During the 5 months that my 15 year
old son was in the hospital, fighting his battle with cancer, friends
sent him many cards, baskets, and games to build his spirits. One of the
greatest gifts he received was an autograph book, which now has become
my treasure to remind me of how strong and special a young man he was.
It's easy to remember all the pain, hurt and ugly moments of being in a
hospital, but when I need a little positive enforcement, it helps to
reminisce over the pages of this book.
Andrew was fortunate to have the
opportunity to meet a professional baseball player, the coach of a
professional football team, members of a famous rock band and of course,
Mickey Mouse. Each one signed an entry in his autograph book. Needless
to say, it sure brought a smile to his face.
What we didn't expect was that when he
was leaving the hospital, all his favorite nurses, doctors and
co-patients signed as well. There are the ones I now cherish. I would
like to share some of the writings from his book and hope that it will
encourage other parents to keep a memento such as this.
I'm so glad I met you. Try always to think positive and never, never give
up. You have to be very proud of yourself. You are a great fighter, and
you have a great spirit.
You're tougher than you thought (so am I). You and your mom have done
good. I am proud of you. I guess together we've brought out the best in
us. I have all kinds of memories, and of course, the best is that good
You are so special. You are one of my most precious patients. You touched
To a man of few words and a lot of friends.
You were a challenge for us, and you helped us appreciate things in our
life. Laugh a lot, enjoy whatever you can wherever you are.
I'm putting this in the middle of the book, so you have to work to find it
-not much is easy in life. Is it? Obviously I think you're worth all my
work. You sure have been a special part of this unit. Our days and our
lives and you always will be, even after you leave the hospital.
It has been a long hard road for you and your family. You should feel good
about yourself for all your work. We are all proud of you.
I will never meet another "Andrew" without remembering you. There is no
other person like you and remember, it 's what's inside that makes you
who you are. For always and always, you will be a very special person to
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