Friday, April 26, 2013

Princess Jamie...

When Braden was in treatment, and we were living at the hospital, he met a very special friend.

Her name was Jamie and she was a care assistant in the oncology clinic.  Jamie checked him in each visit (at that point in life, that was twice a least).

Braden was not a very agreeable patient in the beginning. With the autism, everything was super confusing and scary to him.

He would cry and cry and cry.  I call it the childhood cancer cry. He was 3 years old, and even if he was scared and crying, my job was to hold him down while they did whatever procedures they had to do to him.

It sucked as much as you are imagining right now.

Blood pressure checks, weight checks, temperature checks, and height checks doesn't seem like a very big deal to you and me. a 3 year old with autism and tubies and a bald was a HUGE deal.

Until Jamie came into his life.

Jamie didn't have any special education training. She hadn't been taught "how" to work with children with autism.  But we found out that Jamie was a master!

It was innate.  She just got "it" and she made everything right in Braden's world.

He WANTED to go to clinic, because he was going to see his Jamie. When we were at home, she was all he talked about. Braden's love for Jamie was very deep!

Every clinic visit, she would open the door and he would SPRINT into her arms yelling, "JAMIE!".  Every. Single. Visit.

Jamie let Braden push buttons he wasn't supposed to push, he learned to watch the baby on the thermometer to make sure it was working, he got to shoot the cover off the thermometer, he watched the numbers of the "squeeze" (blood pressure machine) to make sure they were going down and he was very quiet and still so he wouldn't scare them.

He had to give her about a hundred hugs.  And when he was inpatient, she used to come visit him on her lunch break. Yup...her lunch break!! AMAZING

Word would get to her if he was having a rough time and she would magically appear.  Her visits resulted in smiles and laughter no matter how sick he felt at the time. She always brightened his day!

Braden still collects the caps from the flushes and heparin tubes. It's his "thing". :)  When Braden was inpatient for transplant, Jamie brought him a whole jar filled with caps. He was more excited about that than I could ever tell you!! His whole face lit up and he squealed with delight!!

I think most kids loved Jamie as much as Braden did, she was a keeper!! ALL of the staff in the oncology clinic at CMH are keepers! We ADORE all of them!! REALLY!!

Braden is a great judge of character. He either really likes you or really just doesn't care if you are around or not. From the first moment he saw Princess Jamie, he loved her!!

Truly and deeply!

Princess Jamie got married and now has two babies. She isn't at clinic anymore because she is taking care of her family, but we have play dates with her occasionally.  He still flips out every time he sees her.

All she did was love him.  That was it.  She just loved him. And in return, he loved her more than any words could ever describe. Princess Jamie got him through his cancer treatments and will always be his first love.

Mom loves her too!!

For me, the lessons I learned from Princess Jamie are to:

love unconditionally,

understand selflessly,

and act with affection and grace every day.

Princess Jamie, we love you!!