Once upon a time, 15 years or more ago I had the best job ever. Some of you might disagree but that would only really make you a fool. I was a single Mom with a toddler in tow fighting my way through college. I attended school full time relying on grants and loans to allow us to eat and was fortunate enough to get a work-study job as assistant to the Executive Director at our local Ronald McDonald House.
I worked there for 3 years and cried when I had to leave. I did tours, processed donations, admitted families, did whatever was needed. My favorite part of the job though was the early morning. I arrived early, before the families started heading to the hospital for the day and I listened. I hugged people, I cried with them and I told them stories to help them understand that they would be ok.
People that have a seriously ill child go back and forth from the hospital. A lot. I watched children come regularly with no hope of ever ending the visits. I watched a teen plan her own funeral. Twice. Each time her cancer went into spontaneous remission and she lived many more years. I held a baby that left the hospital for the first time and came home to the Ronald McDonald House at 3 months of age. She only weighed 3lbs.
My favorite person though, by far was only 3 years old. His name was Mohammad and I will never forget him. He had some heart trouble and the few times he was able to leave the hospital he could only go as far as the Ronald McDonald House. He could not make the trip all the way to his home. His favorite meal ***EVER*** was chocolate milk and Krispy Kreme Donuts. When he was lucky enough to be "home" with us he'd sit up at the big breakfast bar and exclaim "Praise Allah!" before diving in. He was such a dear, sweet, little person and always took his illness in stride. He died when he was 4 years old and I count myself lucky to be one of the few people he met and touched during his short time here.