Sweetie and Max


Sweetie and Max

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

More of things that make you go “hmmmm”!
I returned home yesterday greeted as always by the pair in this photograph. Like two little kids they come out to the truck every time with out missing an arrival-the two happiest critters in the world.

Yesterday marked the two weeks of my newest grandsons early arrival. I was able to hold him. The smile of comfort came across his face-despite the tubes and wires coming from his tiny nose. A truer smile you have never seen-he snuggled into the spot as if he instinctively knows it is a safe haven.

As I sat there all surround us is somewhere near twenty other babies-all various sizes,all too small and too early to be facing this world. As I sat there-in my peripheral vision I can see a room off to its own privacy. An infant in there is far worse off than the little boy I am holding,there are so many tubes and pumps and gadgets supporting that little life in there. In my hearing range I listen as the nursing staff preps a space for another special child-they are flying it in from two hours away near Tallahassee. This child is not breathing on its own-a special team is setting up to attend it.

I drive home after this days sitting. I’m tired because of my own health issues-and a trip each day into the city is taking its toll on me-the stress of all that is going on. Up my driveway I come-out the door comes the two spoiled critters that call this place home,and generously permit me to stay with them. Funny little creatures-these two. Of course you have to take a moment to thank them-sitting on the steps as the climb about your lap,one chasing the other off-and the other responding to pester you to get that spot back.

I look at them both and it causes me deep thought to ponder why is it that the wing of the hospital has so many tiny pre-mature children…why are there so many who have not even lived a full few days and already their little bodies have seen surgery and have been kept from the warmth of being held-as a baby should. Why is it these two playful pups have such a great life-and in hospital there are so many that have yet to know the feel of a mothers breast?

Shands Hospital is no small affair-it is not a tiny country hospital. Two sections are 11 floors each-and the surrounding wings are huge enough that they are practically independent buildings. There is a section reserved for every Space Shuttle launch-in case anything was to happen during take off,who knows what they could do? The section our little guy is in houses just about every aspect of children’s diseases and injury. This past two weeks I have seen enough that it made me weep last night-and I belly ache about my own woe’s.

Shands Hospital is connected to the Veterans Administration Hospital by a tunnel-some say the tunnel is one half a mile long. I use the tunnel frequently. It empties into the basement of the VA and the main artery out to the parking lot opens to a covered smoking area. The minute the automatic door swings open you can smell the stink. I walk past men and woman sitting all around-many in wheel chairs or electric mobility chairs,sometimes some take the risk with oxygen tubes in their nose-still smoking. It so weird to look at it in real life-I’ve used the analogy millions of times about the cigerette gaggers at the VA and the preemie unit at Shands-never knowing I would really experience the full impact of what I was always saying. How ludicrous it was to see the smoking veterans coming from being treated with extension of life-a quality of life in a wheel chair,unable to walk due to emphysema,still smoking. Across the highway lay these tiny creatures-clinging to life. You should see my grandsons tiny hand as it grasps the draining tube that comes from his nose-as if it is natural to him-as it must be,it is all he has known in this short life.

So I sit and pet and coo over my two tiny pups. I sit and look at them and wonder-why is it they are having such wonderful lives and are so obviously happy-those tails wagging,and all that cheer? It seems so unfair-so twisted out of reality…so really really odd to me.

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