I can’t physically understand how it would feel to be floating away as the chaotic tech-savvy, narcissistic, and almost robotically driven world buzzes from all around. ‘What are you on about?’, you may be asking whilst reading. I honestly find it hard to write about the most inspiring, heart-warming and positively eye-opening experience that I have had in years. It happened last night.
With thanks to our real life heroes at Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital, my magicians and I trooped on into what truly is a magician's paradise. The unimaginable miracles that are worked on a daily basis in this place is mind blowing. As I walked into the building; that from the outside reminded me of some sort housing commission block and, without seeing signage, could’ve passed for a factory of some description (be assured, the eagerness of the people within to see the grand opening of the newest children’s hospital is at eruption point), I worry that I’m not going to have enough time to fulfil my routine nightly checklist. What if this goes well passed seven or eight? My ego examines the negativity of this whole visit. Will I be too tired to make my lunch and prepare my busy Thursday when I get home, putting me further behind the eight ball of what is fast becoming the last stanza of my busy Term three? Me. Me. Me. In fact I’ll add ‘poor’ to that. Poor me. Something completely engulfs me when I see the beauty of the rainbow lit tunnel at the entry of the 'Kid’s Megazone' on level seven.
One: this overwhelming gush of euphoria; this place is literally a mystical playground, something from a child’s wildest dream! And two: the look on the mighty magician’s faces was simply breath taking, they got tingles as they rushed from the lollipop graphics to the air-hockey machine. They giggled with excitement as they eyed off the multi-player Nintendo Wii station and touched the precious Snoopy dolls with delicate appreciation, for this was living proof one could be as happy as a kid in a candy shop! Just to watch this all unfold was invigorating. I knew we were all in for one memorable evening!
The real magic was about to begin. We were introduced in the auditorium and in an instant, we had escaped the stresses and worries that our egotistical lives would be usually dwell on. Our performance ended up being sound but that’s irrelevant now. What we all witnessed next was the single most heart-warming event of my recent tenure as a global citizen. Enter the stars of the show!
The night was organised by the team at Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, dedicated entirely to the families of long time champions, otherwise unknown survivors of life threatening illnesses. As they entered, the smell of warm popcorn they inhaled filled their tiny and even deformed lungs. ‘This is mouth watering!’, one child spoke to his mum. Frowns were non-existent as smiles were clearly an unconscious pre-requisite for all involved; it was easy to forget where we actually stood. At this stage, I was sure we were about to see fairies appear. If you have never truly felt that magic from within, that warm fuzzy, uncontrollable sensation in your chest, this is the place to go. You can’t help but stumble irrepressibly, trying desperately to collect your oozy heart as it melts on the spot. In every direction I looked, the same smile found its way to my face.
My magicians were in their element; they had been shown the keys to the big bad world, away from their fishbowl towns and unlocked something magical. This magical experience had completely overpowered all of us. “That little boy is the cutest…”, one started up, only to have another of my faithful assistants butt in. “What about the little girl, I just want to go give her a huge high five!” Like any mentor, this was a moment of triumph. The whole purpose of bringing the young magicians along was in part to give them opportunity to see the world, to give them exposure to something more than Facebook, selfies and teen drama. In this moment, I stood back and watched as if a proud parent- they have made it- they get it- there’s a gift to be given in every life experience and they were unknowingly receiving one of the best they may ever obtain.
As each patient showed off their short film, with the help from Stitches; the warm and cuddly bear, face of the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, my heart pounded more. Each child has so much to offer and their bravery throughout their lives, despite being mere fractions of our own in length, is simply astonishing. What I admired most was the courage of the parents. I watched the film with the respective parent in my periphery and, as the tears welled, my heart begun to reverberate with an overwhelming realisation; we are all living in a state of predictability. We believe living on a cloud is an ideal, a dream. These families though, they live on a cloud each and every day. On a negative; they don’t’ if they’ll get wet, the cloud may leak from time to time. They don’t know if the cloud will hold much longer and send them on a spiralling pursuit to a traumatic crash. They worry if the cloud is covering some welcome sunshine from rearing its rays on their unpredictable lives. What they do know is that this cloud is heavenly, it ironically keeps them grounded and keeps their thoughts and prayers safe; away from the sheltered egocentric society that goes about their self-centred life below. For the worry of whether your latest post will get an ideal amount of likes is irrelevant. The squabble between colleagues is vapour, not even worth registering its existence, for on the family’s cloud, positivity and the ability to smile keeps it levitated well above those minor things that make the average Joe's blood boil. These families have more than reason to feel the world is out to get them, to breathe negativity, yet they pursue each day with positivity and a medicine that has a funny way of creating contagion with everyone they interact with; a smile.
What would it be like to live on a cloud? These beautiful souls are living proof. A cloud worth dreaming about is a life worth saving! Dreams can come true, magic only exists if you believe it's real! Please give kindly to the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.
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