A Perfect Fit
It’s Christmas eve, 1999, and I’m working a 12-hour shift in the post-anesthesia care unit. I’m recovering a 7-year-old boy, who suffered a broken femur in a motor vehicle accident. His father died at the scene and his mother, sister, and little brother were critically injured. The grief I felt for this patient acted like a veil for my own recent loss of Sky, my 25-year-old son. Tomorrow signifies the first Christmas without him. I sighed heavily and thought to myself, “There would always be something...the first birthday, Thanksgiving, or Mother’s Day without Sky.”
I wanted to help this child in some way, so I took up a collection for the family and within two days had gathered a huge box of assorted children’s clothes. At the top of the box was a blue satin Cubs jacket with red striping on the sleeves, collar, and waist. This jacket, a gift to Sky from my parents, had been packed away for years. After the holidays, I brought the clothes to the McDonald House where my patient was recuperating with his aunt. I unfolded the silk jacket and held it up to his small chest. He smiled and his eyes lit up as he tried it on. “A perfect fit,” I told him as I zipped it up and straightened out the sleeves, feeling the softness of the silk for the last time.
— Terry Ratner, RN, MFA
Family Learning Center
Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center