A lesson in unconditional love

There is nothing like spending some time in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead to give you a reality check, a clearer perspective on life in general and your life in particular.

My four and a half year old granddaughter has been in there for the past week. She has Cystic Fibrosis and because of an infection that wouldn’t clear up with long courses of tablets required IV antibiotics for at least two weeks.

I used to work in disabilities in various areas for 20 years although that was a long time ago now. Being at the hospital reminded me how heartbreaking it is to see what some people have to go through in life. Some kids are in there for weeks, even months at a time. I used to volunteer at Ronald McDonald House and saw up close what some families go through while their children are in hospital, some miles from their other children and support systems. In some cases from other countries and not speaking much English.

There was a girl in the bed opposite us for two of the days I was there and the love that emanated from her corner of the room was palpable. This young lady, who was nearly 18, is completely at the mercy of other people for all of her care. She is non-verbal, requires feeding through a tube into her stomach 5 times a day, has medication needs and physical therapy needs … in others words she requires constant care 24/7. It took me back to a time when I cared for kids like her and how physically and emotionally draining it was ~ and I wasn’t related to them.

The love between her and her parents was tangible, I could feel it pulsating from their direction as I sat there. I even mentioned it to her mother. I’m getting tingles now just thinking about it. It certainly was a lesson in unconditional love for me.

We place such conditions on love sometimes, or is that most of the time. If she/he loved me she/ he’d do…..; buy me that….;  know …. ; show me ….

The love I witnessed in that room at the hospital was pure unconditional love. I mean no disrespect when I say, it is that deep, pure  love that some people show to their animals, a love that has no expectations.

Why is it so hard for us to show that to other humans? What is it we fear from humans that we don’t from animals?


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