PIMPIN‘: Hope’s Toy Chest by Marissa Dobson
SERIES: Cedar Grove Medical
At thirty-one, Kingsley Mathews has been named the head of the pediatric oncology department at one of the best children’s hospitals in the country—Ceder Grove Children’s Hospital. His life is dedicated to his patients—until one Christmas when he learns there’s more than his work.
Chelsea Waters lost her daughter two years ago on Christmas Day to a rare form of childhood cancer. Her career was over, then her marriage. Now all she has left is Hope’s Toy Chest. The toy drive she started in the memory of her daughter has become her everything.
When she ends up flat on her back in a pile of snow, she begins to wonder if there’s room in her heart for anything more. Could the doctor who worked so feverishly to save her daughter bring the meaning of Christmas back into her heart?
Another armload of toys thudded onto the last remaining spot on the floor of the guest room, obscuring the patch of blue carpet beneath. With three weeks until Christmas, Kingsley Mathews had no idea how he’d be able to fit more toys into the small space. He could barely open the door, not to mention there was absolutely nowhere to walk except over the gifts. How he’d managed to get tangled up into all of this was beyond his imagination.
“If you could just grab the last bunch in my truck, that’s all of them for now!” Elizabeth’s shrill hollering reminded him how he’d gotten roped into it.
That darling little sister of his had a heart of gold, and a face that was nearly impossible to say no to. So instead of having an empty guest room gathering dust, as most bachelors did, his had become the warehouse for Hope’s Toy Chest. He believed in the cause. He’d picked up toys, and even spent the days before Christmas wrapping presents with Elizabeth, but the idea of storing everything at his place had become almost too much for him. There were toys everywhere, and almost constant phone calls, emails, and unannounced visitors dropping things off. His patience was wearing thin.
Being a pediatric oncologist at one of the best children’s hospitals in the country, he worked long, hard hours. He saw so much suffering, children sick and death with little he could do for them. It was a hard field, but one he chose at a young age. He strove to make a difference, and he knew finding a cure would do that. His love of children had brought him into this toy drive, and he couldn’t back out now.
This year Christmas seemed to mean even less to him. There was a young girl under his care that might not make it that long. The family was hanging on, praying for a miracle that he honestly didn’t believe would come. It was heartbreaking to watch them sit at her bedside every day hoping for any news that might save their daughter.
Looking around the room only stressed him more, sending his thoughts back to one of the nurses.
It will be a blessing when her time comes, no more pain and suffering.
Those words rang in his ears. There had never been a time when he thought one of his patients were better off if their time came, taking them from this world, from their loved ones. That’s where he and the nurse differed. He wanted to save them all. Losing even one of them was devastating, because they had so much life left. A life they didn’t get to begin living. Being surrounded by machines, needles, hospital staff, sick from the medication that was supposed to make them better. None of it was fair. They were children; they deserved a chance to live.
“Earth to Le.” Elizabeth ran her hand in front of his face, shattering his thoughts sharply as though she were breaking a thin pane of glass.
“Sorry.” He blinked a few times, trying to clear his mind, but his thoughts wouldn’t let go of that little girl.