My sweet nephew Bird spent a short stint at Children’s Healthcare at Scottish Rite last week having an exploratory surgery and being examined by an assorted lot of specialists. He weighed in at only three and a half pounds at birth and, since he still hasn’t “caught up” at age two, he needed to have this done to rule out the possibility that there could be some underlying issue that is causing him to stay so small.
So Cookie and I boot-scooted back to Atlanta with buckets full of treats to bring a little cousin-cheer to Bird, Sister and her Mister. Being just a visitor in the hospital, I was overwhelmed with the fact that every single detail had been thought of to help make it a pleasant place for the littles. We played basketball, hunted koi, tooled around on the mini-golf course, attended an art party, snacked, played and belly laughed until we were flat out of energy. Cookie and Bird are truly the best of friends…two peas (albeit one quite big and one teeny tiny) in a pod…and I’d venture to say that our little visit was just as big of a treat for Cookie as it was for Bird!
Yet, as impressively fun and colorfully cheerful as Children’s is, I just couldn’t squash the innately devastating fact that the immense building is filled to the brim with littles in pain, hurting, sick or needing some sort of exam or procedure like my nephew. And while I pasted a smile on my face and channeled my former cheerleader peppiness throughout our visit, inside I wanted to burst into tears every time we walked past a room with a tiny little crib or child sized bed. My heart hurts for not just Bird and his family, but for every one of those kids and their families. Keep them all in your thoughts and prayers. And hug your own a little tighter tonight. I will be.