I'd been sitting at the computer for several hours, updating journals and answering mail, when I got an email from a friend. She asked me to pray for a little boy who has cancer." He's just five years old." she wrote," and his Grandmother is very worried about him."
I wrote her back, asking her to send me the Grandmother's email address. As soon as I received it, I wrote the grandmother, asking her to tell me about her grandson. The letter she wrote me was long, and quite sad. Her love for her grandson was so great, that the very thought of losing him was making her ill. "I can't sleep," she wrote, "and can't keep food down much either. I cry all the time. My precious Marco (her grandson) is my heart. He has been in and out of the hospital, Barb, since he was three and a half. The cancer went away, but came back again, six months ago. The chemo is not helping much. He is wasting away, is but skin and bones. "
I asked about Marco's parents. She wrote "His father cries almost as much as I do. His mother is like a zombie, just walks around the house, doing things that need to be done, then sits down and stares into space.
And Marco's little brother, who is three, keeps begging to see Marco. But Marco won't see him. He gets hysterical if asked to see his brother. He says "I'm ugly now, with no hair. I don't want my brother to see me." so the parents don't make him. They try to keep him calm as they can.
Barb, this is so hard. What will I do if my sweet Marco dies? I don't know what to do to help him. He looks like a little old man; never smiles any more, doesn't talk much, just gets more depressed."
Sleep became rather elusive, once I began writing Marco's grandmother. I kept thinking of this small child, so loved, who was dying a little every day. I prayed about it; asked God to bless Marco and his family, and to help me find a way to lift their spirits. He did.
I bought two big bottles of Bubbles, 1 smaller bottle of Bubbles, and six fancy Bubble wands. I also purchased a miniature Bambi (stuffed animal).
Angels must have delivered Marco's present, because it seemed I barely sent it, when I got a thank you letter from his Grandmother.
She said, "Dear Barb. I can't thank you enough. I wish you could have been here when my sweet Marco opened the gift you sent. He is very weak, and the medicine he's taking makes him very sleepy at times too, so when he got the present unwrapped, it took him a few minutes to realize what he was looking at. He was too weak to open the bottle of bubbles, so I did. I dipped a wand into the bottle, then waved it back and forth. Bubbles were everywhere, BIG ones as well as little ones. Marco's smile, Barb, lit up the room. He said,"Let me try, Grandma." I held the bottle, while he dipped the wand. When he waved it back and forth and saw the bubbles, he laughed, Barb...for the first time in many months. And not only that, he said, "Go get Anthony (his little brother)
so he can blow bubbles too. And the sweet Bambi, Barb, he plays with it all day, and at night, when he goes to sleep, he places Bambi on his pillow. "
A small gift, bubbles, but what huge blessings came out of that gift.
Marco's grandmother tells me that Marco never runs out of Bubbles. It has become his favorite thing. This happened three years ago. Marco is now eight, has thick, curly hair and runs and plays like any other eight-year old boy.
And Bubbles? I keep many bottles on hand. I take some with me and hand them out to kids, to people sitting alone on a bench, to family members, to neighbors, to anybody who crosses my path. Sometimes I sit on our patio, and blow bubbles. Try it, silly as it sounds. You just might be surprised. The simplest of things often are the easiest and cheapest way, to help another smile again.