I am selling jewelry at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children today. It is quiet. Bright lights illuminate my silver jewelry display and pyramid of holiday ornaments but dozens of people people pass by at a quick pace – rushing to doctors appointments – child (and coffees) in hand. Doctors, nurses and clinical staff rush by in olive or blue scrubs. They barely look my way. Sales are slow today.
Business owners don’t talk about the slow days…we only promote the big sales, the big launch, the popular items, the busy shows, the impressive lineups and turn outs. But, there are days like this – slow days – when my daily concerns creep into my mind like cob webs. I could be building my business today – putting rep orders together, talking to the three new interested reps, following up with that interested retailer and stamping orders. Instead, I sit. I watch. I listen. I fidget with my stamps and try to wire crystals.
Many children pass by in wheelchairs – some with masks, some with oxygen, some with bandages and others with no hair , their full faces swollen from months of chemo drugs.
Nicole, about 13, stopped today and looked at our BELIEVE star, an ornament designed for SickKids – 20% of the proceeds go to the hospital. I told her I would stamp the back for free with her name and a date. Her mom wanted her to stamp her birthday.
“No, Mom”, she said softly. “I want July 7, 2011 – the day SickKids operated. The day that made me better.”
Sadhir, 9, was here today with his mother and his six months old baby sister sleeping in a stroller. He is a tiny Indian boy (almost half the size of my football playing, soccer-mad nine year old) with a hunched back.
He talked non-stop as his mother shopped. He told me his Dad sold at a kiosk too. Selling vegetables. They had four hours to kill waiting for his Dad to finish selling. Sadhir told me he had an older brother at home too. He told me he liked SickKid’s Hospital but didn’t like being sick. His mother later told me he needs a liver transplant http://www.sickkidsfoundation.com/together/Default.aspx?slide=3. Sadhi kept asking his mother for a holiday ornament with HOPE on it for $25. https://www.suetables.com/ca/shop/charities-0
He said HOPE was everything.
His mother said no…it was too expensive. Sadhir told me he had a few dollars in his pocket. I smiled and asked him to choose one he liked – there was a SALE on just for him. He selected the only one with a scratch. When I pointed this out, he smiled, “Things don’t have to be perfect.” So, I stamped the back with his name and birthday. He was beaming.
Later, they came back – still killing time – and we chatted some more. Sadhir gave me a hug. His mother thanked me again and told me that I had made Sahdir’s day. I said to her smiling, “No, your son made my day.” Thanks to my slow day, I met Sadhir. Her son reminded me that we are blessed to have our health, that HOPE matters and that things don’t have to be perfect. You can’t buy that for pocket change.