Friday, February 10, 2012

Target + Gratefulness

On Tuesday I went to Target with Emerson. We had just gone to Toys R Us, just for Emerson, and were excited to enjoy some Target fun. When in the Valentine's section with a fellow Mom and I laughing about the intensity of all the Valentine's, while Emerson asked to buy every pink heart item in sight. Target had done it's job and got us excited about celebrating another holiday together, and then we turned around. We turned around and bopped into Claudette- our favorite ICU nurse from Children's Hospital Oakland.

Claudette was wonderful. When we were informed Makenzie may not make it out of ICU, she rubbed my back and said,  
"Erin, you have a strong daughter here. She is fighting something rare but she only feels all of your love and her entire friends' and families love for her."  

Those words stuck. 

They helped each moment of the days in the hospital.  When I felt my skin crawling with nerves, Claudette would ask me to share special stories about Makenzie. She asked what she was like as an infant, what were her favorite songs, what did she and Emerson do together, my favorite memories of becoming a Mom with Makenzie as my gift who gave me the "Mom" title. While Makenzie didn't recognize me, Claudette assured me she could hear my voice and knew my touch.  She took time to care for me, as much as she was focusing on taking care of Makenzie. She explained each procedure, tube, obstacle and challenges Makenzie was facing.  Claudette helped me realize my voice as Makenzie's Mom was to be the loudest voice and I was the biggest advocate for her...and for that I am forever grateful.

To see Claudette was funny - we knew we were both familiar to one another, but couldn't remember where. I thought she worked for Jack, she thought our kids were in school together and then she said she worked at Benioff, but had worked at CHO. Boom, we both remembered immediately and hugged.  Claudette asked how Makenzie was, remembered so many details of her personality and her strengths as a patient. And then I cried...

I teared up as I looked straight into the face of a woman who helped give my daughter back her life. How do you put words into that sense of gratitude? There are none.  
There are no words that can describe the intensity of emotions when looking at a person out of context, who was one of your child's genuine life savers. 

It was a wonderful meeting and one I'll remember for life. For on Tuesday Makenzie was moved up to another level in gymnastics and was given the green light to do uneven bars, having made a full "recovery",  sans 2/3 of a pancreas, for her little body.  I got to share that with Claudette, and for that, she said she was grateful to see us. She saw a miracle live out and survive.  Makenzie's story is one she can now share with other parents who are in ICU. One of survival, strength, and courage.  

Little gifts can be found in Target, not just that of "$100 bottle of shampoo"...


  1. Sweet, Erin! It is always so great seeing the people who have helped you through tough times. The ones who know how to help in ways above and beyond their call of duty.

    Glad M is doing great! Mollie is too!

    Sarah K

    1. Thanks Sarah. It was wonderful as I know you must feel the same with Mollie's special teams. To have that amount of adoration for someone on a level that knows no barriers is intense. I would love at some point for our little kidlets to get together and play. Hospital time is in the past...
      Hugs to you-


I am probably out running, but I thank you for taking the time to share. I look forward to your additional input as this blog grows and evolves.
Erin Kreitz Shirey