Thursday, July 24, 2008

If I Die Before I Wake...

Amy: I don't wanna die. I've never even been kissed. I've waited my whole to be kissed, and what if I miss it?
Laurie: I tell you what. I promise to kiss you before you die.
~Little Women
I love that Laurie kept his word.

Given only weeks to live, Reece Fleming proposed to his 'special friend' Elleanor Purgslove at a laser tag party.

After she accepted, their parents arranged a make-believe wedding at Reece's home in Mackworth, Derby. He died the next day with his family.

Reece's mother Lorraine Fleming said he told her, "I can go now" after his wish had been granted.


And I love that Reece Fleming's parents understood the importance of certain childhood dreams. At the age of 4, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Four years later, he was losing the battle against cancer. He was given only weeks to live.

His mother and stepfather wanted to help him do everything on his little bucket list. He wanted to marry his sweetheart. And so at 8 years old, he did.

Reece didn't have that great unknown we call tomorrow. But he had a pretty great today.

When I first saw this episode of Touched By An Angel, I sobbed. And while it fails to move me now the way it first did, I'm still touched by this fictional tale of a dying boy with a few simple dreams and a mother who had the courage to make those dreams come true. She finished the song she wrote for him. Even though she knew doing so meant saying goodbye.

I pray that I'll never have to bury a child. But if I must, I hope I can put my pain aside enough to honor the dreams of a precious one without much time.

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