The hospital at night has a different feel to it than during the day. It’s quieter, people are settling in for the evening and the glow of televisions emanates from many of the rooms.
But last week, the nocturnal rhythm on the oncology floor at the Martin Memorial Medical Center was happily disrupted by a handful of most welcome visitors: members of the Daisy Girl Scout Troop from Palm City, dressed in their blue smocks, with candy canes jammed in the pockets and Santa hats pulled over their tousled hair.
There were four girls, between the ages of 5 and 6, with their mothers/troop leaders chaperoning them. Their destination was the oncology floor, where in-patients with cancer are treated.
Dinner was being served for some, while others received medications and some were already asleep. But as the Daisies pulled out folders that featured lyrics for carols and began serenading the nurses, the family of one patient put in a request to stop by their loved one’s room and sing a song for them.
One by one, the Daisies went to patients’ rooms, gathering around their beds and belting out “Frosty the Snowman” or “Jingle Bells” or “Deck the Halls.” Then one of the girls would hand the patient a candy cane, some wrapped with fuzzy brown pipe cleaners that resembled reindeer antlers.
The response was touching.
“Thank you for coming,” one woman said. Another interrupted a phone call, telling the caller she would have to call her back as the girls stood patiently by her bed. Smiles blossomed like daisies in the spring.
As the girls finished up another rendition of “Frosty the Snowman,” one of the Daisies turned to a patient and smiled.
“I hope you get better,” she said.
For that moment, the woman in the bed seemed to do just that. It was the best present anyone could give during the holiday season.