Appreciation for Life

Six months after Chris was diagnosed and he had experienced setback after setback, we could have easily started feeling sorry for ourselves. But we had a reality check that I documented in my journal:

Wednesday, we were riding the shuttle van back to the hotel from MD Anderson. We stopped at a children’s hospital to pick up a mother and her nine-year-old son. She struggled to lift him into the front seat. He apparently had brain cancer, as he was bald and lacked motor skills and had tremors. The mother was cheerful, as was the boy. He sang with the radio on the way to the hotel (or at least attempted to sing). We were all laughing because he was so happy, and it was so touching. It was heartwarming to see how the hotel shuttle driver interacted with the boy. When a hotel clerk called the driver on the cell phone, the boy recognized the clerk’s voice and asked to speak with her. The driver handed the boy his cell phone, and he had a conversation with the clerk that totally lit up his face. Patients are treated so well in Houston. It’s hard to not be upbeat around here, but it was all I could do to keep from crying on the way back to the hotel after witnessing such an experience.

This morning after breakfast at the hotel, we were about to head back up to our room when a guy at the table next to us asked what brought us to Houston. After Chris gave him a short version of his story, he asked if we believe in prayer.


He asked if he could pray for us. Another man sitting behind us apparently overheard our conversation and said, “I’m with you.”

We all huddled in prayer. Afterward, the man said his employees get together every morning before work for prayer, and they will be praying for Chris.

Then on the shuttle today, the man sitting in front of us had some type of facial cancer. He’s had 253 surgeries and 99 treatments in the last nine years. He’s going to have his nose and part of his face removed, yet he was very upbeat.


Another woman on the hotel shuttle had flown down to see her twenty-one-year-old son who had been hit head on by a semi-truck. When she boarded a plane to come, she didn’t know if he was dead or alive. He is okay except for his leg. She, too, was optimistic. We all discussed how hard it would be to go through these experiences without our faith in God.

Houston gives you a different outlook and appreciation for life. No matter how bad you think you may have it, there’s always someone worse off.