As an adult, I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to have a life-threatening medical condition.
For a child, having such a medical condition could mean the robbery of adolescence; the loss of blissful ignorance, days spent outside and birthday party sleepovers. To many, sick children are beyond comprehension and may raise the questions, "Why do children get sick?" and "Why do children have to die?"
As of today, I'm a true believer these kids are put here for a reason: to show us lucky ones how to live.
This afternoon I had the privilege of working with a client to host a fun competition with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio. Honestly, I was worried as I walked out of the office...I'm an overly-emotional person when it comes to seeing people (esp. kids or animals) suffer and wasn't sure if I could handle seeing sick kids. I envisioned the children showing up covered in bandages from being pricked with needles that morning or maybe even hooked to some type of medical machine. Thankfully, I was wrong.
The children arrived ecstatic; ready to show-off, ready to win the gold medal up for grabs, ready to have fun. Despite the friendly competition, the kids high-fived, helped each other out and laughed together. Always having a knack for relating to kids, they made me laugh too, and I had a blast walking around talking to each of them about their creations.
Seeing the "Wish Kids" have so much fun despite whatever might be happening in their medical lives, inspired me. Who am I to complain about life? I should feel fortunate to be healthy.
Of course seeing the kids all walk away with giant grins on their faces was a major highlight of my day. But, what was almost just as good was seeing the goofy, child-like grins on all the faces of the adults in the room.
I think all of us "older kids" walked away with a new appreciation for life. After all, why worry about what tomorrow holds when we could be laughing and living today?
Thanks for the reminder, kids.