Monday, July 24, 2006

Sick people need friends

…Writing in the Wall Street Journal (July 20, 2006), Jeffrey Zaslow talks about a ninth grader who lost his leg to bone cancer—and along with it, his friends.

…People averted their eyes as he limped by. No one sat with him at lunch.

…If you know someone who gets sick, the boy says, assume you are that person’s only friend.

…For their part, his friends would like another chance, but he left school when his cancer returned.

…Nevertheless, he got invited to some parties, people reached out. Apparently, he was acting pretty POed and hostile by then, but eventually he warmed up.

…Another lesson: People with illnesses are human and express their feelings various ways, just like anyone else. Not too many people are forgiving saints.

…The boy died at age 18, but his rekindled friends continue to visit his mother. Another friend organized a memorial service at a camp both he and the boy had attended.

…Some volunteered for cancer work.

…It came a little too late, but it did come. Better right when he got sick.

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