…Well, to be fair, it was my son’s first birthday. In our last post, we talked about how Beebop was born and our experience while he had surgery and recovered. While all that was happening, we were staying across the street from Rady’s Children’s Hospital at the Ronald McDonald House. The service they offer to the parents and family of the children at the hospital is nothing short of amazing. Besides giving us a room to stay, they provide 3 meals each day, a common kitchen to make your own meals, school through the week for the siblings of the patients, laundry services and many more services. While we ate dinner there one night, we met a family who had been served there the year prior. After they had time to get their life back in order, they decided to come RMH and volunteer on a regular basis. We immediately knew that we wanted to do something like this.
One year later, Beebop is happy and healthy and needs a birthday party. Serving a meal just made sense. After 2 1/2 months of planning, drawing our community together and seeking donations from church and some grocery stores, we put on the dinner last night! You may ask yourself, “Aren’t they getting ready to leave the country? Don’t they have enough to do already?” You’d be right in asking that. And while we were planning this, I kept thinking, “How are we going to pull this together? Why are doing this? We don’t have enough time!” In the end however, the payoff was more than worth it.
Last night felt like our hospital experience last year had come full circle. Being able to give back to RMH and pass on the love we’d received was healing. More than that, being able to share this opportunity with friends and family brought us joy.
The night began around 3p. I arrived to RMH to find friends ready and waiting. We immediately jumped in, organizing our food and chopping vegetables. As more friends arrived, they were given jobs.
Everyone was cheerful and grateful to be there, grateful to give of themselves. After 45 minutes of chopping I began boiling potatoes and preparing the filling for my Shepherd’s Pie. We also prepared a vegetable stew with a tomato base. Salad greens all came from my front yard garden. Desserts were made by a virtual army of awesome ladies and girls.
While dinner was being served, I walked around the eating area, surveying all the scene. I spoke with a few families, we each shared our stories and prayed together for their children in the hospital. It was such a blessing to see their hope increase. Everyone was so grateful for the food and practically everyone said it was the best meal they’d eaten at RMH.
This was by far the best birthday party I’ve ever attended. I’m so thankful for everyone who came and showed their love for my son and the residents of RMH. Working together toward an amazing goal was a great gift. As I looked around last night, listening to Dave on the piano, seeing friends and residents eating the food we’d lovingly prepared, Ross cleaning ALL the dishes and the kitchen crew serving the food, we were all experiencing the Good Life.