I was tucking our youngest in to bed the other night, and the hospital for Richmond’s children came up in conversation. Her question took me a little by surprise, but it made me stop for a moment and consider the answer. Twenty years is a long time. Have I really been writing about our city’s children and their need for a true Children’s Hospital for twenty years? Einstein and Rita Mae Brown would remind me that doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is insanity.
Call me crazy. My teenagers do.
On the eve of a Town Hall Gathering to, once again, bring the topic of children’s healthcare to the forum, I was feeling a little hopeless rather than hopeful. And I needed a pep talk. Just like that, one came across my desk! Watch.
“If life is a game, aren’t we on the same team?”
In Richmond, when our children find themselves sick enough to be in the hospital, they go to many different hospitals designed for grown-ups because we don’t have a hospital JUST for the children.
“That means it’s time to DO something!”
At the Town Hall Meeting, Tom Silvestri from the Richmond Times Dispatch will kindly remind us that we are Southern ladies and gentlemen, and the discussion will remain civil. No one likes the ‘bashing’ that happens when stubbornness can’t find a trace of selflessness to soften its edges. We’ll talk about hospital care for children.
“What if there really were two paths? I want to be on the one that leads to awesome!”
At the Town Hall Meeting, there will be two amazing healthcare visionaries (Martin Gavin and Kevin Churchwell), and they’ll say we can create this Children’s Hospital just as they have done for their cities.
“Don’t stop believing…unless your dream is stupid. Then get a better dream.”
“This is your time. This is my time. This OUR time. If we’re on the same team, let’s start acting like it. We were made for awesome.”
And then we’ll have wine and cheese.
But will we ever have a special hospital for the children? Is Einstein right? Are we doing the same thing with this Town Hall Meeting that we’ve always done and expecting a different result? Richmond has so much for which to be grateful in pediatric healthcare, but we don’t have a special hospital for the children. We don’t have a place where every adult is there to care for and about the children. When I think about that reality, about how EVERY other city like ours has seen fit to build a hospital for their children, I can only keep praying for a change of heart in those who would be a stumbling block to the endeavor. Then I ask God to give those stumbling blocks a job promotion and advance their careers with a move to another city.
“Create something that will make the world awesome!”
I know there’s a God. And as I tucked my daughter into bed, I listened to her prayers. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray…God bless my mom and my dad and all my brothers and cousins, Grandma and Pop, and all the children. Get them a new hospital so Mom can pray about something else. Amen.”