You cannot put a price on being close to your child
When my three-week-old son had to be airlifted to Austin, we were welcomed at the Ronald McDonald House with warm and open arms. I managed to throw a bag together with one extra set of clothes, but little else. My mother and sister arrived with the clothes they were wearing. And when we arrived, we were given toiletries, towels and even T-shirts to sleep in.
I had no idea the Ronald McDonald House would be my home for the next four months. Honestly, I felt so at peace there — it was the next best thing to home. My room had a computer, television, bathroom with a wonderful large bathtub that was my sanctuary every night. The bed was so comfortable and much more comfortable than the hospital pull out bed in my son’s room. The House has a laundry room and even laundry soap! That is something you don’t even think about when you are in our situation. It was wonderful not to have to go to the laundromat or even to the grocery store to buy soap. Volunteers came in every day to provide meals so I never had to worry about getting something to eat.
I knew of the Ronald McDonald House, but I never knew how amazing and wonderful this charity is until I needed it. Because I was right across the street from my child’s hospital, I didn’t have a daily 45-minute drive or even have to sleep in the hospital every night. I was merely a parking lot away. I tried to go home once for the night, but I could not rest there. I needed to be close to my baby. Because of Ronald McDonald House Charities, I wasn’t in constant fear and riddled with anxiety about the distance between me and my son. Every morning I woke up, I’d run across the street to my child. Nothing could be better in a situation like mine.
Ronald McDonald House Charities provides so much comfort for hurting families. The House had volunteers who came with therapy dogs, give massages, henna tattoos, crafts, and music. A florist brings fresh flowers weekly for the dining tables. There is a volunteer who brings chocolate chip cookies every Tuesday. So many things were done that just brightened my day.
There is a donation table where guests can get things they need or feel they could enjoy. I got a hand knitted hat over the winter that came in handy when it was very cold. When I’d go home to get things we needed, I would often find things for the donation table, such as bath salts, baby clothes my son could not wear, and various other things that might make someone else feel better. It really is the little things.
I could never express my gratitude for this place and all the caring hearts who volunteer and work there. You can feel the love and empathy. You really cannot put a price on being close to your child. I am forever grateful.