I haven't been blessed with children of my own for whatever reason, but I made peace with that several years ago. Even so, I love kids. Ever since I was little I loved everything about babies, even the sound of their crying, which is kind of the subject of this blog post...
I'm not sure what tirggered it, but the following life-changing memory came to mind and I felt compelled to write about it cause that's what I do.
It happened when I worked in the lab of a local HMO. I assisted the phlebotomist - which is a big deal in itself because I am not medically inclined AT ALL but I digress ... There was one particular patient, a baby girl, whose name I've since forgotten so I'll call her "Angel." Her story, however, captured my heart. She had been abandoned by her birth mother because she had several serious medical issues. She wasn't expected to meet many of the developmental markers, and she wasn't expected to live past her first birthday. She was small for her age and her condition required her to wear a trach.
As part of her treatment, she had to have blood drawn every few weeks. She was such a beautiful baby, she looked like a doll, and she instantly won me over. Her smile could melt away the stress of a bad day if you were fortunate enough to recieve one. I would always make sure to be there when she was due to come in. I felt so bad when her big brown eyes would look into mine silently asking for help whenever they stuck her. Her little brown face would cloud over and turn all red, her little bottom lip would start to quiver, and the tears would stream down her face. The only thing missing was the sound because of the trach. It was heartbreaking. I remember wishing on more than one occasion that I could hear her voice. Her prognosis, however, meant that she would always have to have that trach in. At least that's what "they" said... but God.
One day I remember walking back to the lab and hearing a baby cooing. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was "Angel." The trach that they told her foster mother would never be reomoved was gone. She smiled at me and my heart melted all over again. It was what happened next that is forever in my memory. It was time for Angel to have her blood drawn. She looked at me, like always, and then in happened. Her little face clouded over and turned red, her bottom lip started quivering, tears streamed down and then SHE CRIED!!! An audible cry for the first time ever. I was so overjoyed. When I say that it was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard, that's exactly what I mean! Being the waterhead that I am, I immediately started bawling right along with her. I remember trying to express to her caregiver how hearing that sound was an asnwer to prayer and it made my day. When all was said and done, there wasn't a dry eye in the lab after Angel's visit.
I'm not sure why this memory comes back now. I moved on to other jobs since then, but Angel made a huge impression on me. I often wondered what became of her. Did she continue to beat the odds? Did her condition improve? One thing I am sure of, is that I will never forget her. Angel's cries touched my heart in a profound way. A sound as simple as a baby's cry restored my joy, fueled my faith, and increased my hope like few things have since.