This was my happy place today.
And not because it was beautiful.
No, this rooftop garden was my happy place today because it was my escape from the hospital. Okay, maybe “happy space” isn’t the right phrase. Let’s try “breathing space.” After a long day of waiting for Drew to be scanned, tested, poked and prodded — as well as seeing hurting kids and frightened parents, I sat with Drew waiting for him to be called back for one last test. Nearby a toddler giggled and played on the floor at his mother’s feet. He was a beautiful child with white-blonde hair and sandals with squeakers in the soles. He laid on his back, repeatedly smacking the bottoms of his feet together to set off the squeakers. Each shoe squeak was followed by fits of his giggles. His happy little self was like a big, fat ray of sunshine in an otherwise dreary day. As he squeaked, giggled and wriggled across the floor, he bumped into Drew’s foot. For whatever reason, this proved to be a big distraction. He laid there quietly, playing with Drew’s sneaker, pulling the shoestrings. As fate would have it, this boy’s name and Drew’s name were called by the techs at the same time.
That’s when it happened.
When she came over to collect him, his mother told us that this beautiful little boy was blind. In fact, his eyes were prosthetics. Drew and I were stunned speechless. And just like that, she scooped him up in her arms and walked back with the tech. Drew waved me off and told me he could do the exam on his own. I didn’t argue. Instead, I headed to the rooftop garden and let the tears come.
Happy artwork lined the halls leading to the rooftop and the garden was bursting with color and life.
It was just the escape I was needing. For the first time all day, I could breathe.
And I was so thankful for so many reasons.