It’s About the Kids

It’s about the kids.  Nothing else matters. 

Brooke, Gracie and I drove 20 hours this past weekend in the name of cancer research.  The occasion was a walk/run in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania where over 20 other cancer organizations had convened to wage this war we know as the cure.  There were t-shirts, banners and speeches.  There were politicians, experts and parents.  Yet, from my perspective, all that mattered were the three children that joined us that afternoon.

One was in preschool, another in kindergarten and a third in third grade – and they were all fighting brain cancer.  All at different stages of the disease, to them this was a celebration and I understood.  The speeches could wait.  Still they continued.  Parents took to the stage to talk about the children they lost, politicians came to the stage to tell everyone of their heroes and supporters took the stage to reinforce the importance of funding.  And in their wake remained the children, left to listen from the picnic tables in the rear. 

I feared that they would inherit our tears, carry our depression, and listen to our words.  And in the end, they were the only ones that mattered.  After all, they were our hope.  To them, cancer was no more than a “bump in their head”.  Next year it would be a distant memory.  There were football games to play, pools to swim in and flowers to pick.  And they would get better.

A half an hour later, the speeches ceased and balloons were released.  Yet these children and I were too busy to notice.  We were too busy collecting acorns from the ground to race down the picnic table we’d propped up hill.  And I never won even one race.  Adults around us came near and watched as they dabbed tears from their eyes, pretending it was the allergies or a cold.  I knew it was the speeches.  They were losing hope while we were talking about tomorrow. 

Somewhere it made sense.  Three years ago, Elena taught me to dream.  She took me to the Eiffel Tower, convinced me to ride in a horse carriage

 and showed me how to dance.  She didn’t need speeches about hope, about a cure or determination, instead, she led us by example.  Just as those three children did for us all that very day.

It’s about the children and I had forgotten.  Thankfully they were there to remind me.  I pray they are there to remind me again next year.  Speeches can wait, they can’t.

One Response to “It’s About the Kids”

  1. Jackie says:

    Your story is so touching and very heart wrenching. 🙁 What a beautiful young girl. God bless her soul and bless your family.