There was a young woman at Whole Foods tonight in a wheelchair.
She looked like she may have been recently released from the hospital. I instinctively recognized the telltale bandages, tape, and that weak, but happy to be out, look. She was smelling the natural soap slices with her brother, maybe her boyfriend. She was smiling and I stood there staring.
It is never lost on me.
The randomness of it all and the day I was able to walk out of Phoenix Children’s Hospital with our precious daughter. We were only there for two and a half weeks. After a couple of scary surgeries, far too many antibiotics, and a well disguised scar, my Maggie was going to be fine. She squinted when the sun hit her face and the doors closed behind us that day.
I still, three years later, think about the rooms we passed on our way to the lobby. The children, families, mothers we left behind. The ones on the couches, in the cafeteria, still waiting, worrying.
There’s no sense in any of it. Which children get sick, who gets to leave, who has to stay and fight, or which parents lose the light in their lives all together.
All I know is every time I drive by the hospital or see someone like the young woman in Whole Foods, something washes over me and I usually end up crying.
We dropped Maggie off at camp today. She will live on a tall ship for a week. Snorkel, sail, and be fourteen with new braces she just got on last week. She’s silly and sassy, unafraid…healthy.
The gratitude lives in me. That day we walked through those hospital doors never goes away.
I am humbled and so very thankful, always.
My thoughts from the laundry room. Lights Left On.