I hate illness and death. I hate it because I’ve had plenty of experience with it. My once large family (on my mother’s side, the side I was closest to) has dwindled to two remaining family members in a very short amount of time. There was a period in my life where every time the phone rang, a rush of anxiety and worry would come over me. Great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and cousins have been battling sickness and many lost their battles. It is a constant reminder that life truly is a vapor: here one second and gone the next.
But for me, most of my relatives lived at least 50 years, which isn’t a long time, but much longer than some of the little children who are struggling with serious illnesses live.
There is an amazing quote out there that goes like this: “there are many Americans who are clever and fearless, but the trouble is many are small children fighting an ugly disease.”
I’m not sure who coined the phrase, but I came across it on a child’s Caring Bridge website that I follow.
Had I not started working at Kids Wish Network almost one year ago, this expression would not mean what it does to me today. In one short year, I have seen so many children fighting for the lives they’ve hardly had the chance to live, and it always seems unfair. But I know in my soul that there is a reason for it, no matter how unfair and twisted it may seem.
I won’t mention any names, but there are a few children I have come across who have left a special imprint on my heart. I find myself thinking about them often and wondering what treatments they are undergoing today. I wonder how they are feeling, what they are thinking and if they really understand what is going on. I think about their parents and marvel at how they are able to function knowing their little boy or girl could leave this earth at any second and I say a quiet prayer asking for comfort and strength for the family.
To all those families out there who have a sick child, hang in there. Sometimes you have to face the clouds to see the silver lining.