Wednesday, August 19, 2015
"I'm glad I'm sick."
Anyone whose had a child spend a lot of time in hospitals, or clinics, or who battles a serious or long-term illness, understands the friendships that form under these unfortunate circumstances. Some of these kids don't go to school for weeks at a time, or years, or in Rowan's case, ever. So, they don't get to have play-dates with friends from school, or go to sleepovers at their house. They spend most of their time with a parent, nurses and doctors in a hospital room, or isolated at home with their family. Don't get me wrong though, these kids find friends, just in unlikely places. Most of Rowan's very best friends, he met either at the hospital, a doctor's office, or in the infusion clinic. They meet in the play room, or do art therapy together, while they are each attached to their respective IV poles. These friendships are so precious, and become so strong, very quickly. They relate to one another, look forward to seeing each other (even if it means they are both sick in the hospital), have no shame (hospital gowns, ports being accessed in front of each other, hair loss, and sometimes even getting sick in front of each other), no expectations, and most importantly, they worry about each other prayer for one another daily.
Today, we had an extremely rare opportunity to get to hang out with one of those hospital friends, outside of the hospital. That's right...OUTSIDE! Rowan went to the zoo with his sweet friend Charlotte, who he of course met in the hospital play room 6 months or so ago, while he was battling sepsis, and she was going through chemo. The joy in their smiles nearly brought me to tears several times today. See for yourself...
They ate dip-n-dots together...
Went to Rowan's favorite exhibit, the hippos, of course...
Charlotte gave Rowan the bracelet she had just gotten at the gate. I asked her if it was because it said "hippo", and she said "No, just because I want him to have it."
They got matching snake bracelets too...
Rowan is deathly afraid of carousels for some reason. The up and down really messes with his equilibrium and he usually refuses to go on it, or cries when he does. However, when Charlotte wanted to go on the carousel today, Rowan said "I can do it Mom, I'll just one that doesn't move, if she'll be by me."
They were just so cute!
They even put on a short "Underwater Theater" show for us, with sychronized swimming, bows and curtsies...
Climbed through tunnels...
And had a blast together...
On our way back out to the Zoo gates, Rowan said "Mom, don't forget to go get Charlotte a new bracelet since she gave me hers." I just love how selfless and caring they both are to each other. It was priceless.
This was such a rare, unusual, yet amazing day. To get to do normal kid stuff, with a hospital buddy, outside of a hospital, is almost unheard of. On the way home, I just kept thinking that there weren't words to describe how thankful I was for the opportunity to watch these two beautiful fighters play outside...no words. Rowan of course did have the words though, just not the ones I was expecting...
Tonight he told me, "I'm glad I'm sick". I of course responded, "What?! Why?!" And he explained, "If I wasn't sick, I would never have met Charlotte, and we would never have gone to the zoo today, and she wouldn't be my friend. So I'm glad I'm sick."
I just love how he thinks. I was grateful for the day, and grateful for their friendship, but Rowan takes it a step further and even appreciates that he's sick. I hope this inspires you to try to see the positive things that come out of seemingly negative circumstances. They can be some of the most beautiful parts of your life.
This post is dedicated to:
Bethany & Breanna
and all of the other beautiful hospital friends Rowan has met along this journey so far,
who Rowan says he "met through God".