This time next week, we will be preparing to board an airplane to a beautiful island location, where we will have 7 days of swimming, snorkelling, relaxing, eating, drinking, and making memories as a family. And it’s not going to cost us a cent.
Many of you would probably be thinking “wow, you are so lucky!”, and yet I feel anything but lucky. You see, this trip has been organised by an organisation called The Starlight Foundation. They are similar to Make a Wish, in that they grant wishes to chronically/terminally ill children. James is one of those children. And this is his wish.
My wish, if I had one, would be that we didn’t have the need, or were not eligible, for this sort of generosity. I wish that James wasn’t one of those kids that they grant wishes to. I hate that he is.
When this package of purpleness arrived in the mail today, I knew exactly what it was. After all, I had been told to expect it. I was even a little bit excited, excited because the kids don’t know that we are going away, and I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they find out. But when I opened it and saw the Starlight Foundation logo, my eyes immediately filled with tears, and there in the middle of a crowded shopping centre, I began bawling my eyes out. Because, deep down, I didn’t want this day to come. I didn’t want the day when he was officially recognised as being one of “those kids”, those kids that we look at with sympathy, knowing that things aren’t good. Today, James is one of “those kids”. And that has cut me to the bone.
Don’t get me wrong, I am eternally grateful that we have been given this opportunity to share in James’ wish. And I know that, in spite of the bittersweet chain of events that have brought us here, we will have the most amazing time, especially James. There will be so many photos to remind us of the magic that this holiday will bring, and the joy that will no doubt be evident in all our faces.
But I would rather it was under different circumstances. And I would rather it wasn’t so purple. That’s all.