” I think I’m in love”
“Oh you are? With who?”
“With… with… you. I think you’re so beautiful”
And then I picked my heart up off the floor and tried to act calm, cool and collected. This was an actual conversation I had with a little boy as he was sitting in a hospital bed while I was hanging yet another drug to help save his life and his mom was “sleeping” next to him (I later found out she heard the whole conversation). I’ve been told I was beautiful before… but have you ever been told you were beautiful by a child who absolutely hates the hospital and everything associated with it? It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
We have a lot to learn from kids… especially from kids fighting for their life. This is just one of many conversations I’ve had with kids stuck in the hospital that has really made me stop and think. I think it’s second nature as an adult to complain about things, expect people to read our mind, not fully stating how we feel and/or not living our “best lives.” Kids fighting for their lives live like we should all live- like today could be our last.
“Live like you were dying” A famous song by Tim McGraw, a song I often sang along to, but a song that meant nothing to me until I watched kids and their families live like tomorrow isn’t promised… because it isn’t.
Every single day I walk into work, I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude, humbleness and pride. I have said this a million times, but kids who get diagnosed with cancer are special. There is something special about each child I’ve met that I really can’t even explain. It’s almost like an “old soul” personality that many of these kids have and they are all much smarter than you could imagine. I’ve had incredible conversations with toddlers and with 18 year olds. I’m telling you- these kids fighting for their lives are just different and every last one of them has a special place in my heart.
I had a toddler patient recently undergoing significant treatment, every right to be irritable, fatigued and over being in the hospital.. but when I walked into her room, I said “how we doin little miss?” And her reply? “I’m doin great and I’m doin good!” A response that wouldn’t phase most people, but really made me appreciate how much these kids have changed my life.
We could all learn a thing or 50 from kids and I really encourage you to open up and listen. If you think someone is beautiful- tell them.