About 3 years ago Brian and I were in beautiful Watercolor, Florida and finishing up one of our best vacations ever. We took our giant wheeled roller back outside to try and get the pesky sand out of it before we flew back home to Montana.
Sitting up on his deck was a man, in front of a Christmas tree (no joke) with a parrot on his shoulder (seriously, no joke), smoking a cigar and he said to us "you can shake that all you want but every time you open it up there will still be sand in there that will remind you of vacation." Then he smiled and looked away as is he just passed along a very important piece of wisom. We both stopped shaking and smiled at each other knowing taking sand home was a gift.
I have related my experiences in life so many times to that man. With a parrot. In front of the Christmas tree. With the cigar.
The NICU is no different to me, there are so many things that you come across after being there that make you stop, and everything just becomes real again. It could be a "ding" that reminds you of the monitors your baby wore. The smell of the non-latex gloves the nurses wear EVERY SINGLE TIME they touch your baby. Seeing people down the street and immediately remembering the "emergency alarm" sounding and all the nurses running to a new babies aide who will too, become a resident in the NICU.
It's a place you really never forget and after you leave you're constantly finding "sand" no madder how hard you shake your bag.
I hope these photos remind the sweet parents in there of the good sand, the great memories, and relationships made for many years down the road because it sure warms my heart to be part of the journey.