Dixil Rodríguez

is a university professor and volunteer hospital chaplain living in Texas.

Always a Child

I am standing in the hall of the ICU. I am praying. That’s all I can do. I’m praying for time. I feel a tap on my shoulder, the ICU nurse simply says: “She’s here.”

* * *

She doesn’t look up when she asks, “Will I ever be in the ICU?”

How do I answer this? Sitting in a chair next to Rachel’s bed, we have been drawing pictures for the nurses, and now we are deciding who gets which picture. Rachel is undergoing treatment for lymphoblastic leukemia. She is 7 years old, and treatment has just begun. I watch her shuffle through the pictures. She is so positive and kind, always thinking of others regardless of her pain.

“Can …

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