Seven years ago on November 27 my children’s baby sister was born. We knew she would be coming, we just didn’t know she had arrived. We had one perfectly regular 24 hours with her, and then she died. It is so much more than those 4 words…”and then she died”. I wrote about the loss. I wrote about the funeral. I shared the letter to my children from Santa, which may be the most difficult thing I have ever had to write. This morning I was reminded of the art, and the gift of the artist, and the compassion of a man I didn’t even know.
His face came to me when I woke up.
I guess that is the story I am to tell today. We weren’t sure what was wrong, but it was clear something was not right, so I took Saige to the emergency room. I sat in the waiting area across from a couple who was there with their child. They had given me a warming blanket to hold her in as her temperature was very low. Her cheeks were really flushed and she was all snuggled in. I just sat and looked at her as I held her…listening to the rhythm of the conversation of the couple across from me. I know a little Spanish. Their looks of compassion as they snuggled their child were kind and clear.
Saige fought so long and hard all through the night. I rode in the elevator with she and the team of doctors as they moved her to the picu. She looked at me with dilated eyes and reached her little arm in my direction. The doctor said it was ok to give her a kiss, so I did as I held her hand. It was about 6 in the morning when she just couldn’t fight any longer. There is this moment when it is over when it is just time to go. The leaving is the hard part. Walking down the hallway with the empty baby carrier, I looked up through tears to see the man from the waiting room. He looked at me and then at the empty carrier and tears streamed down his face as he made the sign of the cross…for me…for her. I would not know him today. His compassion in that moment I will never forget.
Walking out into the lobby, I saw this:
Pulse Flow by Vernon Brejcha
The sunrise coming through his work of art made me stop. It was so beautiful in this horrible moment. This artist gave me such a gift right when I needed it. I have gone back many times just to take pictures or see the sun shine through with a cup of coffee.
The compassion of a stranger.
The soothing impact of art.
I sit among these treasures today.
It is good.