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God's Little Angel
On March 19th my eyes were opened to a new world. A world that was hard to live in, full of battles and possibly death. It was a world that so few yet so many were in. A world full of tears, pain worry, dreams, hope and love at its best. But never would I imagine that I would get to experience this first hand. I was a nurse at Sanford Children’s Hospital. It was only my first week on the job but I came to fully realize what I had gotten myself into. I always wanted to be a nurse for as long as I could remember, but this is not what I had imagined it to be. Kids here were not like the ones outside these walls. They were very sick, sore from the needles and test, tired, but yet had dreams and hope in their weary little hearts. But one little girl seemed to stand out more then the others and I decide to keep a good eye on her. I was going to be her main nurse from now and would be her best friend when she needed it the most. I would be there to hold her hand when she had to be poked with needles, I would be there to wipe her eyes when she would learn that her days were numbered, I would be there all the time.
This little girl was only 9years old and she had had cancer for two years now. Her name was Destiny; she had big blue eyes and light brown flowing curly hair. She was a scared and didn’t understand why this was happening to her. Any normal child would have a family by their side at this dark time, but she did not. Her father was in the air force and was killed a year ago. Her mother was killed in a horrific collision when driving to work. A day later her two older brothers and one younger sister were taken to foster care. Since then she has never heard from them. Ever since I became her main nurse I have noticed that she has had no visitors. And if she ever did they didn’t stay long. This little girl was left alone and had a battle bigger than her to deal with. She just sat in bed and wrote in her old tattered notebook and just sat and stared and the walls. She was weak so she could never get out of bed so her room was the only thing she knew. In some ways a safe haven. But I would change the way she saw the world, I would make her last days count. I would let her know that someone cared and loved her. She would see. I hope.
It was time for her last cat scan of the week and I was assigned to take her down to the room. I was looking forward to seeing her. I had heard from the doctors that she was getting better and that they were now able to talk to her and get a response back.
“Wow that’s a great thing!” I said to the doctors as they looked dumfounded at me.
“Not exactly, you see she has been battling with cancer for two years now, as I’m sure you are very well aware of. Anyway she is getting weaker and is running out of time. This little girl has no more will power to move on. Cancer is not only a physical battle but mentally as well. The patient has to be willing to fight. And frankly this little girl has done just that. She is a fighter. Doctor Williams said with a heartbreaking voice.
“I though she would actually beat the odds, I thought she would make it.” Doctor Keller said. My eyes filled up with invisible tears to everyone expect me.
“What are her chances and how many days left if any does she have left? Choking back the rest of my tears and trying to taken in more air. All three doctors looked at me then the floor. Then Doctor Keller spoke again “Only one month, and that’s it.” He said again and then left the rest of us standing there dumfounded.
”Oh... My god I can’t believe that young poor little girl is going to die! There must be something we can do to help here, some kind of medicine, some kind of surgery to get rid of it.” I said now falling to my knees. Tears now becoming visible to everyone. I had barley even known this little girl yet I felt like I was losing a daughter. Doctor Williams was still standing there I looked up and said “So what are you going to do fro her?” being to stand up.
“There is nothing I can do to stop it. I have done everything to help her. I’m sorry. But why are you so concerned about this one individual? She’s not family is she? You know we aren’t supposed to get emotionally attached to patients.” He said again with that typical “I know what I’m talking about” voice. I looked at him one more time and just laughed and told him that this job was my life. And that I can’t help in getting emotionally involved with the patients. That the little girl lying in that bed in the room needed some one to care about her. Some one to love her at this point. Some one to be her friend. With that said I said farewell to Doctor Williams and walked into Destiny’s room, but not before whipping the tears from my eyes. It certainly wouldn’t be the last.
She was not in her bed but on the sofa looking out the window to the city below. The sunset had begun and she eagerly sat on the sofa and watched it, counting down to the last seconds until night fell. I sighed for I knew she wouldn’t see many more of these days. I walked towards her and finally found a spot next to her. I sat and sighed again and finally got a hello out. She didn’t look at me which was not unusual for her to do but then I noticed something rolling down the side of her cheek. It was a tear followed by many others. I took my finger and wiped them away. Finally after an hour of just sitting there she looked at me and I looked back with a friendly smile. Then without warning she soar into my arms and had me a death grip hug. She began to sob into my shoulder; all I could do was comfort her the best way I knew how to. Hours passed and her sobbing seemed to come to an end. I told her that I wanted to talk to her so I picked her up and sat her on the bed while I pulled up a chair.
“Destiny, I have to tell you something... You may cry now, but it will never fix anything in a million years. There are a lot of things to cry about, and this so happens to be one of them but that doesn’t mean that you should. You have been through some very hard things for your age, and I can’t imagine how that feels. But I want you to know that I care about you. I feel a special connection to you and I don’t know why but I do. But I need someone as much as you do so maybe we could get through this together. Ever since I first saw you, I have worried, cared and loved you. And maybe that seems weird but its how I feel.” Quiet followed this.
Then she looked at me and started to cry as well as myself. Then she began to say what was on her mind. So she talked as I listened.
