The effects of radiation are finally starting to set in, two one-hour naps a day are usual and sitting is now preferred to standing. This is as to be expected by the doctors, as they say the radiation has finally amounted to enough to cause fatigue. Still no nausea or anything worse – so doing well looking at the picture as a whole.
This week and past two, my mom and I have been staying at the Aurora McDonald House. Only a few blocks from the hospitals and is a three story building with different play rooms, library, reading rooms, general room with plush couches, and laundry room. We have our own private bedroom and bathroom (basically a very nice motel room) and a kitchen on each floor that is fully furnished so we can cook food (a very high tech and new version of the cooking lab at BVHS). There are organized activities throughout the week for people to attend and free meals are served periodically. Last night some ladies made homemade chili and chicken noodle soups; tonight a gentleman made a shepherd’s stew dish. Both meals tasted great and a nice trade from cooking our own food or eating out. The room is $20 a night and only serve Children’s Hospital patients and their family’s. This is a wonderful place, as I cannot say enough good things about it. And a prayer answer for families who are here from out of state and here for a run of multiple weeks.
Tonight during dinner, while my mom was getting something to drink and I was beginning to eat, a boy, about the age of 10, walked right up to me and asked if I was eating by myself. I answered that my mom would be right back, the boy said okay, smiled, and walked away. I didn’t really think about what just happened until his mom came over a few moments later. She told me that her son is worried when people sit by themselves because he doesn’t want them to be lonely. I do not know if the boy is a patient at Children’s or a sibling of his is, but how great of person he is to not care he doesn’t know who I am, but wanted to ensure I wasn’t lonely.
There is a lot everyone could learn from him: acknowledge others, have compassion, and don’t be afraid to meet someone new.
Attending 4-H camps as a young member (even lunch time at school) the scariest moment was walking into the dining hall and not “having” anywhere to sit. Not recognizing anyone was pure fear. Sitting down at an empty table was weird but way better than the alternative of asking a random person if you could sit with them. At least that was always my experience if I was by myself. But growing up in 4-H, you learned to meet new people and become one of the people who walk up to some new, sit down, say hey, start eating, and hope the conversation goes from there.
4-H did help me “break out” to be a person who starts the conversation and meet new people, but I am always taken back when I see younger kids do what it took me 18 years to achieve – smiling and saying hello to a stranger because they want to, not because they have to.