Okay, I couldn’t help myself. I made a card for another one of the children from the Make a Child Smile website. This time, I made a card for Caleb who has been diagnosed with Neuroblastoma. Caleb loves football and his favorite team is the Jacksonville Jaguars, so I made a football themed card and drew my color inspiration from the Jaguars colors:
Now, what really impressed me about Caleb’s story was something that he tells his mother to keep her spirits up. He tells her that if something were to happen to him, he would go to Heaven and play with the friends he has lost down here. Caleb is just 8 years old and through his medical trials he has made and lost friends, yet he keeps his spirits up and maintains his faith. How many of us would react that way even though we are much older and supposedly better equipped to deal with what life throws at us?
It reminded me of a story that I heard when I visited a Missionaries of Charity orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia a few years ago. All of the children at this home are not only orphans, but they are HIV+. The Sister who gave us the tour told a story of a 12-year-old boy who in his dying moments called her to him so that he could thank her for everything that she and the other sisters had done for him. She asked him if he was afraid, but said that he had a sense of peace about him and showed no fear. He asked her what he had to be afraid of. He was about to be reunited with his Holy Father. Again, how many of us would be so calm and have so much faith?
I just hope that when my time comes that I can remember these children’s stories and confront the challenges with the grace that these children show.