I come before you today as a man changed by things and people beyond my control. I am lucky to have derived some valuable knowledge from this at a tender age. An infection was passed to my mother and then to me that led to a hospitalization at the age of 4. I remember vividly the first night spent lying in a bed of wet sheets with humongous fans blowing upon me to cool a spiking fever. I was so scared that this is among my memories now at 48. Somewhere in that dark night I found solace. It was during this time of self-discovery that I learned that I could find comfort by accepting my circumstance and trusting that those caring for me were in control.
My first truly happy memory was at that hospital. Even though I was very sick, I recovered in the loving care of the staff. I remember the content and calming gaze of nurses as they hovered over my bed. I remember the assured smile of the doctor as he visited me. I remember my mother’s concerned face as she told me everything would be alright. It was here that I found there was a higher power than my own watching over me.
I would sneak out of my room as my strength returned. It was on one of those adventures that I discovered the girl’s ward without first being returned to my room by the nursing staff like some wayward pet. I enjoyed being found because I knew that the nurse would spend extra time with me and give me clues as to where and how they would be looking for me. Time and again I snuck past them to entire roomful of substitute sisters. They were always so happy to see me. They treated me like some little live doll and included me in all their games. Sometimes the game was “dress up the little boy” which made me the center of their attention. I was enthralled to have so much adoration as they quickly dressed me and put me into situations not of my choosing. They knew that as they got louder, the nurse would come and remove this unique toy and shoo them back to their beds.
This experience brings a smile to my face to this day. You see, here we all were in the hospital and too sick to go home but yet so happy. We, our parents, and the doctors and nurses were all trusting that the situation would improve. All of us were trusting in a power greater than ourselves without a confirmable reason. This illness that was beyond my control helped to teach me and possibly others that there will always be something beyond our control. It also taught me that there could be a higher power for anyone. It taught me that by losing control, we find it. Throughout my life I have been presented with situations beyond my control. I can always go back to that roomful of sisters and remember the trust that we all had.
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