“Find that cause greater than yourself.” – Coach Lloyd Carr
Since college, I’ve been carving a path trying to get where God has wanted me to be. It’s been such a long journey and at so many moments I’ve stood looking ahead at all the sticks, weeds, and rocks with self-doubt, questioning God’s plan. I would be lying if I said my decision to move to Ann Arbor wasn’t one of those moments. This week however, God reassured me I’m right on track.
Yesterday, I took a tour of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. It was the first time since Myles’s passing that I stepped foot in a children’s hospital and it was a bit emotional.
The man leading the tour, a co-worker named Mike, had a unique story. Mike’s son Eric, was treated at C.S. Mott and unfortunately passed away. However, throughout the tour, you could sense Mike’s sincere passion and dedication to this hospital. His emotions tugged at my heart, causing me to get teary-eyed as I remembered everyone we encounter has something they have to wake up and face each and every day.
Throughout my morning spent in the children’s hospital, I watched numerous families pour into the hospital for appointments. I made eye-contact with many and their stress was easy to read. I instantly found myself empathetic and wanting to meet each of them, talk to them, and ask how I could help. With each family I observed, I mentally said a quick prayer.
To no surprise the floor I found myself the most emotional on was the Pediatric Cancer Unit or the Carr Unit as it is known at C.S. Mott.
The picture above is one of the first things you see after entering the unit. Close by is a quote that reads “We do not remember days… We remember moments.”
After observing both of these, my curiosity grew and I began to focus on a long narrow hallway. I watched as a bright-eyed bald headed girl shuffled from one room with an IV pumping chemo. I grew teary and said a quick prayer as I watched her disappear down the hallway.
Soon after, we visited a waiting room. I laid eyes on two grandparents wearing gold ribbons on their shirts (the color for pediatric cancer) and a mother holding her bald daughter who wore a headband with a large bow. She grinned at me and the grandpa said hello. Without knowing who I am, he pointed to my University of Michigan Health System ID badge and said thank you. I was speechless. He didn’t even know who I was or what I did. I nodded and said “You’re certainly welcome.” The rest of the tour had moved on and I wanted to sit there and talk to that man. I wanted to let him know I understood and wanted to ask what I could do. I may not remember that day, but I will never forget that moment.
One of the last parts of the tour was visiting the wall of courage. On this wall were photos and short bios about cancer patients who had been treated at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. There was one photo that stood out to me most: an infant decked out in Michigan attire. As I stared at that image I finally understood what it means to be a Wolverine.
You see, since I’ve moved to Michigan, I felt like a band-wagon fan. But in that moment, I realized something much greater. Being a Wolverine isn’t just about being a student at the University of Michigan. Being Michigan Wolverine is about this intricate family who have been affected/touched by and are associated with this great University and all that it encompasses, especially with the medical system.
I officially consider myself a part of that family. I am a Wolverine.
Touring C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital reminded me of my purpose and as I visited each floor in amazement of the facilities, I knew this is where God wants me to be.
I can’t wait to see what else He has in store for me.