I walk down the hall of that ten-room pediatric unit in my mind—passing the linen closet on the left, the utility rooms on the right and a room directly across from the nurses’ station with a huge glass window for the sickest children. There weren’t pediatric intensive care units at the time and hospital rules prohibited parents from staying overnight. I, along with my nurses aide, had full responsibility for all the babies and children over an eight-hour night shift. I was twenty-one.
It was in that linen closet that the baby, covered with a blue baby blanket in an isolette, was left to die. I had all but forgotten about him until his story began to pull itself up from the catacombs in my brain, shake off the cobwebs, and demand attention.
I like to think that by writing Baby in the Closet I have honored his short life.
Thank you Hospital Drive for giving Baby a home.