Was going through the newspaper today also, came across a story that just shook me inside completely. It still has me in a weird state of mind. It is 3:45 AM and I am wide awake writing this post. Couldn’t help but share it with a wider audience. An 8-year-old boy named Reece Fleming who was suffering from Leukemia passed away a couple of days back. He was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 4 and it was a couple of back weeks when the doctors told him that he has a few weeks to live. Reece then made a list of things to do before he died. The list included:
- Ride in a Ferrari & Porsche.
- A day at a Fire-Station.
- A pirate-themed party.
He achieved all the three above. But, Reece told his mother that he wasn’t ready to go yet. He had one more wish – Get married to long time school friend – Elleanor. The parents of both children decided to grant his last wish and arranged a make-believe wedding for young Reece. Reece & Elleanor exchanged wedding vows, rings and even got a certificate of marriage.
I cannot even imagine what parents of Reece might be going through when they watched their child getting ‘married’. Their dreams of seeing their child graduate, actually get married, have his own children must have flashed right before them. I seriously CAN-NOT visualize how a parent could have kept rationality and not broken down while watching this. Such is life, fragile & cruel.
If you thought that this was it, here is the kicker, Reece after the wedding told his mother, “Mum, I can go now.” Human courage in an 8-year-old. A toddler making such a strong statement is beyond me. While children older than his age, people thrice his age cling on to materialistic objects and aren’t ready to give up toys and such petty stuff, this 8-year-old has the courage to say that he is ready to give up life. Bravo!
My hearty prayers and wishes to Reece’s parents and a salute to the courage of an 8-year-old. While we involve ourselves in petty day-to-day disputes, these are stories that can really brake you down. Words seem insufficient & incapable to explain what I am feeling right now. This story has moved me to tears – literally.
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This article was published in Mumbai Mirror dated 23rd July 2008.