For those of you in Seattle and those who have been tracking with us for quite some time, you know that we have been advocates for the Seattle Children’s Hospital expansion. A much needed, delayed because of legalities, expansion. We live only a few blocks, ironically, from the hospital – so when I finally saw the land being cleared I literally offered up my thanksgiving out loud, by myself, on the street. As you can see from this picture, the site is pretty much cleared debris at this point.
I have watched the demolition with great excitement and sadness. Excitement because of how badly needed the new individual rooms and beds are. Sadness because Ben will never receive treatment there and for the families that are currently sharing rooms with strangers while they attempt to save their child’s life. They cannot build fast enough.
But a lot has to happen before those rooms are ready for occupancy. It will take time to build a new structure from a pile of wreckage. Similarly, we have been tasked with rebuilding our life from the rubble – a life without Ben. And it is hard – much harder than fighting the Laurelhurst Community Club. Oh how I wish we could just hire a legal team and work out some kind of agreement. Negotiations would be very quick – for we would agree to anything to have our son back. But death is not like that. It is non-negotiable.
But we are getting up. We are going to work, like the hundreds of Sellen employees tasked with the expansion. We are being forced to construct a new life. It is clear to me though that even after we have passed Ben’s second anniversary that it is going to take a long time. And I suspect we will never finish the building process. Let’s hope Sellen Construction is more successful than us. But more than anything, I hope our foundation will play a role in the way kids are treated and cured from cancer. And then one day far into the future the two floors that will soon be devoted solely to cancer patients will no longer be needed. Wouldn’t that be a fun demolition?