A family at work today really touched me. Actually, touched is not the right word, amazed fits the scenario more accurately. Their child was diagnosed with cancer very shortly after birth. The majority of the last six months of their life was spent in a hospital room. They (two grown people) slept together on a small vinyl covered couch each night hoping and praying that tomorrow would be the day their baby got a tiny bit better. This is their first baby.
Unfortunately, their hope was not what moved me about this family. I hear stories like theirs on a weekly basis. It's just part of the job working at a children's hospital. The amazing part came from the parents, as a couple. They were joyous, curious, and kept a sense of humor through such insurmountable pain. They were calm and relaxed even though their one and only child had just gone through a major operation. But most of all, they were still in love. I've witnessed countless relationships fall apart due to a child's chronic illness. I've seen many parents give up, or at least be so worn down that they resembled only a shell of their former self. It was not the case with this family. They had been through six months of incredible hardship, treatments, doctors, and hospital beds, yet they were still alive and able to love each other.
These are the days that I realize why I do my job. Why I put myself in a situation where I'm the emotional batting cage of families dealing with an unimaginable amount of stress. Why I miss holidays with my family. It's so maybe, the family I described above can have their first Christmas as a family of three. Above all, it's to remind me that no matter how stressful life gets, I must be grateful.