Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Smile Specialist

I've been thinking lately that, by the end of all of this, I should get some sort of certificate of completion. I've learned a lot in these couple years and am not finished yet! Despite all the knowledge, the deepest questions remain unanswered on the how's and why's. I can only guess and allow it to make me grow. But Yousuf and I are not the only one's gaining a growth spurt of inspiration through all of this.

Many of our trips were accompanied by Yousuf's older sister. I don't like to call her his half sister. No matter what people recognize her as, she is still fully his sister in relation and at heart. She, too should be recognized, at the end of this entire course, for all her support and experience she's gained. She was the first person Yousuf sat in her lap during a port access and didn't cry. She witnessed the first spinal tap in the clinic (not the operating room), and was present for many others. Although, the experience itself can be devastating and sad. We've managed to enjoy our trips to Texas Children's Hospital when she came along. She's joined in with making cookie and fruit baskets for the other patients as well as filled our doctor's room with laughter. One particular experience she saw Yousuf go through was with the Child Life Specialist. These ladies impress us all on how they can sooth the most stressful babies and kids. It's inspirational and an honor to be among those whose job is to purely make someone smile and wipe away the tears. Here are her words....

I step down from the van,
with a wailing child in my hand.

It's time for the chemotherapy to start,
but this child shouldn't have to;
I can't bear it in my heart.

While others are enjoying their health,
while others are enjoying their wealth,
never asking or giving a care,
or wondering if sometimes life isn't fair,

They seem to think that everyone is fine,
but what about this little brother of mine.

It was only at the tender age of three
that cancer was discovered in his little body.

While sitting on the 14th floor,
my brother and I were in for a bore.

I then saw a little boy who caught my attention in a blink of an eye.
Although none of the kids were happy, and all gave a sigh,

This little boy was particularly expressionless.
I approached him- asked if I could sit and rest.

He stared at me with a blank expression,
then turned back to the PlayStation.

I thought this kid was as cold as ice,
but that's when I saw he could actually be nice.

A sweet, young lady walked in through the door,
she was someone all the children seemed to adore.

Across the boy’s face spread a huge, toothy smile,
one you could say was as wide as a mile.

He started to talk, laugh and excitedly shout.
He only talked to this one lady about…
everything he kept inside,
never speaking until she arrived.

This one special person made a difference in many children's lives,
earning a humble salary but more than a million high-fives.
I've been inspired to become a Child Life specialist
and make every sick child an optimist.

Although life may be tough,
I hope that one day I'll be enough.

So as days of the years go by,
and I ask myself daily, “What have I accomplished so far?”
I hope to say, “I made a little child's day!”


  1. beautiful. I love big sis! and the child life specialist--she rocks! maashaaAllah may Allah reward them both.

    It's amazing what a smile can do eh :D

    love ya les!

  2. Linda Priddy VaughanJanuary 9, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Beautiful. It's wonderful how smiles and laughter help recovery. The people that work with the children are also amazing and a gift.

  3. That is so beautiful, and so is she. You have been so very blessed to have her.

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