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If I Could Float On A Cloud, Where Would I Go?
By Jennifer Dawn deConinck Smith
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Jennifer Dawn deConinck Smith
All right reserved.
Chapter One"Here I Go"
It was the bedtime calling coming from the hallway, as the late evening shift nurse walked by my room - I was never really interested in going to sleep, as that is when I would dream of terrible things. I enjoyed the daytime, looking out the window from my hospital bed at the clouds going by. I often wondered where they came from but mostly of where they would go. When using my imagination, I could see so many shapes - they would turn into great big adventures, beyond what I could make.
Morning broke and the sun was shining in the clear blue sky, though there wasn't a cloud in sight, I knew they would come by soon. The daily routine began for me, as the nurses checked my vitals - they tested my blood pressure, poked and prodded me, took my temperature, listened to my heart, told me that I had to eat all of my porridge and drink my milk, and asked me so many questions as they would always do. Yet all I could think of was where the clouds were and how soon they would come back again.
Finally I could see a cloud, a blanket of white fluff in the sky. I stared really hard at one little cloud as it moved by really slow. It was my magic carpet ready to take me away. I closed my eyes, facing towards the warm sun, picturing breathing in the outdoors' fresh air - I was now sitting on the cloud, and off I was to leave this place and explore!
"Here I Go!" I called out as loud as I could, for this was my reality that I forever wish to believe - it was so freeing for me to be able to be outside and see such things that I while sick, don't get to ever see. "Faster, FASTER" I yelled and the cloud soared so fast. I couldn't help but laugh out loud and tell it to go even faster!
Suddenly below I spotted a younger child than I. It was a little boy I knew named Pete, he was ill too with something long term too. So I swooped down and helped him onto my cloud and we took off to my place of peace. There we joined with other young ones, all-playing in a lush green meadow. It was filled with trees, ponds and wild flowers. I listened carefully at the sounds ... I could hear birds chirping and children laughing and playing. I then heard "Kipper!" Oh yes and that is me by the way, that is the name I was given. Pete and I hopped off the cloud and it floated back into the sky. "Kipper where have you been, we're ready to race sailboats in the creek" my friend Nicolas stated. All sailboats were accounted for, there were ten of them ready to go. The race was on and the boats floated, swerved and bumped along the creek's rough edges. "Go Golden Eye" I yelled, as Kelly's Commando was just passed mine. I saw Pete's Slick Fogger hit a rock and sank to the bottom, while Nicolas' Racer was well ahead. Sandy's St. Peers was going down "MAYDAY!" he called out as it got eaten by a big frog. Marcy's Princess Missy bumped Sally's Rainbow Puff. Marco's Bumbo picked up the pace, and Andy's Silly Ship slid passed Billy's Liberty and right into first place. Then ...
I was suddenly back, in my hospital bed, as the head doctor was examining me, asking me questions. He ordered me to be moved to a different room, one that was filled with others like me. This scared me as I thought quietly; will I be next to a window? But feared to ask anyone, as all the white coats seemed to intimidate me even more. I turned my head towards the clouds, staring and wishing to go back, but the nurses grabbed me and pulled me back. To the window and dear clouds, I had to say 'til we meet again.
It was sometime in the afternoon, the nurses transferred me to another room. I sat there in despair, as I was in the middle of a room with other patients. There was a tall window off to the left of me but so many feet away. The room was filled with children of all ages, ill with something terminal just as I. Though I stared as hard as I could passed all of them, trying to get a glimpse of a cloud ... everyone seemed to look at me strange but I didn't even care. My neck was soar but I didn't care. Nurses even tried to move my head away. One nurse got frustrated and shook me once to get my attention and grabbed my head, struggling to turn it the other way. I would not budge.
There was an older boy in a coma next to the window ... I don't understand why he was there, when I could have had the window to look out of. Others that were between the window and I were able to get out of bed. I feel like I was being punished, what had I done to be here away from my safe place, away from my clouds? Why now, why me?
Chapter Two"A Troubling Place"
Every night it is dark and I once again feel so cold. I hear all kinds of sounds, ringing, squeaking, coughing, banging, and whispering voices, beeping, hollering, and even crying ... why won't these sounds stop? I see too many sad things at night; will this ever become less of a burden? I have cramping and aches all over my body but I just can't push the call button, as I am too afraid. I don't dare say a word or they will come and find me. I can't ... I will not! They are scary at night, more than during the daytime ... I just can't say a word. Some come in to poke and prod, but from none of them I can feel the slightest bit of warmth. They seem like they don't like me, they don't even look like they want to be here.
One little girl in a bed off to my right was whimpering quietly. I could tell by the dim light glaring off steady tears on her face. She was even skinnier than me. She couldn't speak, as there was a huge tube in her mouth to help her breath. When she would try to say something, all that came out was a strange choking cry. She didn't move much either, and her bald little head had wires taped on it. I wish I could help her. Thankfully she had visitors each day.
