Friday, January 28, 2005

Going Home

You know, as I feel sorry for myself, and I have been, I think about a girl I met for a brief moment this summer.  It was a Friday early in September.   I can't describe her as anything less than an angel sent by God.

This summer I worked at Hobby Lobby, a Michael's art supply, retail store but bigger and much cheaper.  As some of you know, St. Jude a medical hospital for children with cancer and the nation's leading cancer research hospital is located in Memphis.  Many of the sick children are forced to leave home for months and even years to receive treatment here in Memphis.  In this journey these children leave mostly everything they own in their home and live in apartments, with their families, provided by the hospital.  These children, wiser beyond their years, are brought to Hobby Lobby by their nurses to purchase items that they left at home.  The things you don't think to pack when your child is in a life and death situation, simple items such as crayons, coloring books and puzzles.

As this ten year old child was being pushed around the store in her wheelchair, I couldn't help but to be drawn to her.  Her head had small tufts of hair scattered, but it was mostly bare, her small skeleton scarcely filled half the wheelchair. She was sick and yet she was filled with such wholeness.

As I walked by, one of her nurses asked the girl, "Would you like to purchase these markers?"

The girl said to the nurse, "No ma'am, I have markers at home," at this point she looked at me and said, "I'm going home."

It was then that the nurse looked at me and I knew.  I walked away before the girl could see me crying.  Four days later the girl succumbs to cancer.

 It is days like today that I begin to feel sorry for myself that I think about this girl.  Either she was absolutely determined to beat her disease or she knew that she was going to her final home.  Any so called problem I have seems infinitesimal compared to what this little child had to deal with on a daily basis.

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