THE COMPASS

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FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN BY CARLA RODYCH

I knew deep down in my heart my nephew was going to fight. I also knew his parents would find the very best possibilities for him.

My presence was there right from the beginning, the evening he took his first breath into this unfair world. I left that hospital minutes after I saw a beautiful healthy baby boy. The next morning I woke up excited and called to see how our new baby boy was doing. It took several tries but I finally reached the new daddy, but something was wrong in his voice. I was forceful, and finally with a crack in his voice he managed to whisper, “They found something.”  He didn’t have the courage to continue. I immediately left and raced to the hospital. I did not care if they wanted me there, I needed to be there. I loved this little boy too.

A few hours after my nephew was born, his mommy and daddy received frightening news with horrible statistics and they began their journey into the unknown. I watched as they explored every aspect of his prognosis, the ifs, ands and buts of a very sick baby. I knew I couldn’t change anything, or say anything to make them feel better.

I decided right from the start I would be a part of their support network. I have learned that the best you can do is be available.

I decided right from the start I would be a part of their support network. I have learned that the best you can do is be available. Call frequently; if they pick up and spend even just a couple minutes with you, it’s a very good sign. If they don’t answer that’s a bad sign. Let them cry. I realized after spending many hours on the phone with my nephew’s mother that sometimes she just needed to cry and have someone genuinely listen. Don’t be afraid to cry too. If you had said “call me if you need my help” and they actually find the energy to ask for help be true to your word and drop what you’re doing and help immediately. Your job as
an outsider is to keep mommy and daddy as healthy as possible so they can fight for their baby. Most days are hard, but eventually hope pours in and then they truly believe that nothing will stop them; you just need to make sure they are patient and strong enough to get there.

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