Safely home now from our trip to London and stay at Great Ormond St Children’s Hospital. Just before the BLFP returns to ‘normal’ i.e. the random and idiosyncratic ramblings of a middle aged man, I’d like to mention one more aspect of GOSH.
Prior to, and during Eve’s stay at the hospital we had many messages of support from family and friends. Some of them said that we would be in their prayers. Readers and friends will know that I’m not one to indulge or believe in such things myself but it was touching nonetheless that we were in the thoughts of those friends.
At the hospital there is a multi faith chapel. It is described in leaflets for GOSH as “A place of worship for those of any faith or simply a quiet place for those of none”.
I therefore found myself in a quiet place:
You can see from the photo the various soft toys and keepsakes that are on display. They are there for various symbolic reasons be it hope, thanks or remembrance. It is known as the Teddy Bears’ Choir.
My reflection on that receives a jolt when I read this notice:
There are many (hundreds of) cards on display too. One said “We will always remember you. Please take care of Oliver”. Another read “You are in our thoughts and we pray for Emma”. These little vignettes each had a hidden story behind them.
Who was the poor child whom the card was directed to? Was Oliver a brother or a pet? Or was he one of the teddy bears on display?
How did things turn out for Emma?
Below is the poignant book of remembrance which records the passing of patients on a particular day. This was the entry for Friday 11th March:
There was also a book of intercession, packed with requests for prayers for young patients.
My visit to the chapel had been really for something to do when I was required not to be in the ward. I left to find that the team were still busy with Eve and I went back. By this time a preacher was giving thanks to whichever higher power for the success of a child’s operation. Her ‘congregation’ consisted of one man and one woman, presumably the parents of the child in question.
I’m not religious at all.
But everyone needs a quiet place at one time or another.