A Weekend Never to Forget
Yesterday was a day that I will never forget. I had the opportunity to share Kayleigh with one of my best friends who never got to physically meet Kayleigh, never got to physically hold Kayleigh, but has now truly gotten the chance to feel Kayleigh in his heart more than he ever has before.
Bo Dean is just one phenomenal guy who took the time to travel to Charlotte with me to walk in the March of Dimes walk with my family and then visit some of the Dr's and Nurses who took special care of Kayleigh at the hospital. He was able to see first hand the lives that Kayleigh had and continues to touch.
As I read his post this morning, I couldn't recreate in words what a special day yesterday was any better than the amazing words expressed from his heart. I have re-posted below what Bo had written, but you can visit his blog here:www.BoWilmington.blogspot.com
Here is what Bo had written:
If you have been reading this blog you know the story of Adam's gift to me and through his meeting Ashley and Kristi and how their love conspired to change my life and how all of us pray to pay it forward each and everyday. However, the root of Adam's inspiration to give, as you might recall, was the life of his and his former wife's child, Kayleigh Anne Freeman.
Adam and Aimee are the parents of a 1 pound miracle birth who overcame all odds to enter into this world. Kayleigh was, from all reports, recollections and stories, a force of nature...defying amazing odds and breathing into that tiny body a soul that, while not with us in body, is still very present to this day. Since Adam became my trainer, then my friend, I heard and listened to stories and I read the blog about Kayleigh. I understood that what had so changed Adam as a person, what had changed his priorities, set him on the path that he now walks, created the desire to give the gift of life that he gave to me; all of that was from Kayleigh's life.
However, the connection became more real today as we traveled to Charlotte to walk in the March of Dimes walk and then go to visit a place that I am still processing as I write. here is a link to the video we did from the walk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nePD8sAsZGs
Here are some photos from the walk and from Frazier Park where a brick was donated by Kayleigh's nurses in her honor.
The walk was great, but I want to talk about the visit that Adam took me to the Hospital where Kayleigh was born. When we got to the Levine Children's Hospital, I was not sure what to expect. It was breathtaking. Thousands of crystals strung from stories high in front of colored panels bringing in light and love from the moment we entered. There was a sense of peace and calm as we entered..but it was that light..that warmth...that sense of comfort that comes from feeling secure and 'held' that I now know is what I was feeling entering in that place.
We went to the 7th floor and when we got off the elevator, Adam knew, even with some changes that were going on, exactly what to do and where to go. He had walked this path with Aimee so many times before. We entered the Neonatal intensive care unit and faces lit up as soon as they saw Adam. It was as if those behind the desk saw a family member, someone who made them remember something very familiar and loving. That was the moment that I began seeing love in the room...God...it was so very powerful.
A woman named Marsha walked in. I had been told about her. She had been Kayleigh's primary nurse..and from the moment she stepped in, you could see not a face of someone silly with love and affection, but someone who was possessed of that kind of care and genuine love that is on the face and disposition of those who have seen death up close and personally, but believe in life more than most of us will ever know. She possessd a true gift. She was not alone.
She took us around the units. That is when it began to connect: the reality of what had happened here with the stories and the true miracles at work in this place. When the magnitude that is hitting me right now as I write( of all that I was seeing and saw today) really started to come together.
In the unit there were all these precious pods...in each was life. Some 2 lbs, some 3, some 1.4 lb..some with light warming them, some with respirators so technical a nasa engineer would be hard pressed to understand it. Each pod had a nurse giving nurture, care, and love. Each pod had a handmade quilt covering it so there was something loving and warming....but there were monitors and equipment..and each life..each soul was looking out for someone to help...to sustain. It is so overwhelming that image. And I thought of Adam and Aimee going each and everyday to the that unit with that precious child...and all of that....and the waiting..the procedures...the waiting...it all hit me....and I just swallowed hard trying hard to just be there for Adam as he experienced seeing everyone. I asked how many were there and was told that they could have and usually have 55 babies at a time, but right now they only had 30. I just could not get my head around 30! much less 55....and all those parents, and grandparents..all that prayers
But on the drive back today and then this evening, where I have literally done nothing but try and process the trip, It hit me: While I just could not understand or really even comprehend all those premature births..all that life struggling.....I could get my soul around all that Love.
See, all the stories I have heard about Kayleigh...It has all be about LOVE...Courage..Compassion. All those proceedures...all that waiting....all that nurture...all that time...it brought to focus what is and was important...LOVE! Above all things! LOVE! if for no other reason..those children in that unit bring the world to a stop for a moment...if just for a moment..someone..somebodys...a few souls...and they think about something other than...fill in the blank...and they send out love. For Kayleigh's blog..there were literally 1000's who prayed, sent messages, sent hope. 1000's who still do....and they stop whatever in their lives and think about LOVE...they think about this precious life.
It is so overwhelming. So very powerful!
I know for a fact from today, that i witnessed this love. As we walked through the unit, one of Kayleigh's very special nurses came out to hug Adam. When she saw our shirts, she commented on the ribbon that Mrs. Freeman had placed on each of them. Adam went to tell her that that was the ribbon of hope they had used when Kayleigh was alive. The nurse stopped him and said, "I know"..and as she pulled down her nametag...there on the back of it was one of Kayleigh's ribbons that had been there for the last two years. It had been there and remained there everyday that she worked.
It was also amazing to meet some of the Dr's who took special care of Kayleigh.
This was a short amount of what transpired here, but I hope I have been able to share what a powerful experience it was. Aside from the best husband in the world, I have been blessed with the best friend God could have granted me in Adam. But seeing this today and walking in this experience had brought me closer to the inspiration behind so much of the best of him and so much of now what has given me a new life: Kayleigh. I am eternally grateful to he and Aimee for being such good parents and being so loving to this beautiful child, but for sharing her with the world and letting her light shine so brightly!
I have learned over the last 22 years that it is not the amount of time that one lives that can be so significant, it is the quality of each day you live. This life...this little girl clearly lived each and everyday with courage, love, and conviction and a will that is not known by most of us...and we are all better because of her.
Like I said...Bo is an phenomenal guy and I am so appreciative of our friendship. Thank you Bo for all that you do for me, for our community and for every single life that you touch.
Just like Kayleigh....You're Amazing!
I Love you Brother!