Every now then you get passed all the sensational headlines today’s news outlets cram down your throat, and discover a story overflowing with sentiment. So much so that you can’t quite shake the profound impact it’s left upon your heart and in your mind.
I recently came across such a story about a young boy name Cole. After reading his tale, told bravely by his father Tony, it left me with so many unanswered questions about life, religion, the universe and all the material possessions we believe are vital for our survival.
Sadly, Cole died two and a half years ago from neuroblastoma – a common childhood cancer. He was just five years old at the time.
When I came across the following paragraph, I was actually overwhelmed with tears at the realization that these words were not fictitious, but something an everyday ordinary father experienced first-hand.
“A week before Cole died in our arms, he looked up at me and said, “I’m not going to grow up to be or do anything.” Can you imagine hearing your child speak such words? Fighting back tears, I promised my son he would do “something big” someday.”
His father IS doing something big in his son’s name – devoting his life to being an advocate for childhood cancers, whose research is sadly underfunded in this country.
The story truly put a lot of things into perspective for me.
I’ve been spending so much of my viable time being angry over what I don’t have in life, that I’m terribly ashamed to admit that I’ve taken those around me for granted – the blessings that make living this life worth the journey.
Cole’s honest, heart wrenching admission about not growing up made it impossible for me to get lost in a personal pity-party of despair – especially given the longevity my life has been afforded and Cole has been robbed of.
I have no doubt that Cole’s life will leave a lasting impression on each and every person who was fortunate enough to know him. And that’s a very valuable lesson – that regardless of where your life might be right now, to never forget the time you’ve been given with the people who mean so much to you. It’s an invaluable gift we so often overlook.
Steve Maraboli once said, “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love – then make that day count!” Because as I’m starting to realize, you never know when today might just be your last.