by Paula Duke
We are taught not to sweat the small stuff. Which leads to constant daily decisions: Is this a big thing or a small thing? Should I be worrying about this or let it go? Well, in the moment, how will I know?? Is it one of those things that requires reflection? The 24-hour rule?
I have recently had the privilege of joining this fantastic staff at RMHC Austin, becoming the Program Manager for the three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms. This leaves my four darling boys at home with either their dad, trying to work from home (HA!), or with a sitter when he travels. They’ve done great, the house is still standing, and Dad is worn out but managing well.
Of course we’ve had to make some adjustments along the way:
- No more Tuesday 11:00 a.m. grocery shopping. Instead I’m fighting the crowds, squeezing my basket down the aisles on the weekends just like everyone else that doesn’t get to go on Tuesday.
- Going to the gym for 9:45am Zumba class with my crazy neighbors – yeah, that’s out.
- Laundry – nights and weekends only now (unless I want to let the kids do it, but umm, no.)
And while I’ll still complain about being claustrophobic at HEB on Saturday or Sunday, and wish people wouldn’t park it in the middle of the aisle, that’s not really a big deal. It’s part of the small stuff. What I’m doing now – that’s a big deal. What happens here at RMHC truly is the big stuff.
Big like Ronald’s feet big.
In my first two weeks on the job I had the pleasure of decorating our newest and largest Family Room that opened at St. David’s Medical Center. And as I was getting a list together of everything I’d need for our big ribbon cutting ceremony, one of the first things that came to mind was giant scissors. Regular scissors?? Well, no! Are we cutting a little ribbon or a big ribbon? Are we doing something small or something BIG?! No, this is a big deal. We need giant scissors!! So off I went to find some.
The NICU at St David’s has the capacity for 65 beds. That’s 65 babies that need special care. And, therefore, up to 65 families that need care too. That’s where we come in. What our Family Rooms provide for them is a place to rest. A place that they can recharge, refuel, and just breathe. Then, they can go right back upstairs – to be with their baby. They take care of the babies; we take care of the families. That’s not small. That’s big.
And while it took me a little internet searching to find my giant scissors, they did arrive, and we used them to cut the ribbon. We cut the ribbon on something big. Yes, this is a big thing. You just know.
If you want to be part of something big, we’d love to have you volunteer in one of our Family Rooms. Visit our website for more information.