Earlier this week I was back at one of the hospitals in downtown St. Louis. I had a follow-up appointment to see my good doctor in the white lab coat. The one I hope to heal my throat. His office is high in one of the tall brown medical buildings connected to the main hospital in the midst of a city of bustling grey cement. There were two entrance signs I noticed along the way. “Adult Emergency,” in neon blue, and “Children’s Emergency” in “stop light” red.
While our own car fought to get inside the parking lot, striped ambulances whizzed by with flashing lights on top. Their sirens screamed high in their lungs, while whirling lights made me remember the times I had sat behind the bright bulbs of them. At that very moment I wondered who was behind the glass, whose child might be in danger or God forbid, might not last.
I could picture the mother sitting inside on a bench of sorts. My heart went out to her as she held her child’s limp, loose hand. I felt her fear, her uncertainty. I prayed with her and hugged her tight. How could I tell her everything would be alright? I knew what she was going through. I saw her bend to kiss her child’s tender cheek, and the way she moved her hand to wipe sweat from his brow.
Behind double steel doors the mother bit her lip. She fought to be strong for herself and her child. Her instincts told her “cues” were being read by her sick child regarding his condition. He was watching her and her reaction. It was decided then to give her child visions of calmness, gifts of “Mona Lisa” smiles upon her face, never the fear beneath.
I caught a glimpse of the strong paramedic by the mother’s side who kept his composure, the man who had rescued this woman’s treasure. Soon more of those same painted boxes on four dark wheels came roaring by. For a second, I felt I had lost my breath. Some things in life never leave, I guess.