Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Giving Back in Honor of Travis' 2nd Birthday

Roger and I wanted to do something special to honor and remember Travis as he celebrates his second birthday in Heaven. So, we are gathering friends and family to provide dinner and activities to the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in San Diego. The Ronald McDonald house holds a special place in our hearts as we spent 68 nights there as Travis fought his brave battles!

The Ronald McDonald House Charities® of San Diego provides a home-away-from-home for families with a hospitalized child being treated for a serious, often life-threatening illness or injury at local hospital.

I do not have all the details worked out yet but please let me know if you are interested in helping out. We will need help in the following areas:
* meal prep
* serving
* clean up
* working the activities table for the children (I was thinking
maybe Halloween masks)
* someone who would be interested in doing a couple read
alouds of Travis' favorite stories
* donation of plates, forks, knives, cups, etc.
* monetary donations for purchase of food, etc (all
remaining funds will go directly to RMH)
* decorations

If you are interested in helping please copy and paste this link into your browser (it'll take you to the event page on FB):

When you RSVP please let me know in what capacity you will be willing to help us honor our Miracle Angel. Also, if you have any creative ideas for the evening, let me know. They tell us to prepare food for 160 people so we need a lot of help! We will be cooking Mexican inspired food.

This will be a difficult, difficult time for us but we know that this will be a rewarding and loving way to celebrate Travis' birthday. It brings us comfort to know we will be surrounded by friends/family and helping others who are this familiar situation!

NOTE: We are limited to the number of people who can cook/serve so we will have to take volunteers for that based on order of response. Thanks! ♥

NOTE #2: All of the food has to be prepared in a "Health Department Approved kitchen" and therefore it will need to be prepared and cooked AT THE McDonald house. So, no cooking at home :( Sorry

"How are you doing?"

That is the million dollar question.

Some people ask, some people are too nervous.

Some people can handle the real answer, most can't.

To put it simply: we are getting by.

Roger and I both see therapists both together and separately and although I dread going, I always come out feeling a tad better. We talk to them about our guilt, the massive guilt that comes with death. We talk to them about our memories. We talk to them about the impact of this loss on our relationship and on Addie. We talk to them about our shattered dreams. Mostly, we just talk.

Most days we walk around in this melancholic daze. I told my therapist the other day that I just feel as if nothing gives me real joy anymore. I can't live in the moment. I'm always regretting the past or looking forward to that day that we see Travis again. I am not sure if you looked at us you could tell.


We do it. We do it for Addie. We do it because we don't want to burden our friends and family. We do it so we don't scare our friends who have babies walking the same journey that Travis did.

It takes a lot of energy to go about pretending that all is okay. A friend recently asked me "What percentage of your thoughts throughout the day are about Travis?" I thought this was such an interesting question. I wonder if people are surprised by the answer. I came up with 85% of my thoughts. His life is still very much intertwined in mine. Not all of my thoughts of him are sad ones. I have many happy memories too!

Your heart is split between this world and that world. I am engaged in Addie and engaged in my grief /memories. Multitasking in this manner wears at you. It strips you of your ability to concentrate. I rips away your energy. It strains your relationships. So, we give it all we got. We do our best. We get by.

Fall is coming and that means we will be faced with all the things we are missing out on....Travis' 2nd birthday.....the Holidays. Thinking about going through all those without him is horrendous but we will get through it because we need to....he'd want us to and Addie needs us.

Our 4.2 million dollar boy

We have been receiving Travis' medical bills for all of the stays and procedures he had at Rady's (including all of his surgeries, heath catheterizations, and his lengthy stays). The insurance carrier sends us a statement to show us what everything costs and what they pay for. Prior to his death we were constantly receiving bills addressed to "the parents of Travis Gary DiCarlo". Now, we receive them addressed to the estate of Travis Gary DiCarlo. It is ridiculous that we have to receive these......I mean the "estate of"....I suppose there is just no proper way to address the death of a 16 month old. It is just too terrible to imagine.

The mailings have slowed down and it looks like the last bills have rolled in. Today I finally totaled his medical costs during his short life. I kept all of his bills because I wanted to show him when he got older because I thought it was interesting to see how much it all costs. Unfortunately, things turned out for the worst and we have decided to throw them out.

I did total everything and after recording over 300 pages of bills the total was more outstanding than I thought.

His total medical expenses charged by the hospital were:

Travis was truly priceless and was worth every penny. I miss you son. - DAD