There were so many wonderful people who helped us out and supported us during the time that Liam was sick. In order of appearance:
1. My parents. I’m nominating these two for canonization, never mind that they’re not Catholic (or even that the Catholics don’t even RECOGNIZE the Mormons as Christian—not that I’m peeved about this or anything). My mom and dad bravely took our energetic two-year-old home and watched over him for the two long weeks that we were away. Words cannot express how grateful I was to know that, while I was away, my little boy was safe and happy with the two people in the world who, after Abe and me, know him and love him the most. Also, my Dad drove six hours in one day (to Salt Lake and back) just to bring us some clothes, toiletry, and bedding and to pick up Marty, who will be mentioned in a moment. Also while we were away, my sweet mother cleaned my house from top to bottom so that I wouldn’t have to come home to a messy home. Not only did she clean my house, she also did my laundry. And hemmed one of my skirts and a pair of pants. And, of course, they phoned and worried and prayed. Like I said, these people are saints.
2. Marty and Collette. My sweet sister also helped out with Soren, taking him many times during those days to give my parents a break. She was often assisted by her children, particularly Tessa, for whom Soren has a strong affinity. Collette further provided support by entertaining me with brief and witty e-mails. And Marty, as you know, roused himself from sleep in the wee hours to drive to Salt Lake with my husband, taking the day off work, going without sleep, and spending the day sitting around in a waiting room with a bunch of fish, a liberal newspaper, and a novel he’d already read. I am so very grateful that he was so unquestionably willing to do this for us.
3. My parents-in-law. Abe’s mom, upon hearing about our situation, immediately called and/or e-mailed everyone she knew and told them to pray for us. We were on temple prayer rolls all across the nation. She also kept in close contact via phone, providing support and love in every way she could from across the nation.
4. The Stirlings. My new surrogate in-laws. I immediately loved these two. They are very warm and unselfish people. I was so touched by their willingness to just come and be there to do anything we needed them to do.
5. Seth and Karen. My bro Seth and his wife Karen visited us in the hospital twice. They let us use their shower, their washer and dryer, and their bed. They took us out for dinner one evening and fed us delicious steaks at their home on another. They periodically texted or called to make sure all was well and to ask if we needed anything. We knew that if we needed a place to stay, their home was open to us.
6. Aunt Doris. My mother’s best friend invited us over for Sunday dinner. She gives the most wonderful hugs. She also fed us delicious steaks and let us use her shower and laundry facilities. After dinner she baked us cookies and sent us back to the hospital with the extras. It was so nice to go to her home and feel like regular people for a while. She also made it clear that we were welcome to stay at her home. She even offered to buy me some underwear (my mom had told her my supply was running a little low).
7. Nicky. Not only did Nicholas provide support and companionship at EIRMC, he also visited us at PCMC. He was in town with a friend to go clubbing, but he took a break from his evening to stop by, see how things were, and bring us some Café Rio.
8. Mark and Rachel Mailhot. Mark is a friend of Abe’s from New Hampshire. He is a wonderful fellow and is married to an even more wonderful woman. They visited us several times during our stay at PCMC and, one day, Mark stayed with Liam while Abe and I went out. They also took us out for dinner on our anniversary. And, one evening, Mark slipped $100.00 into Abe’s pants.
9. Heidi. The indomitable Heidi wrote us a “piano prayer,” recorded herself playing it, and e-mailed it to us. Beautiful.
10. Hillary. Abe’s sister, who lives in Provo, very willingly stayed with Liam one evening while we went to Seth and Karen’s house and relaxed.
11. Miscellaneous. There were also many people who e-mailed, posted on our blog, and called to check on us and offer their support (like my Uncle Dewey, who got off his couch, walked across the street, and inquired multiple times after the welfare of “Sweet William.”) There were lots of prayers and love waves coming our way. Every single gesture of support meant the world to us. It was so nice to know that there were so many people pulling for our little Liam. If I didn’t get a chance to respond to your kindnesses at the time (or even if I did), I want you to know how much your support meant to me and my family. Thank you for your love!