Before I get too immersed in all of the other things that make up my crazy life, I wanted to write you a letter. It was important to me that you know what you meant to me, what I believe you meant to our team, and how the last 4 1/2 months of your life changed all of us.
I first learned about you the day after you landed in our care. I remember thinking that whatever your outcome from your injury that it was going to be hard-fought- and that was before I got to know you and know your family. That was before I learned that just as we gave 110% for you every day (and I hope we do for all of our patients!), you gave 110% every day too- even on the days that it hurt and it was hard and scary. That was before I got to see a very sweet smile, before I learned about your gift of silliness, before we knew about your love of Dirty Dr. Pepper. That was before I got to know your parents, who are some of the most grace-filled people I have had the privilege of meeting in my life. In short, it was before we fell in love with all of you.
I told your parents this week that while I will never be comfortable with the reason that we all came into each other’s lives, I will always be grateful for knowing you and knowing them. I also often say that I have a collection of angels watching over me when I am doing my work- I believe our whole team does- and I now count you among them. In our world, we are given the gift of taking care of people who make us all better people. You were one of those people, and your family is some of those people too.
Our team started the week with a group hug in your honor, and I’ve lost track of how many hugs have been given among our team this week because of you. We miss you. We miss your parents. We miss your brothers (though Natalie’s cell phone may not).
And I am so, so grateful for what you gave us this summer and fall as we loved you and cared for you and tried to put you back together. While your light isn’t here on this Earth with us any more, I know that it brightened each of ours just a bit. That is a gift that will have an impact for years to come.
Wishing you peace, dear one. Thank you for being part of us and for being so brave. You will not be forgotten.