Hi Carepage Family,
I wanted to share with you what an incredible blessing it was to go to Texas Children´s Hospital this past Saturday to deliver Father´s Day gifts. We met many sweet, sweet families and so many incredible kids. One of the first families we spoke with was a super, proud Dad of a beautiful, blue-eyed, baby girl. Although his sweet girl was asleep and we didn´t get to meet her personally...we heard all about her. Her Dad held up a big poster-sized picture for all of us to see. Before we knocked on his door, he told us that he had been reading a book about how to make it through a cancer battle. He said that he flipped to the end of the book and began to read the "Top 10" list of things to do. He said # 10 on the list said, "Open yourself up to the love and care of others." He said he had just finishing reading that, when we knocked on his hospital door and their we stood Brookie´s people with a great, BIG Father´s Day gift. We spoke with him for a while and cried a little too. I hope for that brief moment we were able to give this sweet family enough hope and enough love to help them through the remainder of their day!
The Article below was written by Butch McReynolds €“ Publisher of The Times Community News. He joined us as we delivered baskets this Saturday. This article will be published in Wednesday´s paper. It is a few pages long...but I thought it was very insightful! You can also view an article from The Brazosport Facts (www.thefacts.com
) written in Saturday´s paper.
As my wife and I turned off Holcombe on to Fannin, something started churning in my stomach last Saturday in Houston. And then as I turned into Texas Children's Hospital and took the parking ticket stub out of the machine, I remembered I had been here before. My stomach started to churn, but there was no turning back. We were about to hit the beach and the hatch was coming down. And I knew the enemy would be there ready to open fire. The hatch that opened just happened to be an elevator door on the ninth floor of the hospital. No loud bombs going off, no machine gun fire. But you knew the enemy was there. Silent, but deadly. Behind each one of the 36 doors on the cancer floor is where the trenches are and where families dig in to meet the enemy head on. My dad used to tell me that there is no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole. And years later I question "why should there be?"
While some question why a loving God would ever allow this to happen to small children like these, those on the battlefield roll up their fighting sleeves and believe for miracles. Although the miracle stories are few and far between, the battle for survival is real and brutal. While dedicated doctors and nurses parade the hallway with their God-given abilities and talents, there is always hope that cancer research will soon come up with a cure before another life is yanked needlessly away. There is not a family member on that ninth floor who wouldn't carry out God's greatest description of love and friendship."Greater love hath no man than to lay his life down for his friend." To most of those parents, it would make life so much simpler.
A year ago, Chaney and Jessica Phillips went through the same World War, and held on for dear life as their precious five-year old girl, Brooke, slipped off into eternity. And while Brooke dances all around heaven's gates and tells angels "there's no problem of it," Chaney and Jessica find themselves roaming the beachfront wondering what happened and why.But somehow, someway, they have been able to take each other's hand and stagger to their feet with the help of the same God who once allowed his only begotten son to be nailed to a cross and suffer one of the most humiliating deaths in the history of all mankind. A guy named MacArthur once promised a group of Filipinos that he would return, and brother did he return. Chaney and Jessica promised God, and themselves, that they too would return.
Saturday's trip to the ninth floor must have brought a lot of smiles from heaven. The B.I.G. Love Cancer Care Services are alive and well. While there remains a great need for cancer research, B.I.G.(Brooke's Incredible Gift) Love reaches out to the critical cancer patients and the loved ones in the trenches with them. You see, Jessica and Chaney know all about such hospital stays. They know what it is like to see a struggling child hooked to a pole in a hospital room. They know what it is like to sit around for days in a hospital room hoping for the best, getting very little sleep and seeing few faces save doctors and nurses and other warriors in adjacent rooms. They know what it is like eating hospital food and out of snack machines. They know how expensive it is to park at the hospital and how difficult it is to get a change of clothes.
So Saturday, as the newly formed B.I.G. Love foundation does on several occasions during the year, big baskets were taken to each room, this time in the name of Father's Day. In each basket, you could find anything from snacks to flashlights, even a roll of quarters to help feed the vending machines in the middle of the night. Phone cards, toiletries, detergent, cans of coffee, anything to make those visits more bearable.
While the baskets were passed out about mid morning, the sights were all too familiar. Some of the kids and parents were asleep, probably from having rough nights. But one thing was common, that being smiling, appreciative faces from both the kids and the parents.
And while Saturday's festivities were about the kids and their families couped up in those rooms and fighting the real fight, I can't tell you how proud I am of Chaney and Jessica for the work they are doing. And I have no doubt that B.I.G. Love has not tipped the iceberg of the ministry it will be in the future. Supplying meals once per week, parking passes, grocery wish lists for those who cannot leave, along with memorial gifts and get-away retreats for grieving parents are all in the future mix. And kudos to those who volunteered their time to help deliver those God-sent baskets. I know Rep. Dennis Bonnen probably had a lot of things he could have been doing on a Saturday morning, but instead opted to help some old friends out. Bonnen, who went to Angleton High School with Chaney and Jessica, was there as a servant, pushing the carts around and helping deliver the heavy baskets and believe it or not, trying to avoid clicking cameras.
Mother Teresa must have been thinking ahead in a vision of B.I.G. Love when she was quoted as saying, "We cannot all do great things but we can do small things with great love." If you would like to do small things with great love, then you might want to go to the website, biglovecancercare.org. Once there, you can keep track of the foundation's activities and make a donation if you wish. You can also sign up for the newsletter, which comes out quarterly.
Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Why doesn't God heal all those folks on the ninth floor of Texas Children's Hospital? I would like to tell you that I had all the answers, but folks with a lot more wisdom than me have been trying to answer these questions for centuries. What I do know is this, that the same God we question is our only hope in death, whether it comes when you are five months old or 120 years old.
And as hard as it is for me to say that good things can come out of terrible situations.
Brooke Alyson's life was, and still is, a testimony to that.