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“It’s okay, buddy. It’s okay.”

When it became clear that Jimmy was not about to quiet down anytime soon, Hermione lifted him from the hospital crib and settled into the rocking chair behind them. Gingerly, she unraveled the tubes and wires from the siderail of the crib until they draped neatly from Jimmy’s chest, over the armrest, and up to the monitors beside the wall.

“It’s all right, Jimmy. Everything is going to be all right.”

There was nothing left to try, and she was alone in the room with a bawling 9-month-old baby boy. Over the past hour, she had checked his vitals, relistened to his chest and abdomen, changed his diaper, called the nurse, and run down the stairs to ask the residents for help. Still, Jimmy had been crying without pause since seven in the morning, and Hermione had no idea as to why. Help was on the way, however; she only needed to manage the situation for another few minutes.

Now, with the back of his neck resting on the crook of her elbow, Hermione drew Jimmy closer to her chest and began to sing.

R-E-S, C-U-E,
Rescue Aid Society,
Heads held high, touch the sky,
Our hearts we pledge to thee.

With each rock of the chair, Jimmy would close his eyes and relax in her arms, only to let out a wail of agony several seconds later. Hermione continued to sing softly, although she kept an eye on the door and prepared to stop on a moment’s notice.

In a jam, in a scrape,
And you think, no escape,
Do not fear, we’ll be here,
Courageous are we.

Every morning for the past two weeks, Hermione had donned the mask, gloves, and yellow “contact isolation” gown before visiting Jimmy in his room. In between the disposable stethoscopes and painstaking lung exams, she had spent countless moments comforting Jimmy after coughing spells and animating the stuffed animals in his crib.

This morning, however, felt different. It was incredibly difficult to think of a list of realistic complications when thoughts such as this is love kept drifting across her mind.

R-E-S, C-U-E,
Rescue Aid Society…

In the seconds before the team of residents, nurses, and X-ray technicians arrived in the hallway, Hermione held Jimmy tightly and cherished the moment: the steady creak of the rocking chair, Jimmy’s warm cheek nestled against her arm, his fingers curled around her sky-blue glove.

Heads held high, touch the sky,
You mean everything to me.

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