Day Twelve: Tuesday, November 26, 2019
We were told that our 9:00 AM appointment was pushed back. We now had to be at the hospital by 11:00 AM.
We arrived at the hospital at 10:30 AM to a heartbreaking scene. Kids, of all ages, and in various stages of suffering from cancer, were everywhere. I wasn’t expecting to see that, even though we were at a children’s cancer hospital. I just hadn’t mentally prepared myself for what I would see.
It’s hard to imagine anything more sobering–more saddening–than walking through a children’s hospital, seeing all the suffering those children and their parents are going through. A heartbreaking story is behind every kid in a wheelchair, every kid hooked up to tubes, and every kid trying to conceal their bald head with a knit cap.
It’s the great elephant in the room.
I always knew these kids existed, but it was always someone else’s kid. It was never mine. I always saw these children on TV, in ads, in social media feeds, but like most people, I just walked by, turning a blind eye, justifying my indifference under a veneer of feeling grateful that I have been spared such a life (but how quickly our idyllic lives can change).
Here, together, as we walk through the halls of this hospital, we are surrounded by so many other families, going through what we are just now discovering. They are strangers but we all share a common thread, a debilitatingly burden in which we all have to endure watching our children suffer. And each one of us is hoping that it’s our child that pulls through in the end; not becoming just another statistic.
It’s barely been a week, yet facing this type of trial changes you.
Walking through the halls of a children’s cancer hospital, changes you.
Your outlook and perspective on life drastically changes.
In spite of trying to cling to anything that provides a sense of relative familiarity and normalcy, the reality is that the trivial things that once held great significance in our lives, now means very little. And those important things that we used to take for granted, we now cherish beyond comprehension.
To be continued.