|Emma and Jean Pierre|
It is with a sad heart and reality streaming through my thoughts as I tell Jean Pierre, feliz cumpleanos. It may be his last. He is one of the kids in the leukemia ward that is fighting for life. He is thin. In fact, when I was a kid, I watched Sally Struthers on the TV asking for donations to help starving African kids. Those images of malnourished children are brought back as I see the bony structure of Jean Pierre. He may not make it to his next birthday…rough reality.
As Teri packs up each week for her visits to the hospital, I know it must be going through her mind as well. In fact, we have talked about the urgency that she feels when she says good bye. It may not happen again. It makes one think a bit differently about how to say good bye.
Well, it was his birthday, so we celebrated his life. He still has a smile. He still has life. He can still blow out his candle and eat the cake. So we did. It was a fantastic day of blowing bubbles, playing games, and celebrating Jean Pierre. As you pray, lift this young kid up. He is struggling through something I cannot even imagine. He is doing it with resolve, but it is tough. In fact there is a handful of kids here in the Hospital Antonio Lorena that need prayer. Feel free to pray for them by name. Luciana, Jean Pierre, Michael (just went back home), Kelli, Jason, Juan Daniel, and Felicitades. There are more that come and go as they finish treatment or are between certain types of medications. However, they all need your prayer. Also, please pray for my lovely wife that is pouring her life into these kids. She loves it, but it is not easy.
|Never short of a smile!|
|Kelli and Emma|
As for Jason, he just recently had a birthday. He is looking forward to his next. It looks a lot more likely than Jean Pierre. However, Jason has a lot of hills to climb in the coming months. Regardless of the future, we were able to celebrate Jason’s birthday with lots of excitement. My wife Teri grew up in a home where birthdays were really celebrated. Needless to say, she can pull out the stops for birthdays!
|Jason and His Mother|
While at the hospital, the kids got a little too wild and got busted by the head doctor. Apparently we all were not acting like we should in a hospital. Not to worry…She has no idea what kind of medicine laughter and fun really are. It is just what these kids need and want. That is what Teri was able to bring to the table. Bubbles with Ninja Jason trying to karate chop each one before they explode on the cold dry floor. Some of the parents joined in the festivities with a game of volleyball with balloons over the steel partition for the rooms. It went on and on…Then it was time for the cake. Tradition has it that the song “ Happy Birthday” is sung in English. Not sure what form of English they were using, but it had a slight resemblance to the one we sing in the US. After the song, then the candle gets blown out, then the face of the birthday boy gets gently shoved into the cake. Like clockwork. It was great to see the smiles. Happy Birthday Jason and Jean Pierre. I pray and wish many more in the future for you both!