Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do you want to have your heart touched?

In Phoenix, Arizona, a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination.

Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up & fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible...The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's dream to come true.

She took her son' s hand and asked, 'Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?'

'I wanted to be a fireman when I grew up,' he said. Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can make your wish come true.'

Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix, Arizona, where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix. She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine. Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an honorary Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat - not a toy - one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots.'' They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast.'

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven. There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the paramedics' van, and even the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program.

Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible. One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.

Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a Fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition. The chief replied, 'We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes... Will you please do me a favor? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire?'' It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?'

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window-------- 16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room. With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him. Billy looked up at the fire chief and said,'Chief, am I really a fireman now?'

'Billy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,' the chief said.

With those words, Billy smiled and said, 'I know, He's Been holding my hand all day.' He closed his eyes one last time.

*This is a true story,one that touched my own heart so, so much



Meredith said...

thanks for making me cry! That was a good story. Thank you for sharing :)

Manners said...

Wow. Lisa thank you for sharing this. Truly humbling and amazing!

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Anonymous said...

Just beautiful. I'm so thankful that Billy is in the arms of Jesus now with no more sickness, pain, or tears.

Thomas Bussiere said...

Just Awesome. BZ to the Phoenix Fire Department for doing “one better”’
With all the bad news from the press / news channels, this is what they should be showing – The good stuff.
And how ironic, I just completed my annual live fire training today for work which we practice extinguishing large fires. Pictures on my site soon.
Thanks Lisa for reminding us just how fragile life can be, and what a difference we can make with a little effort.
God bless,

Joe said...

Hey Lisa, thanks for passing this along for me. When I first received it yesterday, I couldn't stop crying while reading it. It was such a sad story but one that just makes you say "thanks" for all the great people out there. It touched my heart one more time as I read it on your Blog. I'm glad it touched others as well.

Joe "Ultradad"

Lisa B said...

Touched my heart for sure! Thanks for spreading love and caring, Lisa.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. Cried my eyes out, for Billy and for his Mom and Dad too. As a parent, I cannot imagine how much it must hurt to lose your child so very very young.