“my life was changed for the better by…” July guest blogger #2

I’m humbled and honored by those of you who have responded to my invitation for guest bloggers this month.    

Our second guest blogger is Jo Wayman.

I have been volunteering for an organization called Threads of Love. 

We sew vests and blankets and knit hats for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) babies.  One morning when I arrived at the meeting, the leader said, “I’m glad you are here.  Today we are making bereavement gowns and many of the women choose not to make them because of the emotional toll associated with the death of an infant.”

I sat quietly and sewed these tiny gowns with tears just at the back of my eyes.  I prayed for the mothers and families that would grieve as they wrapped their infant in this gown and blanket.  It was a privilege to share a simple skill to help ease their sadness.

During the next week I delivered these ensembles to the NICU at the hospital.  When I stepped off of the elevator on the maternity floor and told the staff I was from Threads of Love, a young nurse met me with a big smile.  She reached out and gently took the gowns, hugging them to her.  “Thank you, thank you!  You don’t know how much these mean to the mothers and families!”  I was touched by her compassionate response.

Later, I went to a reunion of NICU babies and families that the hospital holds at a park each year.  Threads of Love sets up a table where kids can make Lovie Dolls – small sock dolls with hand decorated faces.  The kids had a blast.  Many of them didn’t take the doll they made – “I’ll just leave mine here for a little baby like me”.  Many of the children had their birth weight written on their name tag…..1lb6oz, 1lb4oz, 1lb2oz read the name tags on triplet 12 year olds.

What I learned…….

It is a privilege to do something to help ease a person’s suffering.

It is good to do things that we sometimes avoid just because it is sad.

To look for the ‘surprises’, see the compassion, and find the good around me each day.

4 thoughts on ““my life was changed for the better by…” July guest blogger #2

  1. My parents’ first baby was born stillborn in 1960…..long before folks really took the emotions of the parents into play. Neither of my parents ever saw the baby, my brother.

    My mother grieved for that brother her entire life. She eventually told me how much it hurt to never have held him. I am sure my dad feels the same way. Everytime we go the cemetary to “see” my mom and grandparents now, he always comments when we pass the area for priests and nuns: “Your brother is buried in there somewhere”. They didn’t even get to have a funeral for the baby.

    I so wish Threads of Love or a similar organization was around back then to help ease their pain.

  2. Such a wonderful thing for you to do, Jo. And knowing you, I can so easily see why you would choose a cause as helpful and loving as this. I’ve always believed we really can make the world a better place, just by the little….and sometimes big…. things we do. Your work is a perfect example.

  3. As a former healthcare chaplain, I got to see the power of a gift like yours, Jo. I am inspired by your using your talents and skills to nurture and support those in need–and the courage to do it even when it is sad.

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