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Gratitude

At one time after being rained on I fell ill and I had to be hospitalized. In the hospital, I shared the same room with a 12-year-old boy who as I later learned was suffering from advanced Leukemia. On my first day, I had a fever which made me really uncomfortable and I was in no mood of chatting. However, as I was getting ready to close my eyes and contemplate the boring days I had to stay in hospital the boy approached my bed and asked me my name. At first, I was angry for being bothered but when I turned to look at the boy's face, I was stricken by the amount of pain drawn all over his face. His hair had fallen due to the medication that he was taking and I felt very sorry for him. However, as we talked more and more I realized how the boy was full of spirits although he knew that he did not have very long time to live. His spirits were a complete contrast to the situation that he was in. He described to me how he had discovered that he had Leukemia and how grief struck his family had been. He even told me he had overheard the doctor tell his mother that he had less than six months to live. I asked whether he was afraid of dying and he told me he was that the saddest thing for him would be to know that he would leave his mother mourning. He told me that before falling ill he used to love to skate and paint but since he did not have the strength to skate anymore he would paint. I saw the few paintings he had done and I was amazed. One was depicting a scene where he had gone skating with his mother and they all looked happy. He told me that he did that painting so that his mother would always remember the happy moments they had shared together. I was so touched by the boy's story and the fact that he still cared about his mother even when he was in so much pain. The boy was still very young but was emotionally very mature and strong. After being released from the hospital I went to visit the boy until one afternoon I found his bed empty and I was informed that he had passed on. I was amazed that during our short friendship the boy had done a painting and had instructed the doctor to give it to me. I cried a lot but then when I remember what he had told me about remembering the happy moments I drew strength from his words. I learned that if a dying boy can have something good to give then everybody should always have something to give.