Shoal Habib said, “Hospitals are unlike other places in that people who are in them don’t want to be.”
Consider the children with acute and chronic illness who are in hospitals frequently. They become experts on the unwelcome, unwanted hospital experience. These children and families are “in the trenches, on the front lines” so to speak. Some wage a daily battle with pain and comfort, calm and fear, life and death.
For thirteen years, it’s been an honor to share this journey with these children and families. Most show grace, courage, determination, hope and love. They are the experts. They are my teachers. They are my heroes.
Even as an educator, my patients and families know so much more than I know. I bring no cure and no remedies. And my experience is that I receive much more than I can give. They inspire and amaze me. What can I possibly offer to help their journey?
Will I be helpful? Will I be what that child and family needs today? Will I be enough?
“How can I help you? How about a laugh? May I bring a special activity or toy? How about a shoulder to lean on? Would you like to learn about the procedure you will have? Is there anything I can do to help you feel hope and healing?”
What can I possibly offer to help this child and this family at this moment? It took me a while to realize that the only thing I have to offer is myself.
To the children and families I have been fortunate to serve, thank you for letting me join you on the path that you didn’t choose, yet walk so gracefully and lovingly.And most of all, thank you for letting me “be enough.”