangers would be so inclined to give so much to us. Thank you Michelle for giving Viola something to look forward to once a week besides hospital visits and for helping out with her costume. Your dance class has been amazing for us. Thank you Bev for your future picture date and I will get with you soon and thank you Candace for all of your words of encouragement. Thank you Questa for the picture of your little tater it is hanging in Thurstons crib. I look forward to the day when we get all of our babies together unfettered by cords and wires and oxygen tanks(course that might take a couple of years for us) but it will be fun to watch all of our preemies grow up together.

I still have a long way to go and this list is in no way in order or complete and I will continue to update it but I must clean the house now. Love everyone and keep coming back for the updates
Thank you I think I will put the date next to the last update so you all know when I have updated the list.
December 31st 2010

Update #3 January 3rd 2011

Thank you so much Hand to Hold and its founder Kelli Kelley. Thank you for all of your calls and listening to me kevetch!!! Thank you for forming such an incredible organization and wanting to help others through this very hard journey. And of course, thank you for creating the preemie power photo contest, that was truly one of the only times that Thurstons life was all about him and how cute and wonderful and strong he is and not about the hospital life. That really got me through a good month and a half and it was so much fun for all of my family and friends involved. What a great and fun way to raise preemie awareness. You are the cats pajamas

Thank you to my very dear friend Greg and his wife Leilani. They have also had a pretty rough year and yet still have found so much time to help with our auction and to send emails and phone calls of encouragement. We miss you guys and hope one day when Thurston is better, that we can fly out and take a very long vacation, ALOHA!!!!


  1. And Thank YOU from Thurston, your husband and your daughter for doing all you've done and for continuing to do it - and for finding the time to let us know how Thurston is doing.

    I found your website through another but check in regularly to see how he's doing.

    I don't know any of you, but stay strong and there WILL be a moment when you look back on all this, maybe just not yet.

    One of your anonymous stalkers, err I mean lurkers ;)

  2. And you, my dear daughter, are MY hero, stronger than you think you are...and thank God for Chad and our sweet Viola, who have helped keep you together on the hardest of days. I will be thinking of our dear boy even more on Monday and praying even harder. xxoo Mom

  3. Thank you for being a devoted mom, and for not giving up on Thurston! I can't even imagine the heartache you must feel. Thank you for being strong, and taking the time to put Thurston's story into words for us to share,and for making it possible for others to help him! You are a stellar mom!

  4. I like the above, am just a "reader" I was told of your blog by another mom and have followed your posts religiously.

    I don't know Thurston, your family or any of the above people mentioned. However, I do know that Thurston is one lucky little boy to have such great people supporting him.

    You as a mom ROCK!!! Rock for taking all of this with care and love for your family and being a rock for Thurston.