December 12, 2010
The most important gifts….
Yesterday, I visited Children’s Hospital to photograph for Soulumination. As I entered Children’s, I felt this enormous rush of emotion. Watching little children being rolled by in wagons without the strength to sit up on their own, I started to tear up. I knew I had to pull it together because on the 4th floor in the infant ICU awaited a family with a tiny baby clinging to life.
I made my way up the elevator and managed to regain my composure as I checked in with the nurses. I put on a gown, gloves, and a face mask before entering the hospital room to join this precious baby and his family. The mother was remarkably composed, most likely still in shock over what the coming hours would bring. I photographed the baby as he lay in the bed wrapping his tiny hand around his mama’s finger.
His mom asked to have him dressed in a special outfit for some of the photos. It took a team of 4 nurses and breathing specialists to get him into the outfit, working quickly to disconnect and reconnect the tubes. Once he was dressed the doctors carefully placed the baby in the arms of his mother in a rocking chair right next to the bed. Knowing it would be the last time this mother held her baby was so surreal to witness. Tears streamed down the mother’s cheeks as she caressed the baby’s cheek talking quietly. I captured photos of his tiny feet, hands, and beautiful face cradled in mama’s hands.
As I finished up and began packing up my gear, the mother looked up at me and managed a smile and a “thank you”. My eyes overflowed with tears and all I could do was shake my head to acknowledge her appreciation.
This is the time of year that everyone (including myself) runs around trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on their list. Pause for a moment and be thankful for the most important gifts of all, what really matters….life, health, and family.