Life is Beautiful

This gem is why Reddit is so amazing.  It allows for people to come together and share their unique experiences and perspectives that you just cannot find anywhere else.  Life is beautiful, from user MalachiMos @

I want to share something else. I have seen so much death in my short life. I have had to do procedures called “Infant Trauma Surveys” which required us to image every single bone in a babies body. The purpose of these exams were to determine whether or not the child was being abused. The parents of these children were often told that their child was being checked out for growth defects. My coworkers and I knew even before we started imaging whether or not the child was a victim of abuse. The babies that were abused never cried as we took them away from their parents. Their eyes didn’t dart around the room looking for something to play with. They would lie down in any position we wanted without any effort from us. They would just lie there, too afraid to do anything. We always started from the head and worked our way down. The machine we used for these procedures would allow us to instantly see the radiographic image. I have always had a love for children so I would always volunteer to help hold them still for the procedure. This eight month boy gave me no resistance at all.

The x-ray machine would hum as it came to life and beep when the image was ready.

beep Normal skull. We positioned the baby for the next exam.

beep Normal cervical spine. We positioned the baby for the next exam.

beep The chest. Four broken ribs. Three ribs that had healed from previous fractures. My fingers gripped the baby tighter. I felt a pool ball in my throat. “Baby…” We positioned him for the next study.

beep Normal abdomen. Next position.

beep Pelvis. Poorly healed fracture of the right hip. I realize that my nails are digging into the poor kids arms. “Baby… baby…”

We found two more fractures on that child. His arm and part of his leg. During this exam, the parents are waiting in the waiting room. We would always tell them they had to wait out there due to “radiation safety” even though they could have worn lead gowns like the rest of us. If we had a positive exam, we were to alert the hospital social worker and escort the parents and the child to a private room for the “results”. I escorted this family to the private room. I told the parents that the results of their test would be reported to them soon. It was time for me to hand them their child and walk away. Time for the social worker to take over. Time for me to move on to my next patient.

I hesitated for what felt like a century. I looked at this boy’s father. I looked at the mother. The child’s hand grasped my name badge as I handed him to his parents. My teeth were so tightly held together that my jaw was sore. I said nothing.

I don’t know what happens next during the social work process. There are protocols. There are rules to follow. Does the child get taken away right away? I don’t know. I have heard that some parents get to hold onto the baby a few more days. I have heard some parents lose the child immediately.

A week later my coworker told me that for some reason the parents of that boy got to keep him. He also told me that the baby had been killed because he had been thrown against a wall.

Thrown against a wall.

His father was the main abuser.

His father is in prison.

Writing this down has been very difficult. I am twenty-four years old. I saw the first death of my career in 2008. Since then, I have seen hundreds more. Many people commenting on my posts have said things about how terrible people are. These stories are going to shake many people’s faith in humanity. However, all of these stories have only reinforced my belief that life is beautiful. Humanity is fallen and lost, but life is beautiful. Every touch from a loved one makes up for the pain our lives. Every cool breeze on a hot day should be cherished. Go tell your friends how important they are to you. Go eat your favorite food.

Every good moment in your life needs to be cherished to make up for the bad.

When I was taking that little eight-month old boy back to the waiting room to grab his parents, I stopped in the hallway. I held that child against my chest. I gave him all of the love and peace I could. I whispered to that child,

“Life is beautiful.”