I never thought about the emotions that would surface when a friend suggested I develop a website. Once I got started, infinite memories surfaced ~ most more pleasant than others. I knew many boys had come and gone in my life but it wasn’t until looking at my home page and seeing all those smiling faces lined up – well, it was truly overwhelming! It actually registered with me how many young fellows have been under my care. I saw each as an individual and not as such a large group. Although several are still living at home, many have moved out and have lives of their own. I still see them from time to time and communicate with them and/or their caregivers. But, five of those guys with smiling pictures have passed away.
Yesterday, I started to clean a closet and came across a suctioning machine, then another and a feeding pump. In drawers under a raised bathtub were more suctioning machines, suctioning catheters, feeding tubes, feeding pumps, paper tape, duoderm, and much more. What should I do with all these things, I thought with a lump in my throat and tears running down my cheeks. I can’t just throw them away.
All these supplies were not being used. In fact, they hadn’t been used for several years. Memories came back of my life being mom to Raymond, Derek, Coco, and Ilan. They all required extensive medical care and required the use of these supplies before they passed away.
Several years ago I donated wheelchairs to Wheels for the World. Maybe I could donate these things too? I emailed a person I know from church who goes on medical mission trips to ask if such medical equipment was needed. Her answer – YES! So, I continued to empty drawers, cabinets, and shelves until I gathered all that was no longer being used.
Letting go of these things can be more difficult than one would think. To some people, it might just be a machine or a piece of plastic or rubber. To me ~ it meant life for my sons ~ one more breath without choking on secretions when I used the suctioning machine or a few more calories when formula could go through a feeding tube. It’s hard to part with such things because of my attachment to the equipment in relation to my sons. I sorted, dusted, tested machines, and organized. I shot off an email when I was finished and everything was ready to go.
Today Lynne, the lady from church, came by to take what I had gathered. First, I asked her to be in this picture with me as we held pictures of four of my sons. Their pictures will continue to hang on my wall. Memories of each one will stay with me but this medical equipment will be given to Doctors Without Borders or a similar organization. These things will be used to allow someone to breathe one more breath without choking, receive more calories while receiving nutrition through a feeding tube, and maybe even ~ just maybe ~ feel the love my sons had to share during their short lives.
We donate unused clothing to organizations. We donate food to the food bank. We donate used furniture to Goodwill. We donate blood to the blood bank. We donate our old musical instruments to schools. If you have wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, medical supplies, or such – who would you donate them to?