You’ve never seen someone wrap a present so gently. So warmly.
Yet, there was Linda Black. She lifted the gift with firm but delicate hands, slid the wrapping paper underneath, and tied bows firmly but not too tight.
“It’s a little bit more intricate than wrapping a gift,” said Linda.
Not just any ol’ gift. This is THE gift. The one you can’t wait for someone to open.
In this case, Linda wants the present to be taken home as soon as possible.
“This is a holiday gift for the families,” she said as she tied another bow on Jaxson Bush, a 25-day-old boy who was born a bit too soon.
“It makes my heart warm,” said Linda.
She is a nurse in Rady Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in San Diego. She decided to wrap her patients as gifts because, well, that’s what they are.
“That brought joy to my heart,” said Theadene Frazier from Chula Vista. “It’s like my Christmas present came early.”
Her daughter, Tyanna, was born 21 days ago but she wasn’t supposed to arrive until February 16.
“It’s been rough,” she said. “It’s been rough. It’s been very rough.”
“Brought a lot of nerves and scares for us,” said Jaxson’s father, Matthew Bush.
The Calexico firefighter stood watch over his son with his wife, Ananice.
“It’s been 11 years that we’ve been married and 11 years that we’ve been trying, and this is our first baby,” said Matthew.
The two watched as Linda put a red beanie on Jaxson’s head. The little boy with tiny hands was wrapped in red and tied with a bow.
Photos: Babies in Rady Children’s NICU Are the Gift Families Can’t Wait to Take Home
“Since he’s been here, it’s really been a miracle that he has just been doing so well,” said Matthew.
“He looks so adorable,” said Cynthia Leal as she held a pacifier in Fernando’s mouth. The four-month-old has been in the NICU his entire life.
“Thank you so much,” she said as Linda helped Fernando with his wrapping.
“It just makes me feel so good to know that we have brought a little bit of happiness into these babies’ lives, these families’ lives,” said Linda.
It’s that happiness that she hopes to send home soon.