Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A young child's wish

On my way to church last Sunday, I saw two crude signs on scraps of plywood. One said parade floats, with an arrow, pointing left. The other said public parking, pointing right. The church I attend is in a small community part of the Metroplex where I live. I asked about the signs when I got to church.

Oh, that was the parade last night, I was told. If I had been watching the news on TV, I would have known.

A little girl named Raney is dying of brain cancer. She is 5 or 6 years old. She is not likely to be here by Christmas. And her greatest wish was one more Christmas.

Family lives in an HOA. So Dad called and asked if he could put up his Christmas decorations for Christmas in July.

I'm not a fan of HOAs. The regimentation home owners agree to is not my style. But this HOA came through. They not only approved the father's request, they went a lot further.

So last Saturday, his decorations, including the yard decorations, were up. So were the neighbors'. And the annual Christmas parade was held 6 months early.

No publicity beforehand, all word of mouth. It was on TV on Friday night. And Saturday, after the parade. But mostly, persons telling their friends, neighbors,extended family, by phone, email, etc.

Someone hired a snow machine for the day, so the yard was covered in snow, even on a hot Texas day. The parade was large, with many floats, 150 motorcyclists, the local high school band, etc. And Santa Claus. Now there's a sacrificing person in 90-plus degree heat.

I understand there were a thousand or two spectators, many bearing gifts.

I am told she already has lost sight in one eye. But she had a glorious day.
Her family hopes she will actually make it till Christmas, but prognosis is not hopeful.

Such a frivolous thing to do. Other than bringing a dying child temporary happiness, what did it accomplish?

Answer for yourself. I was moved, almost to tears. I wish I had known, had been there. Not just for Raney, but as a witness to community and goodwill.

We keep harping about indifference. And then things like this happen.


Anonymous said...

"Such a frivolous thing to do. Other than bringing a dying child temporary happiness, what did it accomplish?"

I'd argue that it's just about the least frivolous thing I've heard of.
Thank you for sharing this, We had a two year old making mud pies in the back yard yesterday evening. I've felt good about the world since, I now feel better

AC said...

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.”

charlotte g said...

You both nailed it. Thank you. I think what moved me most is this was totally voluntary, no organizations, no publicity to raise resources. Those are great, too, but this spontaneous groundswell was some kind of wonderful.