Giving Back for Mother’s Day
My journey into motherhood did not start out as I had imagined. Rather than quiet nights spent snuggling my baby, I spent my first few weeks as a mother visiting my baby in a NICU. I wasn’t able to even hold my first born for almost a week, our only touches came when he grasped my fingers through the incubator or our noses touched as I bent over his little bed trying to make sure he knew I was there.
This was not how I envisioned motherhood. It was my first lesson that motherhood doesn’t always work out the way we thought it would.
Six weeks after my beautiful little boy entered our lives, we finally got to come home as a family of three. It was a magical moment and that very day I made a promise that I would spend my life trying my best to give back wherever I could.
A few months after Mr. T. came home I heard of Meagan’s Walk. When I watched the video, heard Meagan’s story and found out that the event was on Mother’s day I knew this was something we had to be a part of as a family.
When Mr. T. was in the hospital there were so many people who showed us kindness. Nurses knit Mr. T. hats and booties, volunteers took their own time to make him a quilt. Our parents made us homemade dinners every day, not only so that we had something healthy to eat but so that we didn’t have to eat alone, in sadness.
It is now our turn to give back.
Meagan’s walk is a 5 Km walk that begins at Ontario Place and ends at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. The most amazing part for me is that the walk ends with a “human hug” around the hospital. Proceeds from Megan’s Walk support the Sick Kids Foundation and are designated to the awareness, research and treatment of paediatric brain tumours at Sick Kids. Even though Mr. T. did not have a brain tumour we felt it was a great charity to get involved with. It is our small and humble attempt at supporting a great cause and saying thank you to the doctors, nurses, hospital staff and volunteers who are helping children every day.
Most importantly it is our attempt to stand in support of those parents who are watching their children suffer from health issues, or those who have lost their children to illness. Walking the NICU halls made me feel as though I was a part of a world that was unknown to those outside the hospital walls. It can be strangely lonely to look out the windows and watch the world going on without you. It can be hard to understand how life just goes on when your entire world is collapsing around you. Walking Meagan’s Walk is our way of letting these parents know they aren’t alone.
It has become my favourite way to spend Mother’s Day weekend. We walk as a family. We raise money to help other families. I say a silent prayer as I hug that hospital tightly and thank them for giving me back my son. It has become our tradition and I can’t begin to imagine a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day.