Friday, May 7, 2010

Home away From Home unless you are an armadillo

Home away from Home for many with sick children in the hospital is the Ronald Mcdonald House.
This idea works for some, but not for me.

My personality although outgoing, is somewhat like that of an armadillo,, i scurry around doing my thing, and as soon as danger, or an obstacle arrives, bam, into my shell.
Do I peek out and ask other armadillos for help? NO
This strange aspect of my personality has been present since I was a little girl, my parents would tell me I could go to them for help, and yet I seemed to take each one of my problems, and tuck them away in my shell.
Stewing away, trying to get a resolution, making myself sick with worry,, alone,, and yes, sometimes thinking my shell hid even God from seeing my issues.

I love people love to talk, love to listen, looooove to be social! I know many that probably at one point, or another have wished I would stop talking (:
However I am intensely private about certain things...
When Asher was in the hospital, is health was one of those "things"... i would update my friends on facebook, prayer warriors,, and discuss with family, and his health care workers the happenings of Asher's struggle,,, but never found the need to approach "strangers" with the plight of my son.
This was not the case of many living at the Ronald Mcdonald house. In fact they had a very opposite way of dealing, it seemed as if a majority of the folks residing at RMH would gather in the kitchen and trade war stories... I stopped taking the elevator for fear of being "cornered" and someone just dumping their childs health issues directly on my already heavily burdened lap.
There was always the people that I can only compare to cancer,,, like little evil cells spreading negativity to all who would listen.. Complaining about each doctor, or nurse that came in contact, just unloading all guilt for any misfortune onto anyone that had come into contact with their child.
The RMH was to be a place of rest for the weary,, close to the hospital, so the need to leave a sick child was no longer an issue.
Yet very few used it as such, it was like a "cheap" hotel, to gather, and socialize,,, with the random visits to the hospital, then back to their new "friends" for some poker in the RMH kitchen.

Wallace and I endured 5.5 loooooong months of living in the RMH house, and for it I am thankful. I could just walk around the block and see Asher, not drive an hour back and forth.
There were a few "emergencies" and living at RMH made it possible to be by Asher's side in minutes!
Wallace had a very difficult time with the lack of cable hook up to each room (: we brought a tv, and dvd player, and would watch season after season of you name it,, but he missed his shows.
Wallace showed amazing patience with all those living at RMH, he was able to listen, and even provide guidance to those around him, in the midst of his own pain,, for that i will always admire him.
I however really struggled living there, it felt like i lived entirely in my shell, would roll out of RMH to the hospital, and then tuck, and roll back into my room as fast as possible,, not making direct eye contact with anyone along the way.
Looking back, there are a few people I wish I had reached out to more, maybe I could have helped them, maybe not.
I dont feel guilty because I avoided the opportunity to help, in all honesty I truly believe I lacked the strength to take on extra burden.. no, the most I could do was lay in my lumpy sleep number bed,, that was broken, and pray for them,,, still tuck and roll, but prayed along the way.
I am making small steps in opening my shell, being married has "helped" there are certain things I can't tuck away.... but realized during our stay at RMH at the very least I let God in my shell, and that is a victory


  1. what a wonderful blog Charity!!! You did AWESOME while Asher was in the hospital and if it took you not adding on to your already huge burden of worries, that is just fine. Love ya, and thanks for sharing this <3


  2. You are so not alone in that feeling. Even though our times in RMH are far less than yours, Ashley and I are the exact same in your feeling. I am MUCH more social than Ashley and I just thought it so weird everyone wanting to share their "war stories" as you so perfectly describe it. It was like why are you not at your babies side all day and then just resting/sleeping what little you can force yourselve to (doesn't help those beds SUCK). I cannot imagine how it must feel for someone like you and Ashley who already "clam up" and then have to deal with this. Reading this post was like it was written by Ashley. You guys are more alike than we realize. That is a good thing as you both are strong willed and very caring individuals.
    As for the "strangers" at RMH, we have been told a few times now by Doctor's and nurses that there are a lot of people that do treat their time there as a vacation. They have parents that just let the nurses take care of their kid while they go to Busch Gardens even Disney World all the way in Orlando. They use it as "free time" without the kid. The only way I considered doing anything was if one of us stayed with the Carolena and the other was taking the boys somewhere for the day because they deserve to have "normal" life as possible. As for no cable, I started requesting rooms closer to elevator as that had strongest WiFi signal. Then, most shows you can watch previous episode online. For example, a show played on CBS on Monday a lot of times can be watched very next day on As for RMH in general, they are a god send. LOVE being minutes away from our baby and have a "home base"(except one in Tampa, that sucked as it is 15min drive, so I just stayed in baby's room last time and showered three days later).