My little girl’s friend needed to go to the Children’s Hospital for some tests, and my daughter knew she would be a bit scared. I agreed to let her go too, for moral support. It is such a confronting place. Essential items like toothbrushes are sold in vending machines, for parents who had no idea their mad dash to emergency would end up stretching out to a long-term stay. We saw a princess in a wheelchair, her sparkly hair accessories setting off the glint in her eyes. She was escorted by her mum and grandmother, and they smiled and made small-talk because the other options weren’t appealing. They had probably cried themselves dry. Our little friend endured her tests with bravery, and we planned to take the girls for a treat. My daughter held a hand to head, complaining that it hurt. By the time we got to the café, she looked pale and uncomfortable. My friend drove us home, and my daughter went downhill. Scooping her up, we took her to our nearest hospital. By then she couldn’t tolerate light, and vomited violently. We were put in the children’s room to await the doctor. When kid’s get sick, it often comes on swiftly, catching you by surprise.
My friend Vicki, who works in food services, came by and chatted for a while, making the wait less lonely. Another friend, Lisa, who works as a nurse at the hospital, heard that Lizzie was there, and stopped in too. Their wishes of healing and the soothing words they spoke, helped my little girl. The doctor thought it may be a migraine. We were allowed home after a few hours, and as my daughter rested, I answered messages from friends enquiring about her, and those who wanted to know if they could sit with us at the hospital.
My washing machine stopped working, and the next day I had friends at my door asking if they could do a load for me. I had many enquiries online too, and accepted an offer of a second-hand machine. My friend Gabby, came by with a parcel of goods for Lizzie. She sat up in bed and looked through the bag with great joy. “Aren’t people kind, mummy?” “Yes, they are,” I smiled. She has severe tonsillitis, so is still at home with me. I am humbled at the love my community shows one another. If someone is ill, they are there. It’s a circle of kindness that goes around, without end. It is a risk to let love in, after disappointment and pain. If you do let love in, and accept offers of kindness, it can heal the gaping wound, sealing it without need for sutures. I am so grateful to our beautiful community, sitting on the edge of Sydney, where pastoral scenes resplendent with horses, vineyards and a river still exist.