I sat at a restaurant by myself earlier this week and I listened to a gentleman complain for 45 minutes about how there is no money to make. These words haunt me, because I have come to realization that times are hard and I fear of not being able to provide for our children as needed. I have heard several people, and I am guilty, of complaining of not being able to give the Christmas that we want our kids to have, much less making a bill. Things are hard and it is scary, how can we get into the Christmas spirit of giving with a cheerful smile? I didn’t realize how soon I would be knocked down to reality two days ago at a doctors appointment for my daughter at Childrens Hospital.
The site was terrible to see. I walked to the door and seen a mother crying kneeled down at the entrance of the hospital as she just received the test results that her 3 year olds cancer was still there. Terrified, she wept. I didn’t speak to her. I knew her pain. I knew what it meant to hear that you can lose your son. I kept my head high like I didn’t see her, and walked into the hospital. This seems, to most of you, pretty heartless, but trust me, she didn’t want a pity party. She didn’t want a hug. She didn’t want comfort. This was tears of anger. It’s tears of confusion that a hug can’t make it go away. It’s an emotion that NEEDS to come out. She doesn’t want anyone looking at her. She probably wouldn’t notice it if they were.
I simply signed in and sat into the first waiting room and spoke with my daughter about the things she likes talking about. Hair, princesses, shoes, and dresses are her favorites. Ignoring everything around me, until a very special girl caught my eye. She was speaking with an investigator with Children and Family Services on about how she got “hurt”. I was sitting very close so I can hear this conversation very well. She tried several times to cover up why or how she was pushed down the stairs by her father for saying “no” to her step mom. After several attempts, she broke down and said he hurts her quite often. Shortly after I hear this, he takes normal protocol and gets on the phone. He walks away and you can see the fear in the eyes of this little girl. It hurt to see this. I know what happens next. She will go to home she has never been before and softly cry herself to sleep as she realizes all that she has known, that she loved, and that held her to “normality” is gone.
Shortly after, we get called to the back. As we wait for my daughters Doctor, I dry my tears and we go back to talking about all the girly things that my daughter loves to speak of. After several tests, we wait with another little girl for her results too.
She was about 6. Though, during cancer it’s hard to tell what age children are. Maybe it’s the skin and bones, maybe it’s the pale skin, or maybe it’s the bags underlined under their eyes and bald head. She sat on her daddy’s lap as he played a thumb war game with her. Even though her body looked weakened, she giggled. You could see the humbleness in the daddy’s eyes. That view, is happiness.
We can worry about the economy. We can worry about our credit score being kept up. We can worry about having gifts full and overflowing under the tree for Christmas, but the fact is, that isn’t happiness. It’s terrible that it takes the site of another suffering to realize that. Sometimes we all need a little humbling though.
This Christmas, lets reach out to the single mom that tries to hold strong by the Christmas tree, as her husband has just left her. Let’s reach out to the man that has a thin jacket that walks to work everyday. Let’s reach out to that “bum” on the side of the road with a smile and a plate of dinner left over that we had from our Christmas Dinner. Let’s pray for those that we can’t see suffering in the hospital, because trust me, there is plenty more out there. Such as , the 2 year old that lays in the hospital bed with no one to comfort him because he was left abandoned in an abandoned building, paralaized from whoever beat him. Such as, the infant that is being weaned off of Crack Cocaine that lays there.
They know the meaning of Christmas. They know the meaning of happiness. Unfortunately, it’s too easy for us to forget that…even when we have a lot.