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Last night when I accompanied my sister to take my niece to the hospital I realized that being a parent is so much more than just playing or being funny to make them laugh when they’re crying. Being a parent is a 24/7 thing, especially in the early months and even more when they are sick. I saw my sister carrying my niece (she didn’t want to go with me) for three hours until a doctor saw my niece and it was only because she got purple and stopped breathing. Saying that it was terrifying doesn’t do it justice, my heart literally stopped, everything happened so fast.

It was in the time that I had to stay outside that I met this young lady with her son and daughter. She was waiting to be admitted because her son was very ill and when she saw what happened to my niece she began to cry. Being the small hospital that it was, people just seemed to bond out of a mixture of fear, hope and nostalgia. She told me how she had a son who got like that while she was pregnant with the little one she was holding. He died in her arms, and then it was everyone comforting everyone.

It was a weird feeling but we all seemed to be there for one another. Everyone in that tiny waiting room suddenly started to swap stories as to why they were there or past experiences. You see so much in an emergency room, so much. You get to see just about every human emotion from the happiest to the most heart breaking. It was the parents that really got me thinking about what it really means to be a parent. It seems almost as if being a parent gives you some kind of superhuman strength, and some parents are truly ones to be admired.

In the end my niece was released in the middle of the night, many of the people we met were still there waiting. As soon as we walked out they rushed over like any family member would, and wished my niece and my sister the very best. With their blessings and heartfelt stories we went on our way home, and blessed we were with my niece’s recovery. Something that has always bewildered me is how much support and familiarity you can find in a stranger, this one is for all those wonderful people we met for they are a real testament of hope.

Smile, there may be someone who might just need to see one to believe again.

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