A young man, dealing with the emotional and physical turmoil that cancer can give, drew himself inward and let the sorrow build. Anger and bitterness brewed inside, so much so that he took it all out on his siblings, parents and even on himself. He felt life wasn’t fair and he couldn’t understand why he was given this heavy burden. He felt no one could understand the pain and turmoil that he dealt with daily. The losses of his life-long dreams were crushed because of this illness, he had some handicaps that would follow him for the rest of his life and he knew his life expectancy was short.
His Doctors recommended a special camp for youth with cancer. This young man, when he first heard of the camp, didn’t want to go. His parents pushed the idea and even signed him up without his permission. When the day came for him to go, his father demanded he get in the car. Not happy at all with this, the young man pouted and threatened that he would cause so much trouble, they would send him home.
When they arrived at the camp, the Counselor welcomed him. The young man crossed his arms, hid behind his sunglasses and ball cap and only answered in short, snippy answers. His father was wary to leave him, but the Counselor reassured him he would be ok.
After his father left, the Counselor showed the young man to his tent and introduced him to the others his age. The boys were having a water fight with large medical tubing, with large medical clamps on both ends. The young man gradually began to interact and became an active player in the fight.
As the day progressed, the young man noticed a younger boy sitting off by himself. The young man approached him and introduced himself. The younger boy replied with his name being “Tomas.” The two sat for hours in conversation.
As the week progressed, the young man and Tomas became friends. There were times when Tomas lashed out and couldn’t deal with the scary and daunting treatments ahead of him. The young man was often found with Tomas deep in conversation, or with his arms around Tomas in comfort.
When the young man’s father came to pick him up from camp, he was worried as to what he would find. The counselors gushed about the young man, saying he became the leader and a counselor himself. They explained how the young man made sure all the youth was involved and having a good time. When his father found his son, he found a new person, a man who seemed to have found his role and accepted his fate.
When the young man returned home, he gathered his siblings together and insisted on playing games with them. He told his family how much he missed them and would never take advantage of what he had. He learned the value of each person and that Heavenly Father loves each one of us the same.
Just a few months after this experience, the young man’s cancer worsened. His disabilities increased, but his outlook on life was a good one. He joked with those who came in contact with him, even after he learned his time on earth was nearing its end. Though difficult, he accepted Heavenly Fathers will.
Now he serves our Heavenly Father from the other side of the veil, performing miracles, comforting others who suffer as he did, and giving himself entirely to those in this life and the next. I will never forget the example he set for me.
Love you my son.