Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Give Me Pause

So often in my day at work I scramble from one issue to the next. I find myself being pulled from a tough negotiation with a vendor to the next second (literally) talking to a family about their child's prognosis. This emotional gymnastics often leaves me wishing for a pause. A moment to breathe. A break. A long vacation to restore my energy, my drive, and most of all my patience and caring. Today I received a moment that gave me pause, but not in the form I had expected.

Most days I am a beacon of hope, always with a smile and talking about how so many of our kids leave here getting better. Today a photo album of past guests was placed in front of me. As I looked through the first few pages, my eyes stopped on a young man that I had met. (Often I only get to meet parents and siblings.) I wondered to myself when he was going to return as they had made frequent visits. Then I remembered that he unexpectedly died last year. He wouldn't be back. I had to stop looking through the album.

This could be depressing, this could leave me numb for the rest of the day. Instead, it gave me pause. Made me stop for a moment and remember what we mean to each other and how much each little act of kindness can mean. It's easier to stop, slow down, remember "what's important" when a moment like this comes your way.

I could still cry though. Inside I say a little thank you to this young man, a little, you are missed and your short life made a difference in the fabric of the universe. Your absence is noticed.