I read with great appreciation Thomas Farragher’s Jan. 31 Metro column (“Plowing under a special place”), which expressed concern about the planned demolition of the Prouty Garden at Boston Children’s Hospital. While volunteering in the pastoral care department at Children’s, I cared for an 8-year-old girl who was seriously ill with cancer. I think we all knew that her condition would be fatal, but we wanted her to have as much fun and excitement as possible for a child her age.
One day, I was out in the garden when a familiar figure passed me, running with a large water gun, laughing, and spraying water into the air. Her mother was with her. The girl, who was experiencing a brief period of improvement, was enjoying a beautiful sunny day amid the flowers and greenery of the garden.
I will never forget that sight and the pleasure it gave me to see, even for a short time, a happy child. As it turned out, the girl passed away a few weeks later.
That 23,000-square-foot garden has been a place of spiritual healing for patients and their families and for workers at Children’s Hospital. Such was certainly the intention of Olive Higgins Prouty. Let us hope that it is not too late for other plans to be developed in order to keep this beautiful and healing space.