Today, Paige had a dentist appointment at CHEO. The clinics at CHEO are lined up and down a long corridor on one wing of the hospital. There aren't too many of those clinics that we haven't visited at one time or another - audiology, neurology, opthamology, general surgery, etc.
The dentist's office shares the same waiting room as the neurology department. While we were waiting for Paige to go in and have her teeth cleaned, we were people watching as we often do. Paige love, love, loves to people watch, and is content to sit and do it for a very long time. She loves being in a mall where she can see many people come and go.
For me, I am a dreamer, I guess, and I believe that everyone has a story to tell. When I people watch with Paige, I try to imagine the story that I would be told if I were brave enough to ask - imagine the beautiful, maybe heart-wrenching stories I could learn from an old lady out buying lottery tickets, or a little girl happily buying her first pair of school shoes.
So, it was with this kind of absent minded dreaminess that Paige and I saw baby Michael. Now, I have no idea if that was his name, but I think he kind of looked like a Michael. He was about 3 or 4 months old, dressed in a navy blue and tan plaid shirt with little khaki pants on and a sprig of white blonde hair on the top of his head.
Baby Michael and his parents were coming out of the neurology department, and both mom and dad were visibly upset. Dad was nearly gasping for air, as tears streamed down his face, and he struggled to hold it together. He was clinging to his son for dear life. Mom was red-faced, and tear stained, with that deer-in-the-headlights look that is never good.
They were escorted across the hall, to the surgery clinic. Once they were left alone for a minute, Mom folded into Dad's arms and they rocked back and forth and just hung on to one another, rubbing baby Michael's back as they did.
Within a minute, they were again whisked away into an office.
I so wanted to shoot them magic words bubbles - and I'm not even sure what those words would be. All in a moment's time, I wanted to tell them that it was o.k., that they were in good hands, that they were strong, that the love they had for their baby would make them nearly limitless in what they could endure for him. Maybe I wanted to say, "I know, I know" or "I understand."
But, of course, I don't know much of anything, other than they had just received devastating news of some sort.
I pray that the desperation that I witnessed was fear - fear before acceptance of something that could perhaps be fixed, something that would allow them to love and cherish their dear boy for years and years to come.
I pray that the days ahead for them are good ones, that the life lessons that are about to be thrust upon whether they asked for them or not, are good ones.
Most of all, we prayed for baby Michael tonight...a sweet little boy who's story or name we will never really know.
But, I'm sure when Paige and I said our prayers, Our Good Lord knew exactly who we meant.