Last Thursday, Harrison and I had the opportunity to make our 3rd annual holiday RedButt donation to Children's Hospital and Medical Center. It's hard to believe that this is year number three already. As you all know...the first donation served as a way for us to simply "make it" through our first holiday season without Charlotte. It was a way to keep our hands and minds busy...a distraction (a small one at that) from the pain that consumed most every minute of the day. Back then I could never have imagined the transformation that would take place in the years to come - not only the healing that has taken place in our hearts, but with the growth of Project RedButt. We've donated 60 monkeys to the PICU and have sent 100+ monkeys to heart kiddos around the US. RedButt has even gotten his passport stamped a few times as he made his way to Germany, the UK and La Paz, Mexico with the Los Cabos Children's Foundation. What started as something so very, very hard has turned into something so incredibly rewarding and central to our lives.
I hope we're making you proud baby girl...
As always, the lobby at Children's was beautifully decorated --and we think it made it just a little bit more beautiful when RedButt decided to cozy up on the branches of their GIANT Christmas tree!
He even made friends with a soldier standing guard nearby.
I don't get to have pictures with BOTH of my kiddos together...but there is peace in my heart knowing that Charlotte is with us in all that we do.
He's REALLY good at making monkey sounds :)
This year Grandma Debbie was able to come along for our drop-off. She is a huge driving force behind Project RedButt, and simply put, we couldn't do it year after year without her. She's got monkey making down to an art and I'm pretty sure that all 20 of this years RedButts were constructed by her. (insert endless thanks, a round of applause, hugs, high fives...)
It's three years later. The holidays are still hard. The ache is still there. The sadness still threatens to break us at the least expected moments. The difference is that three years later we have learned how to function despite it all. We look forward to our trip to Children's each December and are honored that the wonderful people there continue to share a tremendous feeling of love for our little girl.
So much love. Beyond words or explanation.
A huge thanks to all of you who made donations to Charley's Heart and Project RedButt this year. The expense of supplies (socks, stuffing, buttons) and shipping can really add up and every contribution goes a long way.