Children’s Cancer Ward #5 West

As he scampered down the hospital corridor with his shiny bald head shining under the fluorescent lights, it seemed to match the yellowing skin on his bum peeping through the loosely tied rear opening in his Cookie Monster hospital gown. Five-year-old Mickey was waving his silken blue-feathered Prayer Pocket in the air, “I got it! I got it!”

On Children’s Cancer Ward 5 West, Mickey rushed up, almost knocking down Theresa, his favorite nurse with ‘fairy princess red haired curls’. Nurse Theresa bent down eye-to-eye to all of Mickey’s 43 inches, and smiled, “What’ve you got, Spikey Mikey?”

Out of breath and in a whisper soft voice Mickey said, “Here open it up and see for yourself!” Nurse Theresa gently started to open Mickey’s silken Prayer Pocket and reached in to find a multi-folded piece of paper tucked into this 3 X 5” pouch. As Nurse Theresa slowly opened the paper to read it, Mikey blurted out, “See T, see? That’s my birth certificate that I saw in my baby book with Mommy. I want to take it to heaven when I go, so God can give me to the same family, and the same Mommy and Daddy next time around! God will just have to change the birthday, that’s all.”

Nurse Theresa’s eyes welled up with tears, and a tight lump filled her throat. She just couldn’t speak, so her smile had to do the work. Mikey continued, “T, will you ask your nurse friends on the second floor where the new babies stay, to please watch out for me, Mikey? I probably will look a little different. But tell them to look for this brown spot right here.” Mikey pointed to his right heel. “ Then they’ll know it’s me. Tell them to make sure I have my same Mommy and Daddy, ‘cause I want a second chance to love them. Will you do that T?  Will you?”

Nurse Theresa mustered as big a hug as she could give and just nodded yes, a great big sad yes.

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