Ivy and Noah


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Posts Tagged ‘humanity’

The spirit.


At Lily’s school there is a boy, who is vision impaired.

He uses a cane and he has an aid.

He joins in with most things but he is always with his cane or the teacher.

Presentation day was yesterday

up at Lily’s school

and after that it rolled into the postponed Carols.

It was hot and the week had been so busy that by lunch time

when the performances finally began

I wished that I could be anywhere else but up at that school.

A few acts went before

and then the class with the little boy came onto the stage.

It was the first time I had seen him without the white stick,

that always seemed to precede his entrance.

He was dressed in red,

his hair as white as the snow that we hear about so often in Christmas songs

and on his nose was a red button.

He stepped with confidence, along with a fellow classmate,

her arm scooped under his

and together they took centre stage.

It was the classic tale of Rudolf and the rejection from the other reindeer because, despite his abilities,

he was different.

Of course we all know the story has a happy ending

but I found it interesting that the little boy had been given the role of Rudolph.

A lesson within a lesson, perhaps.

Following the play the children in the class assembled in formation to dance,

the girl once again guiding the little boy to his space.

Without his cane

or his aid.

This will be interesting, I thought

because I had never seen the little guy participate like this before

and then I witnessed the most amazing thing.

With a girl on either side of him, he began to dance

and when I looked closer I could see those girls,

they were counting.

They were counting his steps for him and giving him directions.

When he needed to turn a certain direction,

the girl on that side would touch his arm

and if he became too close to the first step up to the stage

one of those girls would bring their arm around his back.

Like a well oiled machine

they moved in time with the music

and those girls and that boy,

they never missed a beat.

At the end of the song there was a massive round of applause

and the boy (and those girls) had the biggest smile you can imagine.

I admit, I was a little teary

and all thoughts of wanting to leave had disappeared

because right there,

in that school hall

I had just witnessed a  spirit,

the soul of mankind,

that one simple act of helping a fellow brother,

of being there for another person.

A stepping in time and a coming together of humanity.

I felt incredibly humbled to have seen it

and for the first time, this season,

it started to feel like Christmas.



We walk  through the hospital doors, her curls bobbing up and down with each skip.

Heads turn and people seem bewitched by her.

Little old ladies stop and comment on her hair, tell me I have a  little Shirley Temple by my side.

Tell me how lucky I am.

She is a girly girl and loves dresses and hats and spangly plastic jewels that glint in the sunshine.

They ask me how old she is and I tell them three, well, three and a half now and they clasp their hands together and I can see memories of their own children flooding back through their eyes.

Three can be such a wonderful age, you know.

We go to admissions, where all the ladies know her now, they laugh as she twirls in the lobby, as I sign paperwork. She’s looking better, they observe and I thank them and start our journey to the ward.

We pass a cafe.

Visitors and patients look up from their coffee and cake. They point to her, my curly girl and smiles twitch at the ends of tired, drawn mouths because she has stopped to give her ‘chububba’ a kiss and a cuddle, oblivious to the workings of the institution.

Her world consists only of her and her baby doll.

People gravitate towards her, with sweet stories about grandchildren or sisters or long lost cousins, with upturned faces and ‘ringlets that you could slide your whole thumb into’.

Our entry to the ward, these days, is a slow understanding between the nurses and I of a little girl who is going to be doing this for a very long time. It seems this new ‘family’ are going to be watching her grow into her own skin as well.

We are finding our comfortable familiarity.


The doctors and nurses praise her and gift her with stickers because she hardly ever cries when the canula pierces her little vein anymore. She is wise to it now and knows that if she just keeps still it will be over soon and we will be left to wander the long passageways, in search of her favourite hospital treat – chips. Plain and salty.

The lady at the newsagency says the same thing every month,

“Nothing plain and salty about you, little one, is there”

and she looks up  curiously. I wonder what she thinks, wonder if she understands.

Everywhere we travel, on these infusion days, we are tethered to a beeping, whirring reminder that things are not exactly normal. She makes the most of it though and balances on two prongs of the five that spread at the bottom of the IV pole, her head thrown back.

She watches the hospital world spin around, uses her machinery as a ride, a means of transport.

People chuckle and twitter and I  that can see that the sight of my little pixie has  made them happier, if only for a moment.

Many times we have come here and I have felt anger, resentment, sadness but today I look through new eyes.

We sit and have coffee with a friend;

“Ivy is such a blessing,” she says, ”Look at how she makes everyone around her happy”.


Dr Cason’s photo challenge for February is Humanity.


I’ve talked about it before.

Hospital humanity.

This is the main corridor to Westmead Kids hospital. It overflows with the human condition every single  day.

Hope, fear, loss, grief, happiness, relief.

This corridor holds alot of emotions for me.

It is the one I first walked when I was looking for answers for Immy,

the very same that I walked into with so much hope for William and the one I had to walk away from, with empty arms.

It is the very same that I entered with fear and worry for Ivy and then hope.

On this day, the day the photo was taken, it was the corridor we hugged each other in quiet celebration when the IVIG was approved.

Hospital day 5 (sanity breaking day)

Hospitals are such restful places.

Outside our window there is heavy construction work going on. Huge diggers and trucks and jackhammers  pound pound pounding through my brain. A constant drill whirs in the background. Cars fly past. I can’t even hear myself breathe, let alone think.

Inside the ward babies are crying out, their most wretched, ear piercing wails for help because they are in pain, because there is no other way for them to let their carers know that their bodies ache. For comfort, for food, for medicine to pump through their veins to help them recover and rest.

The heartbreaking sobs never seem to stop.

Only because all the children here are distressed and if for an instant one relents to sleep or food or a cuddle, another has already started.

There are cleaners and orderlies. Trolleys of varying sizes trundle up and down the corridor of the ward. Delivering food and cleanliness and dry humour from the weary workers who push them.

Parents of the children who are to be discharged today are set free from their rooms, small babies crawling up and down the hallway and mothers pacing waiting for their release forms, waiting for life to begin again.

Waiting for normality.

Others cry.

Parents who have not yet obtained their healthy child status stare out into the glare of hospital life, wishing for relief, a meal, a toilet break and knowing they are things that will be scarce for today.

The relentless ping of the monitors and distributors, the tools which keep things in order resonate in our small room and in almost every room around us. 

Nurses and doctors, characters of various form (clowns, captains and  therapy animals) break the seal of our sanctuary and the cacophony of sound flows in like an ocean.

Doors open and close, they sometimes slam, chairs grate along linoleum floors, phones ring loudly, so as to be heard above the people who call out to others they know and some they do not. They cough and sneeze and snuffle and belch, their conversations seem to call for inclusion of my overstimulated mind. There is music and television blaring in the background and I feel the tension in my shoulders and my neck crackling like a growing fire.

I look out to the trees only to be confronted by a large yellow beast baring its scoop to me, like a jagged, monstrous mouth, so I close my eyes and watch the flecks of my soul pass through the darkness like spirits.

Humanity at its loudest.

Hospital humanity.

The girl in the bed sleeps on though, oblivious to the hum of the ward, the din of the construction work and the silent scream that erupts in my mind.

The paediatrician has been.

We still have two more days before we will earn our wings and fly away from here. 

Although I wish it were sooner, this place, in all of its chaos is strangely safe.

I know the routine, I know most of the nurses and almost all of the doctors.

There is comfort in this hubub of humans.

My sore head is nothing compared to the fear of a sick child so I will stay put and know that hospital can also be a haven.

I cannot relish in the sights and the sounds but I can stand firm in the knowledge that this is where we need to be for the girl to be well again.

If only for a while.