"When Time Stands Still"
by Debbie Hilton-Kamm
It starts with news impossible to hear
It conjures up your every fear
It's when they say your child is ill
That's when time just stands still
In that moment, that suspended time
A thousand thoughts run through your mind
Will she ever laugh and play?
Will I see her wedding day?
All the planning, the hopes and dreams
Are put on hold -- just what does this mean?
Her crib is empty, her toys alone
For now, the hospital will be her home
This is a place where time stands still
Where the void's too large to ever fill
For in a hospital's intensive care
Children lie, some unconscious, some aware
And time is measured by a new yardstick
Every second marked by a monitor's tick
Noting every breath the child takes
And every beat her tired heart makes
Just a moment of watching a child writhe or strain
In sedated confusion, or fear or pain
Or pleading for a drink to which you can't oblige
Seems like far more than an entire lifetime
And the children who live far too long
In hospital gowns, trying to be strong
They have old souls, that's what they say
Because in each moment they've lived a thousand days
For those who say time goes by too fast
Sit with an ill child, and see just how slowly time can pass