“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…”
Visit me at http://www.buddybloomwildflower.com