On Mother‘s Day thanks to Memorial Church of Christ we were able to bring 40 baskets for each family on the hospital floor designated as "B.I.G. Love‘s". Kerri and Ben Schaefer were in charge of this project, and B.I.G. Love was blessed to have them join us for delivery. I watched and listened as Kerri told each family, “We wanted you to know we love you and are thinking of you.”
For those of you who do not know Kerri and Ben, they have a story of their own regarding life spent on the cancer floor at the hospital. 2007 was the first year B.I.G. Love delivered these special baskets, beginning with Valentine‘s Day, and the Schaefer’s were recipients. For a moment their shock and dismay at the turn their life‘s journey had taken, was put aside as their son, Malachi, was able to find joy in a deliciously put together Valentine basket. Then again at Mother‘s Day Kerri pulled from her specially put together bag a brightly colored beach towel, that she still finds comfort in to this day. The last basket they received was on Saturday, June 16th a "just for dads" father’s day bag. Leaving the hospital three days later without Malachi, their hearts devastated and filled with loss, they were able to open that bag and feel thankful for a gift, and a memory that they were not alone, that they were loved and there were other moms and dads just like them.
This Mother‘s day I am thankful for the moms we see each week at the hospital, for their ability to stay strong in the midst of the pain surrounding them, for their ability to make their sick children laugh and smile, having the energy to decorate their rooms, and buy them hats for their little bald heads, and remind them to say “please” and “thank you” when manners are far from their biggest concern over their child. These mothers must have been picked by God to care for these children, to give them hope when they do not feel hope themselves, to comfort their children when they cry out, “I am scared,” as they save their own tears for that moment during the midnight hours when no one can hear them. I am thankful for the moms like Kerri, Val, Melissa, Julie, Jessica and Catherine that work with us to love these moms and children suffering a similar journey, providing essentials the moms don‘t need to worry over, and giving hugs, smiles, and a distraction filled with love to these precious children.