It would be impossible to spend any amount of time in a pediatric ward and not have your perspective on life altered. Ours certainly was. I’m not a stranger to tragedy and I’d like to believe I didn’t take our previous life for granted but I don’t think I truly appreciated how blessed we were until just recently.
The many (too many) innocent children we met have involuntary traded playgrounds for hospital rooms. They have been deprived of things that would break any one of us: their appetite, mobility, cognition, enjoyment, recreation… and yet their resilience and spirit is enviable.
One little toddler holds a special place in our hearts. He was brought to PICU at McMaster the same day Theo was, when we returned 3 weeks later, our rooms were next to each other, and we were discharged out of hospital the same day. While there, we became good friends with his great grandmother who never left his side. We shared the ups and downs of our similar journeys: disappointing MRI results, critical surgeries and procedures, small yet positive indicators of unpredictable recoveries. She embraced us like family, understood our struggles when others couldn’t, celebrated each of Theo’s milestones, and encouraged us daily to never lose hope.
This little soldier has a long road ahead of him, as do we, but his recovery so far has inspired us to believe that the impossible is possible. We tuck Theo in each night with the hand-knit blanket his great grandmother gave us and we say an additional prayer for him. We miss them and I truly hope our paths cross again one day.
Today’s miracle is celebrating new friendships, however ephemeral, for their unique purpose and perfect timing.