When I found out about the upcoming hearing and that a final decision would soon be made regarding the Prouty Garden my fingers began typing almost immediately. Although with appeals and a lawsuit still pending there is still time to save what is so precious to so many. I have been a patient, volunteer, and employee at this hospital and have experienced on many different levels, the healing properties that this hospital’s garden has to offer. Over the years as a patient, volunteer, and employee I have lost many friends and gained many friends at Children’s hospital. My knowledge of the Prouty Garden was something that I was always so proud to share with everyone. They would know about this wonderful natural resource that was right there and available to them for the duration of their hospital stay.
In light of all the political controversy going on in this country for some the Prouty Garden may seem so small and insignificant. Although for many of us the garden represents so much of what is good about this country. It’s like a tiny melting pot right here in the middle of our bustling city. Everyone is there for the same reason, simply to get well, but within the process many different worlds meet within this sacred place. This is a place where many different age groups, classes, religions, ethnicities, and alternative lifestyles, all converge amongst the swaying trees of the garden. Within this garden we set aside our differences and find our sameness through empathy, caring for others, and together we take notice of our the natural world and absorb its gifts. In my mind this garden should remain forever as an example of what we wish for our world as a whole. The fight to keep the Prouty Garden has also connected so many individuals from various different backgrounds who otherwise may have never met.
Nature is very much a part of the soul of our world and we have lost sight of its natural calming and healing abilities. There is an innate ability for the natural world to reach in and touch a part of us that is untouched and can’t be reached by any technology or human being for that matter. Trees reach above and below the earth stretching their branches and reaching out to us, and so often in our society we do not see or feel this connection. Although I can tell you all that within the Prouty Garden everyone is connected, and their spirits heal and thrive because of this very connection to nature and to each other. The doctors, nurses, and staff at this hospital do an amazing job facilitating that healing process, and many of them also understand the benefits of the continued healing through nature, which includes contact with the grass, trees, flowers, bunnies, birds, snails, water, and fresh air. The Prouty Garden has the ability to make everyone who steps out into it feel as if they are in a beautiful magical garden far away from procedures, operations, tests, and difficult decisions. If only a moment for some, or hours for another, no therapist could ever have the same instantaneous soothing capabilities that this garden possesses. Sure Boston Children’s Hospital is ranked #1 in the country, but let’s not forget that the Prouty Garden has also contributed to this ranking. There is something to be said about healing the whole person. You can’t just heal the body and not the mind. Indoors the body is being made well, but outside those hospital doors is where the mind begins its healing process within the Prouty Garden. If you ever have the chance to sit quietly in that garden soaking it in and observing others around you, you too will feel all that it has to offer. It’s a calm, serene, irreplaceable resource for playing, grieving, and healing for all.
To the decision makers:
I ask that you please consider the difficult decisions being made here by doctors, nurses, and caregivers on a daily basis and the solace and serenity that the garden provides them to make calm, rational, and well thought out decisions that will affect the lives of so many.
I ask that you please consider before you make your decision how this will affect the morale of the caregivers that go into work every day and selflessly dedicate themselves to saving as well as enriching the lives of others. This garden assists them in doing so.
I ask that you please keep in mind that the long term patients hospitalized for months, some years, they benefit the most from this garden retreat. For them this garden is their holiday destination, their family’s gathering place, their birthday party location, their campsite, their ball park, their schoolhouse, the place where they gain strength and find hope.
I ask that you please consider the sacred ground where the ashes of children were sprinkled because their parents believed wholeheartedly in the promise that Boston Children’s Hospital etched upon a plaque that stated that the Prouty Garden would “exist as long as Children’s Hospital has patients, families, and staff to enjoy it.” Oh and they do!
I ask that you do not take lightly the fact that many families chose this very garden as the place, the tranquil spiritual place where their child would take their very last breath.
I ask that you please consider the children that have wanted to take their own lives when the grey walls became too much to bare, and access to the deep healing that this garden provides was denied due to construction close by.
I ask that you please consider that this garden provides a much needed balance between technology and nature that so few are lucky enough to have within our busy society. The success of this hospital is due to the amazing treatments and care that is provided by the staff, but also due to the balance that is offered by the natural resource which is the Prouty Garden.
I ask that you please acknowledge the healing that this garden has provided to my family and to countless other families over the years. Also, to not underestimate its abilities to continue providing that same level of healing for many years to come for all patients that walk through those doors.
I ask that you please consider that the level of care provided at this hospital should be maintained along with the garden and available to every child in need, not only for some. Until every child is well!
Lastly I just want to state my definition of the Prouty Garden.
The Prouty Garden:
A generous gift and memorial from Olive Prouty, a historical Olmstead Brothers creation, providing healing to families, patients and staff, the last resting place for some children, the first grass touched by others, a tried and true healing garden, but most of all for so many of us who have felt its power….
It is the heart and soul of Boston Children’s Hospital. ~ jummyjeenz
To help this cause go to: saveprouty.org (sign the petition, donate, spread the word)