Thanking Carly

So there I was, sitting in one of three chairs in the CT interview waiting area. I had followed three other people down the winding halls of the third floor MD Anderson radiology department. One was a Hispanic man. Another was a young girl in a wheel chair. The other was her caregiver (mother, I think). The atmosphere could best be described as “awkward.” The silence was deafening.

I could stand it no longer. I had to say something. Since the Hispanic fellow was next to me and rather off to my side. I looked at the young girl and her mother. I really could do nothing else since the girl was sitting directly across from me. I would judge her to be between 13 and 15 years old and cute as a button. She was sitting, as I mentioned, in a wheel chair, her own – not one borrowed from the hospital’s abundance. She was leaning a bit forward resting her arms on a flat fuzzy pillow, the head of a Houston Texan’s mascot staring straight at me.

“I take it you are a Texans fan,” I asked. She grudgingly admitted that she was a die hard.

“The season hasn’t gone very well, has it?” I asked, continuing to attempt to break the silence.

“No,” she replied.

“Maybe this week. You now have a good quarterback. He hasn’t thrown a single pix-six,” footballese for an interception that is returned for a touchdown. The previous quarterback had thrown many more than his share. The new quarterback had a near perfect passing record in spite of his youthful rookie status.

She smiled and agreed. I learned they lived only a few miles from the hospital.


Then another interesting observation caught my attention. Her mother was wearing a faded Razorback sweatshirt. Turning to her, I asked, “You used to be a Razorback fan?”

She nodded. “My son used to play baseball there.”

About this time, one of the CT staff called a name. I first thought it was “Harley” but the last name was different. She had called for “Carly”. I smiled, and the duo departed into a room near where I sat. Though I could hear voices asking and answering, nothing was clear. And I tried not to eavesdrop on private information.

I did take the time to pray for Carly and her mother and my silent Hispanic friend. I asked my Father to help Carly and her mother and family through this tough time. I asked for a healing, though I had no idea what the disease affecting her could be. It doesn’t matter. God knows. He cares. He will provide all that they need.

Then I began to think about how blessed I was. Carly was facing a disease that could cut her promising life short. I had lived 67 years serving God the best I knew how. I have a wonderful wife, three beautiful daughters, and nine fantastic grandchildren. We, Melanie and I own our own home and two vehicles, paid in full. Our home, though small, is comfortable. So far, my medical bills are covered by insurance. Our Houston expenses are being eased by the generous contributions of friends around the world. Required repairs to our rental property have been made through the wonderful work of our home group and church.

We really want for very little. In short, we have been blessed beyond measure.

Carly, thank you for helping me to put my life in perspective. May God richly bless you: body, soul, and spirit. I don’t think I will soon forget our five minutes of friendship.

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