In the dimmed lights of the room, I suddenly saw something go wrong. Though with each night there seems to be something that does, it would be foolish to ever feel used to - numb or even immune to it. That boy in the coma next to the tall window began shaking terribly. The bed shook with him too and the machine was beeping fast and loud. Readily in came running about five or so nurses, six or maybe even seven this time. They spoke so loud and quickly, and huddled around to see what more to fix from going wrong. Then suddenly without a word from the nurses, the boy was still. The machine went from beeping to a long hum sound ... The night must have gotten him too.
Morning broke and I opened my eyes, turning left towards the window. Something wasn't right, there was no boy in a coma lying next to the tall window. Nurses scrambled through the room, moving around the beds. Not one nurse even looked into my eyes, they just pulled a different child next to the window instead. I sunk down into my bed even more, but eyes still glued to the outside world. At last a cloud floated by, I was on it and headed back to my safe place.
I reunited with my friends, boys and girls of various ages. We jumped around in the meadow, playing and laughing out loud. This is our safe place, not even the nurses or visitors in our other world would understand it or be allowed here.
"Let's finish the race!" I shouted, and everyone cheered his or her boat on. Of course if any interruptions happen, we can always come back here to continue. I bet you're wondering who is winning? Well I can't let a good story go untold.
Andy's Silly Ship is sailing strong in first place. Sandy's St. Pears was out of the race as a big frog finished swallowing it whole. Pete's Slick Fogger took on water, and sunk to the bottom of the creek after hitting a rock. Although bumped by Marcy's Princess Missy into fifth spot, Sally's Rainbow Puff is holding strong at the sixth spot. My Golden Eye is looking good and just slips past Marco's Bumbo putting him back to forth place, making me in third but heading towards Billy's Liberty at second place. Andy's Silly Ship still strong at first place, Billy's Liberty now next to mine. We're nose to nose racing for first spot to win the race! "Woot woot, here I come!" I shout to Andy's Silly Ship with excitement. Marcy's Princess Missy suddenly trades places with Marco's Bumbo now at fifth, placing her ship in forth spot. A breeze picked up and blew over Sally's Rainbow Puff, "Down I go!" she calls. Kelly's Commando passes Marco's Bumbo but starts to take on some water. Nicolas' Racer steers coming out of nowhere, his ship racing faster and faster. He knocks over Kelly's Commando, "MAY-DAY, I'm going down!" Kelly yells, and Nicolas' Racer passes on by Marcy's Princess Missy now in fifth and Nicolas's Racer at forth place. My Golden Eye glides smoothly past Billy's Liberty and races Andy's Silly Ship for the win for first place. "Here I come," calls out Marcy as her Princess Missy battles Nicolas' Racer for the forth spot.
We now can see the finish line ahead, as we continue to cheer our best for the sailboats still in the race, as they blow in the wind down the creek. Marcy's Princess Missy has a near hit with Nicolas's Racer but steers clear from hitting him and passes into forth place. Now with Andy's Silly Ship still in first place, my Golden Eye in second, then follows Billy in third, Marcy in forth, and Nicolas and Marco in fifth and sixth. The finish line is near, and the race is almost done but with hesitation, look — who is that coming our way! It's Marcy's Princess Missy now passing Billy's Liberty and racing to beat my Golden Eye and Andy's Silly Ship for the win. Marcy's Princes Missy swerves in the wind, floating by so fast, a breeze picks up and even stronger now, then slips her ship by my Golden Eye and past Andy's Silly Ship just like that! It's over, the race is done, and who would have guessed who would win?
It was Marcy's Princess Missy in first place, Andy's Silly Ship in second, my Golden Eye at third, then Billy's Liberty in forth, Nicolas's Racer in fifth, and followed in closely by Marco's Bumbo in sixth. Sandy's St. Pears was frog lunch, Pete's Slick Fogger had sunk, as well as Sally's Rainbow Puff, and Kelly's Commando too, so they were each awarded an honorable tie for seventh place.
"Thanks for the game" we all chanted and headed off towards the meadow greens. From around a tree walked a new taller boy, he looked a little older than I but seemed interested with this place. "My name is Bobby," he stated "can I play here too?" "Sure that sounds great," we all greeted him and it didn't take long for a new friendship to begin.
Then I heard something; we all heard it. Not knowing what it was, everything suddenly faded and I was back in my hospital bed. White coats, male and female, surrounded me. I wasn't feeling too well, something was happening to me, but what in this troubling place?
Chapter Three"Was This A Miracle?"
