Miracle. All of it.

Once a week I take off all my jewelry, slip into a shapeless blue polyester volunteer coat, clip ID tags to my lapel, and drive 5.3 miles through Piedmont and down 52nd Street to our local children’s hospital. I park, take the elevator to the third floor, and buzz myself into the NICU. Standing at a wall of metal sinks, I scrub up to my elbows for a full minute, enjoying the smell of the soap and the sound the brush makes against my fingernails. I dry off, gown up, and walk the nurseries, listening for babies in distress…

The lights are dim. The nurses whisper. The monitors chirp and ping. The babies rest. My long big-lung breaths stretch underneath three of theirs..Last week a baby boy with a swollen head and a shunt near his temple found my eyes and locked in. We stared at each other, blinking back and forth, each blink longer than the last, until he could hold his lids open no longer and the rows of his dark glossy eyelashes came together like a Venus flytrap. Bette, who had been watching from across the room, nodded at me and winked. He’d rest on my chest for the next hour, my heartbeat, my warmth and humanity an incalculable improvement on his indifferent crib. The skin hungers for touch, from cradle to grave. “Close silence—that’s all they need,” she whispered to me.

~ Kelly Corrigan, Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say (January 9, 2018)


Notes:

  • Photo – My Irrelephant Life.
  • Related Posts: Kelly Corrigan; Related Posts: Miracle. All of it.
  • Inspiration: Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Comments

  1. No words 😶…appropriately so.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi David, this is exactly how I’ve begun to feel about my volunteer visits to a close-by nursing home (not the one where Anthony was). I mostly visit people with dementia and the quote fits uncannily. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. WMS…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful. There are so many of these stories we never hear about. Thanks for reminding me about the goodness in the world

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Soft tears of love welling.
    Thinking … Close silence—that’s all we need.

    Like

  7. Oh, sounds so heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So true, David. And Close Silence beautifully expressed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow. Yes. “Touching bone deep” is what it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. For this being a short post, this sure does pull at the heart strings. Actually seeing this would break my heart but wow, it goes to show you just how fragile life really is.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Saw a vid with an elderly man doing something like that – he goes every day to a hospital and holds babies who get no visits, who are there for a long or short time, just holds them, talks to them, lets them fall asleep…. restores our faith in human beings! This is beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

  13. My first-born spent his first two months in the NICU and his last 3 weeks in a room at the Montreal Children’s, and ever since then, I have promised myself that I shall volunteer upon my retirement to go and hold babies. The ladies (there were only ladies in my time almost 22 years ago) used to get mad at me, so to speak, because they never got to hold Austin all that much as I was always there 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  14. What others would consider so little has such an immense impact. Humbling. Beautiful. Heart is full.

    Liked by 1 person

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