Friday, 26 September 2014
Wednesday, 24 September 2014
Friends help make life a more beautiful shared experience. There are friendships that develop over years of growing up together or going through school together, through sharing the same workplace, church or through various groups that we join with our children, among many other places. Some friendships naturally fade over time as we move in different directions, and some pick up instantly when we're face to face again, even if years have passed in between. Then there are the friendships that are built through walking through unique but very similar experiences that involve a roller coaster ride of joy, fear, tears and celebrations. This is a friendship we share with a precious family and it is one that means a lot to me.
Four years ago, when our tiny little girls were just over a month old, I was with Elise one morning in the highest level of intensive care in the Neonatal unit. She had just been transferred back there, being re-intubated and in isolation with a possible infection. During that morning I noticed a couple come into the room to visit their newly born twins. While I didn't want to invade their privacy of such a precious moment of their first interactions with their tiny little boys (weighing just around a kilo each), there was something about what I observed in those minutes that I identified so closely with, that it was quite emotional. It touched me because it seemed that their experience of these first moments was so close to our own only four weeks earlier. It's hard to describe with words those moments of joy mixed with fear when we first glimpse our fragile, perfectly miniature little babies fighting to breathe and to live when they should still have been inside for many more weeks.
For the next several weeks we shared a little apartment together. Eti and Joe travelled back and forth between jobs at home and the hospital and Cindy and I spent our days between care times with our babies and resting, eating and doing various jobs that more than filled our days! They came from the Italian part of Switzerland, so our little home was filled with the sounds of Italian, Spanish, French and English, as each of us had a different mother tongue. We shared meals (they're amazing cooks!), small gifts from time to time and daily updates about how our babies were doing. There were good days and hard days, but it really was a gift to walk through them together, sharing an understanding of what it meant to experience the rollercoaster of Neonatal life. There were tears when our babies were struggling, and celebrations when they were doing well. There was also a lot of laughter (including a late-night incident when my mum had to kill a big spider because neither I nor Cindy would dare go near it!). Amélie and Gabriel came 'home' to live with us around the same time, while Elise and Manuel had a much longer road before they were able to. These moments were what helped make some really good memories in what was a stressful time.
here). This past February they flew all the way to New Zealand and spent a month travelling around the country, staying with us for several days at the beginning and the end. And we have just spent the last four days with them in their beautiful part of the country.