Who I’ll always remember.
He was one of the first babies I met, when I started at the shelter. He was either 3 or 5 days old, and was only known as ‘Junior’. He was the smallest, youngest baby I had ever held, fed, burped and lost my heart to. His mother came in every few weeks, coldly held him while sneaking glances at her watch. She didn’t deserve him.
We loved him, for four months we tried our best to show him some love. To show him that he mattered.
I was off sick for two weeks, when I returned I rushed in, eager to see my special boy. When I had last seen him he had outgrown all his clothes, putting on weight and filing out nicely.
When I got back, that chris was gone.
What greeted me is a sight I’ll never forget. A sight that haunts me when I close my eyes, even 4 years later. The sight of a 5 month old baby, clearly dying. I was in denial. Checked his file, convinced this was a different child. It was night and day. I begged for answers from the staff, what had happened? What was wrong with him? Why wasn’t he in hospital?
3 days later he was dead.
I never went back.
A selfish decision that was rash and feulled with emotion. Anger at the staff that had waited to long to take him to hospital , anger at his mother for abandoning him for a life of drugs, anger at the unfairness of a life never lived. Anger at myself for not being there. Anger and sadness.
Baby Chris was loved, he touched my life and has forever made an impact on me. He deserves to be remembered, he deserved to be loved. He deserved to he held and cuddled, not left to die alone.
With Lily sick, with an awful tummy bug, I can’t help but compare. She has two parents who adore her. Who watch her sleep to make sure she’s ok. Who check on her every half hour, just in case. Who would do anything and everything, to make her well.
Every baby deserves this.