Saturday, May 15, 2010
I've come to know the halls of Emanuel Hospital a little too well in the last five years. We first became familiar with the hospital when our grandson, Isaiah, was diagnosed with a fatal virus. He spent many weeks in the PICU before being sent home to die peacefully in the arms of our family.
Then we went through two emergency C-sections with our daughter. Each was preformed around her 27th week of pregnancy. Both babies spent more than three months in the NICU. Last fall our son was there to re-build his leg and he's there again having it done for the second time.
Several times I've watched as frantic parents rushed their screaming toddlers through the heavy glass doors into the hospital. At first I thought these children were being hurried back to their various doctors for some medical reason known only to the parents and the medical staff.
About a year or so ago I over heard a child with a tear stained face say to his mommy "It was SO scary." Scary? What could be scary about such a lovely place filled with sculptures, butterflies and flowers? I peered a little closer through the glass searching for what must have scared this poor child and perhaps all of those other screaming children of years past.
Finally I saw it. It couldn't be missed. I wondered how I could have overlooked it's terrifying existence all of the years I passed by admiring the garden. Today I walked out of the doors into the garden for the very first time. I needed to see this monster up close.
It is a beast of a thing. It's red glowing eyes appeared to be those of a demon. It's teeth are sharp and yellow. Wait! There are two of them and they appear to be fighting! No wonder those poor kids were scared out of their skin! No wonder that today there seemed to be only adults walking the grounds. Not a child in sight.
I'm still wondering why the Children's Garden has such a frightening tortoise in it's midst to be stumbled upon by unsuspecting little ones. Yes, I said tortoise. To be more exact tortoises, fighting tortoises. The things are huge, measuring about three feet across their tiled shells. Their heads are larger than a child's. I can see how an itty-bitty might think that the open mouths could easily swallow them up.
Just who's idea was this?