Want in on a little secret? Every Thursday morning, I sit down at my computer to write this column. Most often, I think of what my dad told me years ago, “What comes from a mind reaches a mind; what comes from a heart reaches a heart.” Then I imagine what I would say to you if you were seated on my sofa as we visited over coffee.
This week, since I’ve cleaned out a closet and am in the process of emptying a storage unit, you would have to navigate around numerous boxes. Some are waiting to be donated, but most are going to be reunited with their owners, three of my children, who have homes of their own.
And then I would fill you in on what happened to me this past Monday.
After writing in my journal, expressing gratitude that my daughter Elise was starting a new job on her one-month wedding anniversary, I logged into Facebook. A post from years earlier appeared, reminding me that on that very day, fourteen years ago, Elise was diagnosed with cancer.
Instantly, fourteen years of memories were released: hospital rooms, nurses with thick protective gloves carefully handling bags of chemotherapy, and the abundance of cards, phone calls, flowers, gifts, and food from friends I don’t deserve. Fourteen years ago, I watched my soft-spoken, gentle ten-year-old develop a feistiness, a fight, as she faced the challenge of her young life.
At the end of that road, Elise took her dream trip to New York, courtesy of Make-A-Wish. Both the trip and the Make-A-Wish organization left such an impression on her that she completed an unpaid internship at the Louisiana branch during her final semester of college.
Upon her graduation in 2013, Elise remained a Wish volunteer and often commented that she would love to work for the organization one day. Last Monday, on her one-month wedding anniversary, and the fourteenth anniversary of being diagnosed with cancer, Make-A-Wish fulfilled another one of Elise’s dreams when she was hired as the Wish Coordinator for Louisiana.
I don’t believe that forever is going to be long enough to tell God, “Thank You.”
Ronny may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.