Friday, December 21, 2007

A gift for you.

We want to share Susan & Rita's visit with you, a story that we hope you'll let percolate in you heart. It's incredible, absolutely incredible.

Thank you, Susan! Thank you, Rita! Thank you, helpers! You have no idea how powerfully healing your good work is, especially to this family, as well as dozens of others as you now know. And to take Kyrie with you ... oh, we are so blessed to have you care for her in this phenomenal way. We love & adore you.

Dear Friends & Family,
How do I know that Santa has the best job ever? Well, I got a little taste of what Santa gets to do every year when Frosty, Elf Rita and Friends all went to

Wesley Hospital Pediatric Floor and the PICU Floor the evening of Monday, December 17, 2007.

Frosty, Elf Rita, Buster, Diane, and Deb all met at "the workshop" Monday evening to load up the 2 wagons/sleighs (great job on the sleighs Elf Rita!) FULL of toys, books, puzzles, coloring books, crayons, markers, sketch pads, craft kits, activities, dolls, trucks, dinosaurs, play-dough, electronic games, board games, card games, stickers, puppets, and love! AND 3 big-o duffle bags STUFFED with soft blankets, stuffed animals, cuddly Frosties, tiny beanie-babies for tiny hands, etc...and more love!

So off we went, pulling the bright red sleighs with heart-shaped snowflake backgrounds on each side, framing a precious picture of Miss Kyrie Dawn Thome...
eyes of wonder focused on a pretty piece of wrapping paper. A simple, sweet, little reminder as to why we were doing what we were doing. big sigh...

There we were hauling the bags of goodies thru the halls of the PEDS floor, stopping one by one at each door, as our hospital assistant, Jessica, read off the age and sex of each little patient, sometimes giving a little extra hint about the child, such as "he loves to draw!" or "yes, she would love that doll!"

To see a 15-year-old girl open her eyes when a blanket that was her favorite color was put beside her and a 20 Q game given to her...just light up and start to talk to Elf Rita about where she went to school and how she would keep in touch once she got back home via e-mail!

To look way down to the end of the hallway and see a 2-1/2-year-old, curly-headed, blonde girl excitedly waving at Frosty...fidgeting but staying exactly where she was told to stay until I got to the room—what a warm fuzzy feeling these kids exude!

Although we weren't allowed to enter each and every room - several items were left for each and every child! And looks of surprise and amazement on the adult faces as Elf Rita handed out QT gas cards, Dillons & Wal-Greens gift cards, and McDonalds & Spangles gift certificates...made me oh-so-glad we had not forgotten the parents/grandparents/care-givers.

After we had given out all we could give, there were still left-overs. But not to fret, as they were left to be handed out to incoming patients in the days and weeks ahead. The joy would continue to be spread.

And along with every gift was a copy of the story of Kyrie and how Frosty & Friends came to be. Maybe more little seeds planted along the way?! Maybe "good-deed-doers" inspired. Maybe "pay-it-forward" could be a new way of thinking for someone who was helped in a time of need. Maybe, just maybe...

It's hard to describe something that is such a feel-good-thing but not in a feel-good-environment. To see the smiles and looks of excitement in the child's eyes as we handed over gift after gift—and then to have my gaze drift to the many tubes and tape and IV's all attached to a little one. It was in a way a two steps forward and three steps back dance with my heart. Such little troopers. And...such big troopers. The parents/grandparents/caregivers ...what an undertaking. You can see the worry and strain and lack of sleep. But they were all so kind to show such appreciation for what was being done for their little one.

And Frosty did her best to be cheery and friendly and upbeat. But 3 instances caused a moment of pause in the evening. One big, burly daddy, holding the blankie, stuffed animal and book we had handed him, got the "thank you so much" out just fine. It was the "God bless you" that got him choked up.

Me too.

The 2nd was a young, skinny, cowboy of a daddy, who was so very grateful with our visit to his little one who was sleeping in the PICU unit and with his "thank you" came eyes filled to the brim with tears. Big lump in Frosty's throat. ugh.

And our 3rd encounter was with a young mother who had found us in the hallway on our way out, holding the baby doll that had been given to her little girl. She was bravely trying to explain to Elf Rita that her little girl had not wanted to play since she had arrived at the hospital, and since our brief visit with goodies for her a bit earlier, had not stopped playing and having fun since we left her room. hugs & tears? yes, of course, for all of us.

So I will have to alter my previous statement just a touch...
Santa almost has the best job ever. He has to visit children and families when they are tucked in their beds asleep. Frosty & Friends got to visit children when they were awake, and got to see the expressions on their faces when they were given present after present after present!

Frosty & Friends were able to visit with kids, and give well-wishes to their caregivers. We were able to see up close and personal what a little magic can do. And to know where that magic came from...sooooooo many of our friends, family, co-workers and special people close to Kyrie...WOW!

There is no magic wand or wave of the hands with hocus-pocus being said. The "magic" is from those who are generous and kind and giving and who are able to share the blessings they have with others. THAT is why Frosty & Friends were able to put into action such a simple little saying of..."Go! Kyrie! Go!"

A Merry Christmas and A Happy & Healthy New Year,
Frosty & Elf Rita


motherof2 said...

OH WOW!!! I am sobbing..this is so amazing..God bless you for doing this..thank you, thank you for your willingness to love and are so inspiring!

Melissa said...

Susan and Rita (or Frakes, as you are known to me),
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking Kyrie with you and touching lives in a way that will forever alter their path. I am in awe. I simply have no words to express the depth of my gratitude.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Big "Frosty" Love,
Melissa Schneider

Chad E. said...

Thank you, again, Susan and Rita. Words cannot express the levels of meaning in your actions. Also, to any families in the pediatric ward at Wesley, we are thinking and praying for you.