I had a dark moment. I'm working on a picture book manuscript for a contest called the Rare Children's Storybook Project. My friend and ex-coworker, Howard, started the nonprofit MarbleRoad, whose mission is to connect people who have complex illnesses with the resources they need to help them improve their lives. And the Storybook Project is "a unique way to bring awareness to rare disease; to support and entertain children receiving care; and to do broad community outreach and education." It's such an amazing opportunity to do some good with my words.
I have an idea in mind on how to approach this topic and submit something within the tight deadline. But the more I researched and read up on children and their families struggling with rare terminal conditions, it really began to eat away at my heart. I felt myself flood with so much emotion - sadness, pity, anger, guilt, disgust, despair - that I feared I would drown. And then memories of my father and his losing battle against the rare blood cancer, multiple myeloma, added fuel to the fire.
Now that I've had a day or two to leave the project alone, I'm able to look at it again with not so bloodshot eyes. We can all question why God would allow such pain and suffering. Especially for the young and innocent. The only answer I have is that situations like these really help us to realize what is most important in life. Sometimes we get so caught up in material things or focus on what we "should" be doing rather than on what we want to be doing, like spending time with the people we love. Technically, we are all dying. But when someone tells you your expiration date, there's definitely a motivation to spend every minute loving life.
So, get involved...donate time, money, whatever you can to something you care about. But most importantly, this is yet another reminder to live, love, and laugh...right now in this moment.