When I started volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, I had no idea what to expect. I pictured a very sad place filled with emotions of hopelessness and sorrow. I pictured a large, quiet house where everyone walked around silently, keeping to themselves. Most of all, I pictured sick children; children who felt so down that they couldn’t even enjoy their youth. However, as I got to know the families of the RMHC, I realized how wrong I was.
The Noori family had been at the house for over a year. Baheer is a 6-year-old from Afghanistan who has Leukemia. However, even on Baheer’s worst days, a smile can be found on his face. Over my time at the house, I had gotten extremely close with Baheer’s family. One day I walked to the front desk and found a note from Baheer. It read, “I hope your days are sunny.” On it he drew a picture of me, his family, and the sun. I sat there holding it and smiling for the longest time.
I am always amazed at the positive attitude Baheer and his family has. Even on his worst days, he never complains about his illness. He never feels bad for himself. I sat staring at the note thinking, “How can a little boy who suffers from Leukemia every day take the time to tell me, who is perfectly healthy, that he hopes my days are sunny?”
The Noori’s are the most loving children you can imagine. They greet me every day with a huge hug and always tell me how much they love me. Even though they were taken from their home and brought to a place where they know no one, they never complain or give up hope. Both parents barely speak English but took the time to learn how to say my name. Mrs. Noori has also cooked dinner for me on multiple occasions just to be nice. Giving back to families like the Noori’s has helped me more than I can ever help them. It showed me how to gain strength from inevitable suffering. Even more, it showed me that watching inevitable suffering makes you appreciate all the little things, like a hand-written note from a 6-year-old boy.
INTENTION: To gain strength from suffering & see happiness in even the most difficult circumstances.
Christie is currently studying to be a Paralegal in New York. Although law is what currently takes up most of her time, writing was her original passion. As a fairly recent college graduate, Christie is just living one day at a time and is eager to see what the future will bring for her. Follow Christie on Twitter with @_christieleigh and Instagram with @_ChristieLeigh.