06 August 2008


I’ve spoken of working at a dentist’s office so many years ago. I’ve also mentioned my good friend whom I met there. (This would be the same friend who watched my kids while I got that long-awaited filling.) Her name is Karen.

I want to tell you about Karen’s son, Nicholas.

Nicholas, or Nick, as I still call him, is a boy of 12 who holds a dear spot in my heart. He’s become a tall, lean young man with an endearing grin. When I met him, he was only two (with that same endearing grin); his mother was the office manager where I was a dental assistant. It is that time in his life I want to share with you.

I have some very specific memories of Nick at that age, one of which is him sitting on the floor playing with the treasure box of toys on a Friday morning—we did not see patients very often on Friday, but it was a catch-up morning for those of us in the office. He’d start out a little shy, but I loved playing with him, sitting with the treasure toys, making them spin or clap or whatever; I also remember telling him not to smile only to see him fight the grin that eventually covered his face. This small boy captured me. I rarely knew what to do with little kids back before I had my own, but Nick was different. He had my heart.

And then Nick got sick.
He had Leukemia. Nick’s world changed in an instant, as did the world of his parents and older brother. I have more memories of a tiny boy in a hospital bed, hooked up endlessly to tubes and drips. I went one visit with Karen and Nick when they were getting his regular spinal tap. Well in advance, a numbing cream was applied to his back and later he curled into a ball on his side as they did the procedure. What a brave little boy he had to be.

Today, he’s healthy and safe and still wins my heart.

This year, Karen is participating in a marathon on Thanksgiving morning to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society--one of the reasons Nick was able to beat those odds. You can click below to "meet" Nick and Karen and if you would like you can also make a donation to this very worthy cause, and help others beat cancer, too:

No comments: