Pamela called to tell me that Angel had been “discharged” from the ICU (temporarily …until the next surgery) to Pamela’s room. Pamela kept saying “I am so happy! I am so happy!” What this means is that Angel can sleep in a small crib next to Pamela’s bed and go for walks in the stroller around the hospital and be held without any tubes or wires protruding from her body. It means she can be a smiling gurgling baby without morphine or bandage changes.
While awaiting the next surgery, there will be routine meetings with the child development specialist, with the nutrtionist, with occupational therapist, with the psychologist, with the doctors. Now Pamela must go every morning to the main office of the hospital to get her schedule for the day. There is always an ongoing plan for each patient that includes visits and input from the whole medical team. The thoroughness of care from the Shriners’ staff is astounding and Pamela is wise enough to just move with “the plan”, even if she doesn’t understand it or like it. Trust is required here and Pamela trusts. She trusts the people around her and she trusts God who has brought her child to this place and to this process.
Trust is required especially in the face of death. Pamela’s roommate’s 12-year-old child died two days ago. It was devastating to all of those who live and work in this community. The child had only been at Shriner’s 2 weeks and was severely burned. In spite of the excellent care that surrounded her, the child died. And Pamela wept with the mother whose language she could not understand but whose heart is forever joined with Pamela’s.
The reminder that death gives us is that we need to hold our loved ones close to us. There is only this moment in which to love.