It is has been half a year since I've updated. I'm not sorry, really, as I've sent more handwritten letters than ever before, reflected my own thoughts to myself and God in my journal more often, and overall kept my New Year's Resolution to write more.
But as I pack to move to a new city down south, I wanted to write a letter to Philadelphia, its people, and its specific lessons taught.
Thank you for having an increasingly interesting and overwhelming amount of history and art to explore. I cannot imagine a more explore-worthy city really.
Thank you for your parks and squares, Philadelphia. Rittenhouse Square gave me many joyful moments of listening to musicians and basking in the beauty of the trees. Franklin Square made me happy for the children who have fun there. Love Park, a wonderful photo op as it is, gave me many wonderful photographs with friends and also entertainment as skateboarders tried to make the infamous jump(even thought skateboarding is "illegal"). Independence Hall Park gave me chills as the history was spoken. Thank you for making sure those places stick around.
I have to say, Philadelphia, I am also sorry I did not give my smile to others as often as I should have. Please forgive me for that. I was frightened of looking too weak.
Thank you, Philadelphia, for teaching me the need for community. Many times in Philadelphia, I felt myself relying on myself and myself only instead of my faith community and God. It took me being thrown into that community on a recent trip to Alaska to realize what a necessary, heart-filling, soul-lifting thing I was missing.
The Mural Arts Program is amazing. Please continue to build, improve, and make this city even more beautiful with the hope the murals invoke.
I am sorry I cannot stay longer, but I hope you will keep your festivals and art blooming for centuries to come. Although I felt saddened at the darkness on the city streets some days I know this city is one of exploration and hope.
Lastly, Philadelphia thank you so very much for The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It is difficult for me to express the love I have for the people who have touched my life while I walked through the halls. My co-workers in the Child Life, Education, and Creative Arts Therapy Department along with those nurses, therapists, psychologists, environmental servicemen, and volunteers who work throughout the hospital inspired me every day to do my very best not for me but for the joy of serving others. I never once felt unsupported. I always felt lifted up. And on the hardest of days I always had someone to help me get back to work. Thank you, CHOP, for putting the patient first. Thank you for teaching me what service is and should be. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me the Child Life Specialist I am today. I cannot imagine what my new adventure will be like without each of you who touch lives in the place where Hope Lives. I hope you will continue to create hope for decades upon decades.
Thank you Philadelphia for everything, and please keep in touch.