“It’s something we’re all guilty of.” We’re going through Facebook when we come across 12 children trapped in a cave, a family that has lost a loved one in an accident, and a family member who has been diagnosed with cancer.
You come to a halt and read the story. You feel horrible and imagine yourself in that family’s shoes. Then you go on to read the latest meme or watch a humorous video, and you forget about that family who has lost their way.
This post isn’t intended to elicit sympathy for Emma or my family. In today’s world, I’m asking for a change… a shift in our way of thinking The world is what we, as individuals, create.
We have the ability to make others’ days better or worse. I chose to make an effort to improve people’s lives.
I’m going to do that today by telling you a story. A story I’ve only told my wife and my daughter Emma, who was with me at the time.
The same daughter who learned earlier today that she will begin her seventh, yes seventh, a round of chemotherapy for a brain tumor. By the way, she’s only six years old.
My daughter and I were leaving Union Oyster House in Boston, MA, the other night after supper. A wonderful business and friend who has been a part of our ‘family’ for years provided a supper to us.
When I was carrying her across the street – she can’t walk without her walker – a man shouted at me from 30 feet away, ‘What the F–k?’ He screamed. ‘Get her to walk.’ That is what is wrong with today’s children.’
At the time, I had to make a decision. Is it possible for me to make myself feel better by yelling at him, or is it possible for me to teach him something about life?
I won’t lie and say it was an easy decision, but with my baby in my arms, I moved inches from his face and gently inquired if he was referring to her. He said, ‘Hell yes.’
‘Since she was diagnosed with a brain tumor five years ago, my daughter has been carrying my faith and my strength,’ I said. She is unable to walk, but I am pleased to carry her because of the many wonderful lessons she has given me over the years. As a result, I would advise you to address my daughter in a courteous manner.’
I’m not going to tell you the remainder of the story, but it concluded with two mature guys crying their eyes out. One who needed his eyes opened to what real life and true love are like, and who is always in need of a reminder that good may come from any circumstance.
This anecdote is only significant if it serves as a reminder that you don’t always have all of the facts, so don’t pass judgment on others.
You have the power to make or break people’s days. What did you get up to today? What are your plans for tomorrow?
I swear to you, come hell or high water, I’ll keep my word. Emma has brightened each and every day of my existence. I thank God for her presence in my life. Emma, you are beautiful just the way you are, and we will support you while you go through chemo #7.”
The story and photos: EmmaStrong