“I don’t want to do this anymore by myself!’ I’m afraid and I don’t know what to do I need some one. I write in my notebook every day, it’s just my thoughts but I know that its part of me. When I go to bed at night I have nightmares of dying because of cancer. And if I ever find out that I only have so many days to live it will break my heart. Knowing that I would die would kill me faster than the cancer would. I love life I really do. I love to sit by my window and see the birds fly by on their own free will. I love to sit and watch the sunset every night. Knowing that it will be a sun rise at dawn. I love to hear the pitter patter of the rain drops hitting my window; I love to see the bolt of lighting cut through the midnight sky. Or when it rains during the day, to smell that freshly new earth smell, or when that wonderful rainbow peaks up over the clouds only to disappear again. I love to see the snowflakes fall to the ground, all different shapes. I love to watch the leaves change colors outside my window. Expressing how the tree feels is what my mom always told me. When the leaves were red the tree was angry, when the leaves were yellow the tree was rejoicing with happiness, when the leaves were green they were young and fresh, and when they were brown it was time for them to die. I feel like that one brown leaf that is barley holding onto life. Its time for that one leaf to die but I won’t. Will you help me through this? I don’t want to die! I want to beat this horrible thing, and go to college get an education, I want to have a family and grow old with my husband, I want to watch my grandchildren play on our porch. I want to do everything a normal girl would do. I want it so bad!” she began to cry again but then remembered what I had told her beforehand. It was then and there that we became stronger together.
“Now since we cried our hearts out together I have to take you for your last cat scan of the week.” I said with a small smile on my face.
“I don’t want to... I’m tried of this. I’m afraid.” She said looking out the window.
I came over and gave her another hug and then I stood up and gave her my hand. She took it with appreciation we walked out of the room for the CAT scan one last time that week hand in hand. Once there I told her that here was nothing to be afraid of. It was just another ordinary routine. I let go of her hand and walked into the room with the other doctors. She was then hidden by the tube and the procedure began again just like it had before.
"Well is there any change? Is she getting better? She has to be she looks like it.” My heart was no jumping out of my chest. Quiet then followed as the images pulled up on the computer. I saw Doctor Keller’s jaw drop as he began searching the images again.
“Ah … I can’t find the cancer. It’s not in the place as it was last time. It’s nowhere in sight! It’s gone! All of it.” he said as he looked in my eyes. “It’s gone?!” I repeated him. At first I thought he was joking but then as I took a look at the images for myself I saw that he was right the cancer was all gone! I could believe what I was seeing or hearing. This could have happened. The odds were against her. She was supposed to die. After she had reappeared from the testing room I took her back to her room. I sat her on the bed and walked over to the window just in time to see the sunset. I held back my tears for maybe a moment and then I let them go falling to my knees by the window. Destiny was there leaning down by my side. Confusion on her face.
“What’s wrong?” she said still not sure why I was crying. “It’s okay, I’m a fighter I can beat this cancer, I’ll survive trust me. Remember that’s what you told me? There are lots of reasons to cry and this is not one of them, especially when I will be just fine. C’mon stop crying. She put her head on my shoulder and told me that it would be fine. I just laughed and said “I know you will.” I said knowing that I was right for the first time in my life.
“Destiny you have beaten the cancer once and for all. It might not ever come back. You’re going to make it! You don’t have to fight any longer. You can be a normal little girl now. With that she began to cry and so did I, we seemed to do a lot of that these past couple of days. But these were tears of joy, not fear or worry. Destiny was a fighter and she beat the odds. She later told me that she had prayed day in and out for some kid of help. Whether you believe in god or not it is a true miracle that this young girl lived. I was never a believer in god until this happened and now I have proof that he does exist, or walks among us if you wish. A day after I walked into Destiny’s room only to see that Doctor Williams was in there playing dolls. I stood in the door way wondering why this little girl had survived this. Again I could only think of one thing. It was a miracle. As so as Doctor Williams saw me he left and I had my coat in my hand ready to go.
“Destiny, how would you like to come home with me for good? I know it’s pretty soon and everything and my house isn’t as nice as the others but it works for two people and I have two dogs Tucker and Boots. They will really love you. My house seems empty without someone else; maybe that someone would be you? I said looking hopeful.
She shook her head and then replied “I would love to. I’ve always wanted another family if I ever made it through this. But I just can’t forget about my two older brothers and my younger sister. They are all I have left, they are my family members. I can’t move without them. Maybe they could come live with us?” she said with a troubled look on her face. I waited a couple of minutes before answering. “Of course they can come the more the merrier they need a family as well. Let’s get you out of here and go see your brothers and sister.” Once more I gave her my hand and she took it. We walked out of that hospital with grins on our faces.
Once we got across the street to my Silver Dodge Ram 1500 the sun hide beneath two whopping clouds. The sky began to darken and the wind died down one last time. The rain started to drop. I put my head up and let the rain fall knowing that it was another sign. I looked back at her as she had done the same thing taking in a deep breath.
“I’ve missed out on so much I just want to take a few and get everything in. I love that smell of the rain; I love to see my reflection in the puddle or against your shiny sliver truck, I love how the ground feels wet and squishy when it can’t soak up the rain fast enough. I love everything about this world. At least the world I’m in right now, not the world in those walls, the world that I don’t want to go back to again.” She looked at me and smiled. “You are very grown up for your age.” I said in surprise.
“You have to be if you ever have deal with what I have.” We opened the side doors and put her stuff in the back of my truck. She then paused, and seemed to freeze in time.
“What’s wrong?” I said looking worried. She didn’t answer me but just continued to stare at the hospital. Then she snapped back to earth and answered my question.
“Nothing is wrong, nothing; I just can’t believe that I’m finally going to leave this place after two years of staying here.” She whispered.
“Well you’re not going to miss it here are you? I asked in a sort of amusing voice.
She looked me dead in the eyes and said
“Never in a million years will I miss this place.”