A Sick Kids Face Is Haunting Me

Posted: March 23, 2009 in The Roper Files


Look over there again and then turn away. Augh; there it is again. Don’t look; it’s too disturbing.
What am I avoiding? I’m avoiding confronting my emotions, that’s what.
Someone has a calendar facing where I work. No big deal; just a calendar, right?
Well it has a child’s face on it; according to the text under the picture he’s a patient at some children’s hospital.

He’s holding a teddy bear tightly to his chest and looking into an aquarium. He’s almost nose-to-nose with a fish with only a thin piece of glass between them. The big eyes on this kid and his cherubic smile are searing an indelible image into my brain that burns like an inextinguishable flame.
I can’t get this image out of my mind no matter how tightly I close my eyes. How can an ill child be this happy?

Now don’t get me wrong; I am not what I consider an emotional guy. When those commercials come on TV featuring starving kids from faraway countries, yes I DO pick up that remote. I don’t want to look at depressing shit; I have enough day-to-day problems with depression. Just don’t need any more downer input to compound it.

So what is it about this particular little boy’s face that I find so compelling? Good question.
Maybe he reminds me of myself when I was a little boy. Perhaps he makes me yearn for a time when the simple act of holding a teddy bear could solve the majority of my problems.
I don’t know this kids name; I don’t know his family. Don’t know where they live.
Are they rich? Are they poor? Knowing health care in America… they’re probably poor now. Are his parents off-camera crying their eyes out not knowing where the money for their sons medical care is going to come from?

Don’t ask me why but I want to do something for this kid. Something, anything to make his last days as pleasant as possible. Take him to a movie. Buy him a chocolate malt. Go for a walk with him on a beach. Hug him and make him feel loved.
But I can’t. He might have already passed away since this calendar was printed….and then I just feel helpless.
So as I go about my business at work I find myself going to lengths to NOT look in the direction of that damn calendar. Don’t want to look into that little boy’s face.

Maybe I’ll feel better next month when somebody flips the picture on that calendar to something else.


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