Friends come about in all sorts of ways. Some we grow up with because our parents are friends, some we meet at school or church or the park.
Sometimes, in the midst of life, young or old, we end up with people who have things in common with us. We share friends or interests that repeat often enough that we can’t seem to escape knowing one another.
Out of the 70 days Bekah spent in Akron Children’s Hospital’s NICU, and the 222 days Tailyn spent there, we spent exactly 35 of them in a TLC room with Tailyn Dailey and her family. Those 35 days (and a lot of nights) were enough to solidify what we hope will be a lifelong friendship.
We may not see each other often, or even talk on a regular basis, but there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t think of them, or talk about them. We love them as if we’d always known one another.
There is just something about spending some of the scariest, and yet most beautiful, days of our lives together that seems to have bonded us for life. We spent days and nights praying silently for each other as our girls faced tests, surgeries and daily life in the hospital.
We grew as people, and we grew as parents. We learned that sometimes when you think life is about to become incredibly exciting, God has a different kind of excitement planned, and life leaves you with something that seems terrifying, and yet is more beautiful than you could have imagined.
As our friendship grew, so did our realization that everyone everywhere has some sort of obstacle they have to face in life. Ours just happened to be super cute, and born two days apart.
Although we don’t see each other as much as we’d like, we do try to plan times to meet so that Bekah and Tailyn get to grow up knowing one another as friends. As we prepare to visit Children’s new NICU in a few days, I’m sure there will be a lot of memories of some very difficult times for all of us.
More important though, is all that we’ve learned from our time there – the ability to see beauty where others may not, the joy that comes from a smile on a dreary day, the glimmer of love shining out of the eye of a stranger as they pass by in the hallway because they too were once walking in our shoes.
Those shoes are ones we’re proud to be walking in today, with our NICU friends, our NICU family.