Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige was a legendary baseball player in the old Negro League who is perhaps best known for saying: “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” Well, anyone who knows me well knows that I don’t spend a whole lot of time looking back. Like most of you, my life is far too hectic on a day-to-day basis to pause and reflect. I’m just trying to keep up.
However, in little more than a month, June 21, Cindy and I will celebrate a milestone anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, I spent hour after hour scanning photos and uploading them to Shutterfly.com. It truly was a labor of love, and the finished product is a photo diary of the past three decades. It’s more than 90 pages, with up to six photos on each page, essentially a chronological look at our lives through pictures.
Rarely do you sit down and spend hours looking back at so many different moments of your life. I would highly recommend that you do it. You don’t need to put it all in one book, just take a moment and take a look back. It’s impossible to catalogue all the emotions that you’ll feel. I felt sad as I saw pictures of my dad, who’s been gone for 22 years now. I laughed out loud at the pictures of Cindy and me dressed up for Halloween parties, and I sat amazed and stared at myself with dark brown hair and a beard that was as black as night. Man, I’m getting old. But the photos that truly stirred my soul were the ones of our children. Knowing what fine young adults they’ve become only allowed me to relish these pictures even more. Fleeting moments captured on film that mean very little at the time, turn out to mean very much years later. From Little League games to dance recitals to trips to Disney, all families live moments like these. Well, almost all families.
See, as I was putting this book together, I came across a treasure trove of pictures from the first couple of Miracle Marathons back in 1998 and 1999. What struck me was how many of those little ones have since passed on. I slowly flipped through those pictures and looked closely at their smiling faces. I can still hear them, and I can still remember some of the things they told us. I can remember one little boy comforting his own Mom as she cried while describing what he was going through. Then, it hit me. How cruel life can be. Here I was, looking back fondly and reminiscing about all those great memories. Memories that, with God’s grace, we continue to make. But life has not been as kind to everyone.
I can’t imagine the pain that losing a child brings. To know that you can never make any new memories with those precious little ones who have passed on. And how about all those parents who deal with catastrophic injuries or congenital defects? The sadness in knowing that no matter how hard you try, you can’t fix it. It’s impossible to understand what families that frequent Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin must go through.
But one group does understand. The compassionate and dedicated caregivers at Children’s Hospital provide a level of expertise and emotional support that is beyond compare. They have dedicated their lives to making life better for sick children and their families. And the Miracle Marathon helps them do that. Children’s Hospital’s biggest fundraiser each and every year is the Dave & Carole Miracle Marathon on ‘KLH. This year, our 60-hour radiothon starts on May 26 and runs through May 28. So take a moment and reflect on all those memories you have made with your family. And don’t ever take that for granted, because in the words of Satchel Paige, “something might be gaining on you.”
Please take a moment and become a member of the Miracle Club. It’s one of the few chances you’ll ever have to truly make a difference.