Today I heard the story of an 11 year-old whose lengthy battle with leukemia was nearing an end. Doctors said he had only a few weeks to live and he could make any wish as to how to spend those two weeks. What would you want? Do you want a visit from a rock star or athlete? Do you ask to go to Disneyland or fly in a helicopter? Brenden Foster of Seattle made his choice a few weeks ago.
Brenden worried about the homeless who were starving. He asked for people to feed them and those around him made and distributed hundreds of sandwiches, put in paper bags that read “With love from Brendan.” People farther down the coast heard the story and hundreds more rallied to the cause. Like wildfire the cause moved to Florida and a school in Ohio. Thousands of dollars and a lot of food was collected in Seattle, and ordinary people walked the streets to hand a meal to someone less fortunate- face to face. Brenden had witnessed the plight of the homeless while on the way home from the hospital one day and he decided he should give them something. Other people did it because it was the heartfelt wish of a dying boy. Brenden lived long enough to see the miracle he had begun. He died Friday morning in his mother’s arms. The lesson learned by those hundreds of people, the joy of giving shared by so many- all are the legacy of a remarkabIe young boy. He also worried that the bees were disappearing and wanted to spread wildflower seeds to draw the bees back. A pilot asked his aviator friends to all sprinkle flower seeds in Brenden’s honor. This boy just wanted his life to mean something. So many people were inspired by one innocent child.
I cried when I watched his story on the ABC evening news. I cried for Brendan and his mom, and for all those who will live long lifetimes and will never be as wise as one young boy in Seattle. He spoke with a wisdom far beyond his years. In a society where we worship and idolize the rich and famous, and the word “hero” is bandied about for every occasion, there are no bright lights or parades for those who quietly make a difference in this world. But that’s okay, they don’t care. Brenden is a hero to me. I will think of him every time I hesitate to help another. I’ll ask myself, “What would Brenden do?” God bless you, Brenden.
See the full story at http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2008/11/24/politics/horserace/entry4629915.shtml