Saturday, October 17, 2009

Who’s going to remember me?

This haunting cry could belong to any of us, surrounded as we are by teeming millions and vast reaches of space and time. But it came from the heart of a 14 year old dying of leukemia. He collapsed before breakfast, was diagnosed at lunch time and dies that evening with no time to prepare his mind for his approaching death.

Hunger for knowledge

Charlie had run away from a dubious foster home when he was nine and lived on the streets for over four years with a group of similarly disadvantaged children. Then in the last few months of his life he had been given the chance of a normal education, which he responded to as if he had been starved of knowledge for years. It even turned out that he had, during his street years managed regular visits to the public library where he had read The Three Musketeers.

The importance of little things

Activities we take for granted became for him miracles of living: he was beside himself with joy at riding a bicycle. He just wanted to be ordinary. The head teacher of his school acknowledged Charlie had seen more evil than everyone in the school put together, but Charlie wasn’t one to indulge in self pity. He gave those who knew him the gift of himself and touched the lives of people who merely had heard his story.

Charlie, you will be remembered.

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