A Day in the Life

Some of my kids wonder what life looks like at the Ronald McDonald House (RMH).

As it appears we are getting closer to our discharge date, I thought I would share our typical day here.

Mom and I moved into the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) three weeks ago. Sam stayed with me during Becky’s emergency delivery and cared for me for the next three days in the hospital. Then he and my Dad went to Michael’s Sabre Ceremony. I bid Dad farewell from my hospital room. This was the closest I came to seeing him.

Mom and I settled into the RMH and quickly settled into a routine. She unpacked my bags and found a place for every last thing. Each morning, Mom wakes before I do and heads downstairs to her special brown chair.

Once I wake up, she brings me coffee and we visit while I get ready for a day at the NICU.

She makes my bed for me as I pack up my things for the day. The RMH gave me a teddy bear and Mom makes sure that my new friend follows all Covid guidelines.

We walk downstairs for breakfast. And I find myself imagining the epic game of hide-and-seek that my kids could play here.

One of my favorites parts of the morning is saying breakfast prayers. We say the traditional “Bless Us, O Lord” but then follow up with “Dear God, we offer up this day to you. All we think, or say, or do“. A simple prayer that I haven’t said since I was a little girl. Praying it with Mom brings back such fond childhood memories.

The kitchen and dining area are lovely. We have our favorite table near the fireplace and enjoy the beautiful gardens outside the windows.

Then I’m off to the hospital. I enjoy the short walk and the distance is perfect for my recovering body.

I spend the day with Becky in the NICU. As the days have turned into weeks, I’ve altered my schedule. I used to stay almost 12 hours straight. Now, I often go home for lunch and a quick nap. You can go stir crazy in a NICU and I need the break. Like my mom, Ronald is always waiting to greet me as I come and go.

I usually spend the late afternoons and evenings at the hospital. I like to spend some time with the night nurse as I try to soak up as much information as I can from each person. I usually return to the RMH after 9:30pm. Mom and I have a late dinner together, followed by a glorious bowl of ice cream and some tea. We enjoyed sitting by the grand fireplace until they closed all social areas due to Covid. Sometimes we sneak a Wheel of Fortune on my laptop up in our room. Then it’s lights out.

Mom has only been allowed into the NICU three times. She stays at the RMH doing laundry, making loads of new friends, and continuing her volunteer work remotely. She is my rock and constant companion. I simply couldn’t have done this without her.

So there it is. This has been our basic routine for the last three weeks. Mom and I are grateful to have such a lovely place to stay at RMH. Conveniently located, I can be to Becky’s bedside in less than 10 minutes. Beautifully appointed, it is truly a home away from home. Being here has made a difficult and sometimes disheartening experience manageable. Living with Mom has made it endurable. And sometimes even enjoyable.

I simply do not have the word to express my gratitude to this charity.

Or to Mom.

11 thoughts on “A Day in the Life

  1. I’m so glad to know that every time they purchase And ice tea, that my money is going towards a good cause. And yes that’s right not sweet with a lemon if you have it please.

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  2. Kathleen, I have followed each blog since it’s beginning and feel as if I too am experiencing this adventure beside you. You have a gift for relaying your laughter and your tears; I have cried along with you. I vow to eat more McDonald’s fish sandwiches!

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  3. I will go out and buy McDonald French fries this week in your honor and as support.
    We hear the wonderful work they do and living it through you has brought that to life.

    Do think that today’s game would be a wonderful “transition” step for Becky… taking in some football. Suggest you start working on that nurse!

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  4. Kathleen, the love of a mother is amazing…..having one and being one….truly a gift. Blessing and prayers always for Clan Rauch.

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  5. […] For Becky, we spent 24 days in the Ronald McDonald House. Mom was allowed in the NICU 3 times. The Covid rules were strange, allowing Sam to freely move from home to work to the NICU, if he chose. But Sam and Mom were not allowed to swap bands on a one-time, permanent basis. Not deterred by this disappointment, Mom simply stayed at RMH and waited for me. […]

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