We traveled up to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) today. This was the first time we had been back to the hospital (or even back to the area) since we left on Monday, June 7. I thought it was going to be difficult to return to the building where I said goodbye to my son. But oddly it felt peaceful, I felt as though I was returning home.
The service for the children was beautiful and very well coordinated. A few songs were sung and poems read. Then photos of each child were displayed in a slide show and each name was read. Most mothers and fathers were crying. Brian and I were fighting back tears, but neither of us cried. Of course, we had Cheeky was there with us to help us stay strong.
One of the slides in the beginning of the show caught my attention. The slide said, "The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes by it never fails to bring music to my ears." This slide couldn't be more true. Just because my son is no longer with us, doesn't mean his name shouldn't be spoken. I love to hear family and friends speak of him and include him.
Wyatt's photo was displayed during the service and his name was read aloud. It was such an honor to see my son's photo displayed for everyone to see. Upon waiting to hear his name, my heart was racing. I was so nervous for some odd reason. It was strange, but wonderful at the same time. Then she said it. Wyatt James McGrory. I took a picture and continued to sit there in awe over my son.
After the memorial, I was able to meet another BLM for whom I became friends with on FB after the loss of Wyatt. It was so wonderful to be able to meet her and her family in person, even if it was for just a short time.
Although the paperwork said that we shouldn't visit the floors after the memorial, Brian and I decided to visit anyway. We wanted to hand deliver the care package that I created. I put the finishing touches on the blanket this morning before rolling it up and placing it, with the teddy, in the pretty box. The box turned out so beautiful, I couldn't wait to deliver it.
I was so excited all day to deliver the box and we were finally going up to the SDU unit. It took us a few strolls through the hospital and visits to multiple floors before we remembered the right path to the floor. But we finally made it there.
Immediately we were greeted by Emily, a nurse from SDU. She wasn't one of my nurses while I was there, but I remembered her face. Then to my surprise, one of the other nurses remembered Brian and I. She was talking with Emily then she looked at us and said, "you both look so familiar." I responded by saying, "we were here in June for Wyatt." She immediately said, "you stayed in room 7, right, I remember you." It was Hailey.
Emily then took us to the front desk and to my surprise, I saw another familiar face. Leila, the nurse who was in the room to assist with the delivery of Wyatt was there in front of me. She was the first to hold Wyatt, the one who cleaned Wyatt, and the one who handed me my son. I couldn't believe that she was the one who would be receiving my first "Angel Care Package".
We talked about Wyatt and how we were there for the memorial. Both nurses were please to see that Brian and I were doing so well. They commended us both for being able to return to the hospital and even more, for being able to return to the SDU floor.
We walked right passed the room where I last said goodbye to Wyatt. I felt a warm feeling move through me and I realized that it was a happy feeling. I asked the nurses if they receive a lot of care packages like the one I had delivered and they responded no. I told them that I would be making more blankets and would bring them up in December.
Then I handed the "Angel Care Package" to Leila and asked her to please give it to a family who sadly has to experience the same loss that we did. I explained that the blanket and teddy were gender neutral, so it could go to either a little boy or girl.
After walking out of the SDU unit, I felt happy. Although I had just returned to the same floor where my life was changed forever on June 6, I had just done something so very special. Something that many others can't fathom. I just went back and stood in front of the same room where I had placed my son back into his bed to be wheeled away from me only a few weeks ago. But, I did it to provide another family with something that they will be able to hold on to forever, an "Angel Care Package".