Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Best Job Ever!

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.


  1. Isn't it amazing how some people can live in our hearts forever.

    I loved this post!


  2. This post rocks....working with children and helping others is truly the best. Thanks for sharing

  3. I have a patient whose family is staying at the Ronald McDonald house. He has an incredible joy all around him. The kid glows. It scares me and moves me at the same time.

  4. I'm amazed at the light that shines from within...even when things are dark.

    Ronald McDonald House rocks. So do you!

  5. you live a rich, blessed life :) (I have to tell you that i've got a snowman almost exactly like what is in your picture..he lights up in different colors, and i've got the group of three that are holding stars and they light up too..i LOVE them!!)

  6. Thank you for writing this, it made me smile (and cry a little too). My nephew had a brain tumor at 2 years old and that kept him in the hospital for almost a year (no sign of cancer these days but it was a long, tough journey). My sister-in-law and my mother-in-law stayed at the Ronald McDonald House during that time and I was with them for most of it. We were all so grateful for that House and for the people running it. If it wasn't for that place, I can't imagine how much more difficult that time would have been. I just sent in my second donation of the year and will continue to do so in the years to come. I love the Ronald McDonald House and have seen first hand how it helps people who truly need it.

  7. Lucky you indeed to be able to go back to your many lasting experiences working at the RM House.

  8. Awww! I loved this! It just makes things so wonderful when you have a job you love and when you can receive love from the job!

  9. I know a mom who works there and she is just amazed at the life and spirit in those kids. We can learn so much from them...and all they want is to live and love.

    You did have a dream job.