Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Wagon

In the past, we'd frequent Children's Hospital quite often. I called it my home away from home the first 8 years of my child's life. If we weren't there for appointments or surgery several times a year, we were sleeping there, praying there, crying there, laughing there, and growing there. The first three years of my son's life, I kept a hospital bag in the trunk of my car. It had a change of clothes for both of us, toothbrushes and other emergency items in case we showed up at an appointment with the ENT or walked into the emergency room and were told to stay. This actually happened quite a bit as he struggled with his body fighting infections, unexplained severe head pain, pneumonia and other various obstacles the child faced over the years.  

I could always tell when he felt better because he would ask, "Can we go get a wagon now?" He loved pulling those wagons around. He'd load his stuff in them and pull them around the hospital floor for days sometimes. Often, he was only able to ride in them as he was too dizzy to walk but that was just as fun. We've been in the hospital twice during Christmastime over the years and used the wagons to carry all the gifts out to the lobby. There were times I thought I'd never reach a point where I could look back on those years instead of living them in the present. But I have.

We have a wonderful child in our church who attends very regularly. She rolls her wheel chair up front when the children sing, she's really talkative and friendly to everyone, and she has a wonderful family and church that love her and treat her just like all the other kids with and without special needs. The Youth Group recently took up money within the church to purchase a wagon in honor of her and donate it to Children's Hospital. I can't imagine her face when she goes for her next visit and sees a child in need, riding in "her" wagon. Anytime we got a wagon with a plaque on it, I always wondered about the child whose name clung to the wagon. Now other children, and possibly my own at some point again, will be able ride when they can't walk or even pull it around while they wait for hours for multiple appointments. Tired grandmothers, stressed moms and dads, nurses and other caretakers will pull this wagon behind their backs for children too sick to attend school like other kids or children who may never even leave the hospital.

If you ever go to Children's Hospital, watch the kids in the wagons. Most have no idea how sick they really are. Their bald heads shine in the light and their smiles are contagious. Some cling to their IV stands as their Dads pull them around the entire hospital, just to get out of that room for a while. Some simply cling to Faith with every step they take.

I am very proud of our Youth Group for thinking of Children's Hospital and our little friend from church. I know she'll look for this wagon every time she goes from now on! And maybe someone else, will use Faith too as they travel...

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