While recuperating from her second open-heart surgery at Children's Hospital of Western Ontario, my six-year-old daughter, Kelley, was moved from the intensive care unit to the floor with the other children. Because a section of the floor was closed, Kelly was put in the wing reserved for cancer patients.
In the adjacent room, a six-year-old boy named Adam was fighting a battle with leukemia. Adam stayed at the hospital for a portion of each month while receiving chemotherapy treatments. Every day Adam sauntered into Kelley's room to visit, pushing the pole that held his chemotherapy bag. Despite the discomfort of the treatments, Adam was always smiling and cheerful. He entertained us for hours with his many stories. Adam had a way of finding the positive and the humor in any situation, however difficult.
One particular day, I was feeling tired and anxious for Kelley's release from the hospital. The gray, gloomy day outside only fueled my poor mood. While I stood at the window looking at the rainy sky, Adam came in for his daily visit. I commented to him on what a depressing day it was. With his ever-present smile, Adam turned to me and cheerily replied, “Every day is beautiful for me.”
From that day on I have never had a gloomy day. Even the grayest days bring a feeling of joy as I remember with gratitude the words of wisdom spoken by a very brave six-year-old boy named Adam.
To have character is to be big enough to take life on.
- Mary Caroline Richards