Note from Sheila: Since the publication of this article, over 1,200 Chemo Care Kits have been donated across the world by families, community groups, and scout troops. That goodness has been done by YOU! Thank you! Thank you for helping the kids in your world learn to be kind to others and thank you for making these kids. Your efforts are worth it!
When I told the nurse what we were doing, she smiled big. Then she started tearing up and, with her voice choked up, asked quietly,”You want to leave these for the patients?”
As I saw her fighting back the tears, I almost forgot to answer her question. I had not anticipated that reaction from her.
We were delivering our Chemo Care Packages that we made during a previous “Penny of Time” to a local oncology center. (Packages filled with helpful items for those going through chemotherapy. Post on Making Chemo Care Packages)
Just a mom and two small boys overloaded with striped, crinkly packages crowded into her small open window in the waiting room. The TV in the room was blasting away. The room was very crowded but extremely quiet for the number of people there, waiting.
Even though the boys had practiced what to say before we arrived, they become shy, overwhelmed with the needs they saw around us, and asked me to explain it all to her.
She gathered our names and the fact that we were donating in honor of a family member who has cancer; she smiled widely and quietly expressed her thanks. In the end, we went out the door quickly so she could take care of the line that formed behind us.
This adventure was the quickest one for us, yet. For me, though, it was one of the most meaningful. I am not sure what kind of day that nurse was having. You really never can predict how your actions will affect others. You cannot predict how your behavior will affect those witnessing your actions.
I am not sure why our chemo care bags brought out such an emotional response for her. But, it will stay with me. Although we complete a “penny of time” each day to help teach our kids, it is teaching us, teaching me, as well.
Of all the things that I do with my children, serving with them, involving them in serving others—those are the experiences that I am finding that I enjoy and cherish the most. Teach children to serve.