I have been wanting all week to sit and write this post, time constraints, emotional levels and my brain just not forming words held me back. Right now the house is quite and my brain is totally engaged and ready to roll with it.
Have you ever thought how fun sprinkles can be? Yup sprinkles! Those little bits of brightly coloured sugar shapes that get put on ice cream & cup cakes to take them from every day, to extra special. Did you know that there is a blog dedicated specifically to "sprinkles" , written by creative inspiration Stacy Julian it started with a simple jar of sprinkles given to her son, and now is a representation of the things we can sprinkle through life to make it happier for us and for others. "Sprinkles for life" she calls her challenges, it made me think, a good think, then I acted on that think, which was even better, not only did the sprinkles bring smiles, I was blessed in the process......
Monday afternoon I, wait let me back up a bit....
October 14th I received an email from an friend, telling me that her Grandson "J" had been rushed from Victoria, to Vancouver with his mom "L" to Children's Hospital, "J" had just been diagnosed with AML Leukemia, they are there for 6 months, would I pray? Of course I would pray, and keep praying for "L"and "J", as well as the extended family. "J" has 3 siblings and Daddy back in Victoria (for those who read from far away, it is a 2 hour ferry ride and another 45 min drive to get to Vancouver) who can only visit on weekends. In addition to that 17 years ago this Grandma lost her eldest daughter to cancer at 19 years of age, "L's" only sister. Emotions run high, pain resurfaces and you ask lots of questions. I was with them 17 years ago, I will walk through this with them too. Thankfully, they have a very strong faith in God, and believe that all things happen for a purpose, and that He ultimately is in total control. Good? Yes! Easy? No! There is nothing that we can do to change it, it is what it is, trust and faith through it is what we have to hang onto. Grandma's second question, Would I go visit? - Of course I would go visit when it was allowed.... I will be there as often as possible.
That brings me to Monday...
Monday afternoon I ventured down to the hospital with home cooked meals, and a small stash of scrapbooking supplies for "L", and a little extra something in my bag for "J". I was looking forward to the visit, to encourage and support.
What a trooper this little guy is at 3 years old is content to listen to mom, nurses, and doc's - resting and letting the meds make him better. Watching other kids play in the playroom, which he can see from the window in his room. Knowing that at this time he can not go play because contact with others can increase risks. So he watches and smiles and waves, making the best of it.
"J" is on an intensive drug regime daily to fight this. Chemo is nasty poison fed into the body to make it "better" by fighting off the affected cells. Drugs like that bring some very intense side affects, loss of appetite and weight loss being one of the better ones. However when you are 3 and "healthy" (as in not overweight) any loss of weight is not good. Food is unappealing, he does not want to eat. I had been reading updates daily before I headed down Monday, and am thinking what can I do to help this little guy.... He does not want to eat, I have been in the hospital and know that though the food is o.k, it is not great, certainly not like mom's, and it is not by any means presented well.
Hmm... sprinkles. So off I go and buy 2 jars of sprinkles just for him. One chocolate, because I know he likes chocolate, and one multi coloured mini balls because hey.. what 3 year old would not think that is fun!
Dinner time rolls around as I am sitting there and they bring "J" his dinner, broccoli that has a tinge of green, and lasagna - pretty good by hospital standards, but nothing there that he wants to eat, well except his chocolate pudding. I tell him I have something in my bag just for him, which gets his attention. Then I tell him that I bet no one else in the whole hospital has any of these for their very own, which brings big smiles, "L" is totally wondering too. So fun! Then I tell him that this is something that will make dinner more fun and he could put it on anything he wanted and I hand him the 2 jars of sprinkles. Big smiles and huge eyes, and a questioning look to mom ( who nod's her head, to say yup ... anything you want!) Great rewards for something so simple.
Then he asks "L" if he could put some on his pudding, which he finished down to the last sprinkle in the corner of the cup. Then on the apple sauce left from lunch. I told him he could put it on his oatmeal in the morning.. huge smile! YIPEE success - and the added bonus each teaspoon = 15 calories! "L" was excited about that. Calories however they get into him are good!
Sprinkles... something so simple, yet brought big smiles to a little one facing the biggest challenge of his life. As an extra bonus it also was a great ice breaker, as "J" had never really met me before this visit after he finished the pudding and apple sauce we spent an hour on the floor examining his treasure box, blowing bubbles which brought forth belly laughs. You know those laughs that start down at the toes and just burst forth. And we all know that next to sprinkles LAUGHTER is the best medicine.
I am glad that Stacy writes her blog, that "Sprinkles" challenged me, that I acted on that challenge. What challenges you? Have YOU acted on it? Have you taken time to count your blessings? A simple thing, taking 2 bottles of sprinkles to a little man in the hospital, blessed me beyond what I could have thought, I now have a little mini bottle of bubbles, because "J" wanted to share something with me in return. Blessed over again by his generous heart May your blessings be as plentiful as a jar of sprinkles and spread like bubbles in the wind.