“One cannot get through life without pain… What we can do is choose how to use the pain life presents us.”

Dr. Bernie Siegel, author


One day last Spring, some friends and I visited the Columbus Zoo. As we started our tour, a light rain began falling. We saw two mother kangaroos gently stroking their pouches. One kangaroo turned to the other and said, I sure wish it would stop raining so the children could play outside.”

But seriously folks…

The Bible tells us that it will rain on the just and the unjust alike. Some families seem to get more than their share of rain, especially when it comes to sick children. The Bible also tells God gives us rainbows. What it doesn’t tell us is that sometimes those rainbows start out playing football. At least in this story they do.

Second on my list of favorite football players is my nephew, Jason. He played tackle at The Navy Academy, was captain of the team, and won the “Silver Helmet” award for most valuable player his senior year.

First on the list is Fred Hill, a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. He long ago hung up his football jersey but not before tackling a challenge much bigger than the NFL.

In 1974, while he was pursuing his passion for professional football, it was discovered that his daughter, Kim, was suffering with leukemia. During her long stay at the hospital, Mr. Hill and his family spent many sleepless nights at her bedside and ate countless meals out of vending machines. He saw many other families with sick children struggling with the same needs. Through the efforts of some caring people, the Hills ordeal had a “Rainbow Beginning” I said “Beginning” because the rainbow’s color has not faded in over 40 years.

The beginning of the rainbow started with the news that Kim Hill no longer had leukemia. Out of gratitude, her father, along with his teammates, Kim’s doctor and the McDonald’s restaurants in Philadelphia area opened the first “Ronald McDonald House.”

This home away from home for families who have children being treated in hospitals, provides them a place to eat, sleep, wash clothes, and share their struggles. Since that first house opened with only six rooms, there are now 350 houses in 60 countries with hundreds of rooms. Financed mostly through donations and staffed mainly by volunteers, it is truly as described, “THE HOUSE THAT LOVE BUILT.”

The nearly six years I worked as a volunteer changed my life. Like the other volunteers, I couldn’t do anything about the rain. But like Fred Hill, I found a way to be part of a rainbow offering hope, comfort, and encouragement.


“I have set my rainbow in the clouds…”

Genesis 9:13

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“I don’t need anyone to make a fool out of me. “I’m doing all right by myself.”

Groucho Marx


Starting college as a theatre major, I won a leading role in a play called, The Girls in 509.” I was thrilled my “show biz ship” had come in! I was going to be a star. I didn’t just learn my lines. I lived them. I breathed them. I had them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I took them to bed, the bathroom, and all stops in between. I was ready.

The days of rehearsal seemed to sprout wings and fly. The night before our opening, an invited audience from the Boy’s Industrial School. Tough crowd. If I could make these kids laugh, I knew I could do the same for the general public the following night.

The curtain went up. Everything was going great. The audience was laughing in all the right places.

I was ready to give them a passing grade until we came to one scene near the end of the play. What I was saying was not supposed to be funny, but the audience was laughing anyway. Why? I didn’t have a clue. When the action shifted to another part of the stage, the mystery was solved. The actress beside me whispered, “You zipper is down.” OOPS!

Prior to this scene, I had only one minute for a costume change. The pants I was changing into were too long. The legs were hemmed. As I was pulling them on my toe got caught in the hem, tearing it apart. Trying to make a quick repair by tucking them under, I forgot to pull up my zipper.

I haven’t been cast in a play for a while, but that hasn’t stopped me from playing the part of a fool on a regular basis. Have you ever flashed a big smile at that special someone only to discover later broccoli, and a long list of other items from the menu were stuck in your teeth. I have. OOPS!

One night in desperation I dialed the phone.

A female voice said, “Hello.”

I said, “This is Jerry Snider. I live at 1867 Covington Court – Apartment 37. My furnace is making a weird sound. Karep…karep…karep…chah…chah…chah… it’s not putting out any heat. Can you send someone over before it explodes?”

The kind lady told me she was sorry about my furnace, hoped it would not explode and regretted not being able to send someone over. That was because I had dialed the wrong number for apartment maintenance. I had dialed a private number. OOPS

If you’re human. Every now and then you will slip, stumble, and spill. You’re going to laugh about it later. Why wait? Laugh about it now. Don’t worry about the people laughing at you. Tomorrow it’s their turn to fumble.

Comedian Victor Borge said, “The shortest distance between two people is laughter.”

If you can laugh at yourself, you’re half was there.


Visit me at www.buddybloomwildflower.com