I opened my eyes and was blinded by this bright, round white light. Hooked up to tubes, wires and sticky things connected with wires to machines, I lay in my bed strapped to the sides. I had nothing on but equipment and hands working on me. I could hear voices and panic, though I didn't at all feel, anything.
Then suddenly the bright light above me began to dance. I could now look down upon my body and all that surrounded it. I was floating, as though I was truly on a cloud. I could see and hear everything that was going on but still could not understand what was happening or why I could look down at my body ... but amazingly enough, I was not worried by what I saw, for there was no second-guessing, no hesitation at all. Then I felt warmth from the light above me and I turned to see it again. I was fascinated by how it glowed, danced and was warm and inviting. It was so bright but the longer I stared at it, the more colorful and beautiful it became — brighter and more brilliant than a rainbow after a spring rain through a window. I felt that I was no longer in the room, no longer stranded in my bed ... I was free?
Engaged by the light, I began to float towards it, I wanted to touch it, to embrace it. I felt a healing warmth, a wonderful, and Divine love from it. Its' colors were so bright and beautiful that I can't even describe their names. I wanted it so much I could almost touch it. Suddenly I felt a pull as though something was grabbing me, a strong force was trying to hold me down and keep me from going towards the light. I struggled trying with all I had to reach my hand out to touch the light. The force pulled me downward. Taking a deep breath, at the top of my lungs, I yelled with all my might, "NO!"
I awoke with tears in my eyes, with not even a word to say. My mouth was covered with a breathing mask; this time my body was strapped down and hooked up to even more machines. I was back in my hospital bed and once again the daily routine began for me. The nurses checked my vitals, tested my blood pressure, poked and prodded me, took my temperature, listened to my heart, and a doctor then said to me "You're lucky to be alive, we almost lost you again.
He continued. We had to restrain you as during the surgery you began to move and yell. You will need to be here for a few days. Now, eat all of your porridge when you feel up to it, drink all of your milk, and the nurses will continue to monitor your recovery." ... Then he walked away.
Lying here I looked around. I was no longer near a window but was in a recovery room ... I don't know why they don't have windows in a recovery room. I always have thought that a window should be in every room because I believe that they are helpful for patients as they try to recover. By being able to look outside, imagine and dream they can breath in that fresh air and feel that warmth from the sun ... why don't they understand that?
They say that I am lucky to be alive; some say that it was a miracle. But I often think of that light. What was it or where did it come from? No matter how many times a nurse or doctor tells me that I should be thankful that I survived any of my surgeries or episodes, I cannot keep from wondering, thinking ... Was this a miracle?
Chapter Four"The Playroom A Floor Away"
It seemed as though time stood still and was punishing me as hours went by while I lay in my bed. I just feel so alone and empty in a room without a window. I would often wonder, where do the patients go when their loved ones come to wheel them out for the day? I had over heard that there was a playroom just a floor away but no one would invite me or wheel me down there. I was unable to sit up in bed, so being in a wheelchair unfortunately was never an option for me. Of course I was never the type of spirit that would give up, but as troubling as it was, I still wondered why.
I was feeling a little sleepy when a nurse came into my room and began packing up my things. She wheeled my bed out of the recovery room, down a hallway, into an elevator, out of an elevator and into my new room where the first thing I noticed and said was, "I have my very own window!" I was so excited and felt like jumping out of bed and dancing. Even though I couldn't, I still pictured myself dancing all around that room and right up to the big window, leaning over and looking through it; feeling the warmth of the sun on my face. It had been sometime since I was in a room with a window, looking outside I could see everything was white; well I guess it was winter time and it must of snowed for a long time. The sky was a beautiful, bright blue with the sun shining through some fluffy clouds. Thinking out loud, I couldn't help myself but to say, "clouds, where have you been, what did I miss ... no, where can we go?" I sure missed those clouds. It was time to catch up with them and explore!
Off I was to my safe place when I noticed that it was different. I hopped off the cloud and onto a floor. It wasn't that green meadow that I was at before but a room full of color and other children too. I saw new faces, only children. There never seemed to be any nurses, doctors, or parents - there was no adult to be seen. All around the room were white shelves of board games, puzzles, blocks, storybooks, and toys. There was a blue water table and a blue sand table each filled with neat toys. I could see a television center with large pillows on the floor in front of it. In the middle of the room stood a long blue rectangular child's table, with rounded edges and it was covered with colorful art things. There were felt markers, crayons, scissors, glue, rulers, pastels, paints and craft stuff like colorful paper and so much more! Around the table sat many children, no child was strapped to a chair, or hooked up to wires or machines. Everyone including myself could walk around wherever we wished. I had never been in such a room. I wondered to myself, what is this place?
Excerpted from If I Could Float On A Cloud, Where Would I Go? by Jennifer Dawn deConinck Smith Copyright © 2010 by Jennifer Dawn deConinck Smith. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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