Truly Thanks Giving

How honored to be able to post right after Thanksgiving. This post actually started forming a couple of days before the holiday, on Thanksgiving itself as well as the following days.

I am by all accounts a fortunate person; someone who can truly be thankful. I have a great family and friends. My children made it to their twenties alive and healthy- happy too I hope. It’s not so with everyone, with all families. In my life I have seen and heard people display the most amazing acts of courage. I am humbled and I am amazed. Here are a few of their stories. I hope that you will carry them with you throughout this holiday season.

Aidan’s Monsters

Aidan Quinn is five years old and likes drawing monsters even though he is fighting his own monster leukemia. During a recent ABC news interview this courageous five year old shows a picture he drew showing how tough he is getting shots-he loves to draw. His family has insurance but even with insurance there is a $250 co-pay for each treatment. The family was at risk of losing their home. Aidan’s aunt had an idea-sell copies of Aidan’s artwork on line to help cover his medical expenses. Aidan’s monsters look pretty much like any five year olds might. But 4,000 copies of his drawings have sold for $12.00 each. Thanks to all 4,000 of you.

Bowens Heart

Bowen Hammitt was born in September with a congenital heart defect. A few short days after his birth his parents were notified that Bowen had gone into cardiac arrest- that his young heart had stopped beating and that the staff was beginning compressions. For over 45 minutes the staff worked while the parents agonized. The mother stated she kept expecting the doctor to look at the clock and to call out a time- marking the official time of death. But Bowen survived. His father, lead singer of an Emmy nominated Christian rock band started a blog about Bowen and wrote a haunting song, “All of Me.” Bowen eventually had surgery and on the date of his surgery over 200,000 people visited the blog and many left comments of support for the family.

“The Bear’s Castle”

One year ago on Thanksgiving day, in Florida after finishing their meal six year old Makayla Sitton was murdered along with three other family members. Makayla had been home schooled by her mother and on many occasions Makayla’s Mom would use a tape recorder to save some of Maykala’s stories. On one of these occasions a story unfolded about a bear and a unicorn. An incredible story called “The Bears Castle.” The book is illustrated by Tyler Hollis who also lost a daughter. The killer, a member of the Stitton’s extended family and an invited guest has been recorded twice admitting to the killings. In spite of this no trial has begun- no justice has been served. In spite of this the parents went forward with the book- to keep a small piece of Makayla alive.

Danny and Marlo

I saw a young girl interviewed along with Marlo Thomas. This girl was diagnosed at a local hospital as having an incurable cancer and only weeks to live. She went to St. Judes and is now in remission. Marlo reminded us that no child is turned away due to their ability to pay. Again all supported by the warmth and kindness of the human spirit.

There is so much courage in these stories. There is also so much about the nature of the human race and how we may be touched and how we may reach out to help a stranger. Finally there is so much about how much sharing and telling can make a difference. Thanksgiving a time to give thanks and to thankfully give.

But for the Grace of God…

Following is a list of sites for more information on any of these stories.

About the Author

Jim is a transportation safety expert with more than 40 years in both the emergency medical services and the school bus industries. Jim is a former member of the PedSafe Expert team and is proud to have been one of the original contributors to more than 13 years ago.


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