Tuesday, August 04, 2009
#3 - What a Mom
I can’t possibly imagine what this mother felt when we walked into the room that day, but she was so excited to see us. She had read Sadie’s newspaper article posted to the Pediatrics (Peds) playroom window. She heard the anticipation in the voices of the children who were waiting for Sadie to come visit. I asked if it was all right if we visited her child and she said she had been waiting.
I really wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
I turned the corner and saw the smallest little child that I had ever seen. I couldn’t even tell if she was a boy or a girl. As I was turning around the bed, the mom asked if it would be alright if Sadie got on the bed with her child.
As I was beginning to explain that Sadie rarely got on the beds because she couldn’t get her grip on the slippery tile floors, Sadie had already jumped in bed with her. I think that my jaw actually did hit the floor.
We had been visiting the hospital every Wednesday for over a year and a half, and I had never asked her to do that. I couldn’t believe that she did that without a lot of coaxing or a treat, but there she was.
It was also interesting for me to watch how she moved herself. She arranged her body at an angle so that the child had the best way to pet her. I noticed that the child couldn’t sit up or move her hands, so the mom was able to stand next to her, hold her up and then move her hand over Sadie’s body. The child smiled. I cried.
I then noticed that Sadie was lying on top of the child’s legs and right there in front of the mom. I wondered how I could nonchalantly move big ol’ Sadie off of this poor child’s legs. So I sat in the chair next to the bed and slowly put my arms under Sadie while feeling for her legs. I found none. I then realized that this child had no legs. Sadie knew that and had maneuvered herself as close to the child as she could. More crying from me.
Please know that when I say that I cry, I cry on the “inside” while in the presence of the children. I smile, I laugh but oh, “inside” – I cry so hard. I do have to wait until the end of our visit and I’m back in the car and out of the parking lot. I cry all the way home while Sadie quietly sleeps in the back seat.
That mom – what a mom. There were no tears from her. She was anticipating the joy that Sadie’s visit would bring to her baby. The two of them smiled and giggled the whole time we were there and thanked me – thanked ME, when we left.
No. YOU gave me the greatest gift ever – the joy of the present moment. I will never forget you or your smile or your baby.