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Pocket Pals


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With the strong odor of disinfectant lingering in the air, I walked down the quiet hallway of MED 2 at Stephan and Alexandra Cohen’s Children checking on the patients to see if they would like to play. The opportunity to volunteer at the hospital gave me the chance to peruse my Girl Scout Gold Award. I remember the countless hours of dedication and hard work that all culminate in the greatest award a teenage girl could dream of getting. Shaking myself back to reality, I continued my trek though the hall. Suddenly almost finishing my rounds, I came to an abrupt halt. The screech I heard jolted my body and mystified me

“Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo! Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo! Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo! ”

For a second, I thought I was listening to Alpine folk music. But this was a different kind of yodel; this was a call for tender love, a beckon of yearning. I stopped at the door where this unique noise preceded. To my discovery, by comparing notes, the yodeling patient was nonverbal. When I knocked at the door, the sound of his plea faded into the hallway.

When I perceived to go in, the alone boy stared with hawked eyes; the motion pierced into my body as if time had stop. The numbing look made my steps slow as I wrapped around bed to sit in the chair beside. With the faint noise of the television in the background, I smiled. As our eyes connected, and in the only way I knew how to communicate with him I held out my hand welcomingly. He chattered his teeth not making a comprehendible word. In only a minute time, he turned my hand over in confidence, examining my palm as if it were a map. The gentle little fingers danced around each small crevasse of my hand, slowly making sure he did not miss a line. I felt mesmerized by the concentration he had on my hands.

Suddenly his dark blue eyes flashed up that spoke of the desire to play. I brought out the Pocket Pals with the uncertainty of knowing if he would pursue and enjoy the project. I felt a little apprehensive, but I encouraged myself to attempt. While he received the Pocket Pal he delicately but enthusiastically, he laid it down on the rolling table. The Pocket Pal appeared to resemble an appreciable gingerbread man that was made out of thick cardboard with a white canvas on top. When the crayons hit the table he took his time to figure out what color and chose green and started designing. His motions of his hand were wide that made the crayon flow in the motion of the river. Yet, there was not certain path to what he was creating, but let the lines move him to different areas that he wished to pursue. While I talked and he chattered his teeth, I saw a growing smile his face that fell upon mine also. I grabbed an additional one and started designing one also at the same time. Crayon after crayon, the Pocket Pal he designed appeared to have almost all the colors of the rainbow. He now sat up proud when he felt completed with his artwork. I hummed a little tune as I pretended to prance my Pal all around his bed making stops at his toys playing with them and the pals we created.

As time now felt too quickly, I was being dismissed to leave the room soon because his family was soon about to return. As sorrow filled my heart, I walked slowly to the bedside and I told him that it was my time to leave. In complete surprise he held out his hand encouraging me to take it. I saw the little fingers dance around each crevasse of my palm one last time with his Pocket Pal lying right next to him.



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Beauty032 said...
Feb. 10, 2013 at 10:29 pm
Amazing work! I can't believe you have had such a great experience. I am so jelous.
 
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