Halloween is such a fun and magical time. I’ve always loved Halloween: the crisp air of fall lingering, pumpkin spice that can be found in everything, and the excitement of children and adults as they figure out what they are going to be this year for Halloween. I’ve never been a huge fan of dressing up myself. I prefer to hand out candy and watch the cute kids as they come to the door trick or treating.
For Zachary’s first Halloween, we learned that he would be having surgery to correct his cleft palate. This was a huge surgery and one that would definitely make Zachary’s life a lot easier with eating. I was a little disappointed to find out that his surgery would be on Halloween. Little did I know, that this would be one of the most life changing experiences I would ever have.
Since Zachary was a baby, he was scheduled to head to surgery first. Our doctor had arrived and while they were preparing for surgery, Scott, Zachary and I waited in his hospital room. We noticed that several of the nurses and care givers were walking around with racks of costumes. They whisked in and out of patient rooms while they laughed with the patients and talked about Halloween and collecting candy.
After we had left our baby with the doctors, Scott and I decided to head downstairs to the lobby to get some fresh air. As we sat there talking, we noticed a beautiful little princess walking through the lobby. She was dressed in a gorgeous pink gown, with a beautiful crown, her hair freshly curled and she was wearing sparkly silver shoes. As she walked through, she held her head up high and looked beautiful. Scott and I immediately noticed that she did not have any arms. She was missing her arms from the elbows down. This did not stop her from wearing her gloves though. She put them on the ends of her arms and wore them proudly. She was, by far, the most beautiful princess I have ever seen or will ever see.
Overcome with emotion, Scott and I headed back upstairs to our son’s room. Only then, were we met with kids dressed as superheroes, witches, and pumpkins. These were kids that had recently had surgery. They were being pulled in red wagons by the nursing staff or their parents, and they went trick-or-treating to all of the offices and departments at Shriner’s Hospital.
I was completely amazed that a hospital would remember to do something so memorable for their patients. They provided these sweet children the opportunity to trick-or-treat, even though they were still recovering, couldn’t walk, or might have considered themselves as the “less-than-perfect princess”. To every nurse, doctor, worker or whomever that works so hard to make the holidays special for these children, thank you. Your kindness does not go unnoticed. In fact, your kindness is life altering.
Words cannot express the incredible love and compassion I had for every child that was in the hospital that day. They completely changed my life. Not a Halloween goes by that I don’t think of this amazing little girl that wore her gloves, straightened her crown, and paraded through the halls like the royalty she was. I still get teary eyed thinking of this incredible Halloween that completely changed my life.
Happy (LATE) Halloween from Zachary!