A few weeks ago I came across a web article about a child who was being inducted into the Army, or perhaps it was the Marines. I’ll have to go back and check. I believe the article was one of those that Yahoo features on its rotating news reel. Out of curiosity I clicked on the link.
Turns out it was about a 10 year old boy, Brennan, who is a major fan of all things military. For his recent birthday several soldiers showed up at his party, a surprise, and made him an honorary member of the armed services, an even bigger surprise.
It also turns out that Brennan has cancer. And he is in, quite literally, the fight of his life.
I don’t know enough to share with you all the particulars, but he suffers from Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma, which is a rare type of cancer of the connective tissue and occurs most often in children. I think he was in remission at one point and they found out this past fall it had returned and grown.
I keep track of him though his Facebook page, Brennan’s Brigade. If you are a Facebooker be sure to look him up and say hello. He’d like that.
Tonight, his status was updated to show him enjoying an evening walk with his mom. Looking at that picture I felt an almost overwhelming assortment of emotions.
I felt true sorrow at those dark, deep down fears his mother must have felt holding his hand and the thoughts running through her mind.
I felt joy that she was able to have this evening with him and hopeful of many more just like it. I felt how confusing and unfair it must surely seem that children like this suffer these horrible afflictions while so many pieces of outright scum walk around in perfect health.
I felt the presence of God and took comfort in the fact that there is a time for every purpose under the heavens - even if there are some seasons we would rather not endure. I felt inspired that this child walked - though his face and body are so painfully swollen from the medication, even to the point he has an unnatural smile which he self-corrects with his finger.
And I felt shame that I take for granted, so often, the good health I am afforded by wasting it. If you know the word of prayer, I ask that you lift this child and his family up to our Heavenly Father.