This morning on Facebook, I read the story of 5-year old Noah Biorkman… how Noah is in the last stages of a 2 1/2 year struggle against Neuroblastoma Cancer, and how this weekend will be Christmas for Noah and his family. The Facebook entries request that Christmas cards be mailed to Noah, as Christmas cards are the one special thing that Noah is truly looking forward to.
I sat at my computer… and began to sob uncontrollably, so moved by the thought of such a brave little boy who has been through so much seeing dozens, hundreds, even thousands of Christmas cards delivered to his home in South Lyon, Michigan. Mail. Cards and notes. Stamps and stickers. Squares and rectangles of love and joy and wishes and blessings. It’s such perfect and simple love… but one that brings with it the joy of helping a little guy. Taking the time to create or select the perfect card and write the perfect note and lick the perfect stamp. Loving hands dropping the card in a mailbox and sending the love from one heart to another. I think it’s the simplicity of the request that so grabbed my heart and my throat… and I began to think of all the simple things in life that bring great big hope.
Thinking of Noah, I began my way to a nearby store to buy my card… but I wanted to stop at Audrey’s first and give her 4 little guys great big hugs. It was early, and the sun was beginning its great ascent over the trees on one of my favorite streets in my town. I noticed how the golden sun enhanced the golden New England leaves and made them even more magnificent. And I thought of Noah. I saw the wind whipping the colorful leaves as they cascaded to earth and then soared toward the sky in one last playful moment… and I thought of Noah. I stopped my car and took my old and worn camera from my pocketbook and snapped a picture. I never wanted to lose this moment of Noah… all golden and windy and perfect.
Then I turned my car up the street to another of my favorite streets in the whole entire world – Love Lane. Love Lane is bordered on both sides with tall and stately oak trees, and it’s the way I go to visit Audrey and her family. I could see the blue sky peeking through the oaks and I remembered, that on hot summer days, Love Lane is where you go for shade… cool, cool shade. Not today. The blue sky peered right in. And I thought of Noah.
Maybe I was looking for something. Something. Because I do believe in angels both in heaven and on earth. And I believe that angels send us wonderful things to see. To see. To remind us of the everlasting life of every creature and the very reason each of us is here. And then I saw something as blue as the sky, only more bright and more bold and more beautiful. It was a lone hydrangea, stretching its blueness way, way up over the top of its Fall leaves… the only summer color left in God’s great cycle. And I thought of Noah. How beautiful. How simple. How perfect. How bright and bold and beautiful one life can be that it touches the hearts of thousands… tens of thousands of people.
HOPE on Love Lane. The HOPE of love and life and courage that one little boy can bring to each of us, to help us on our journeys and remind us that life is strung together moment to moment… moments we can enjoy and moments in which we can help others and moments to stop and reflect on the beauty of life, as long or as short a string of moments we are given.
I will think of Noah each time I see a blue hydrangea for the rest of my life. I will tell the story of Noah and of the blue hydrangea to as many people I know. That blue hydrangea stretching, stretching way, way up… strong and courageous, floating like the longest Tiger home run there ever was, even as the winds come and the earth turns and everything is getting ready to rest.
I wish Noah and his family the greatest Christmas there ever has been in the whole wide world. I wish great joy and laughter and the simple beauty of family. I wish great blessings and miracles. I wish for more Christmas cards that could ever fit into any post office… anywhere… ever.
And I HOPE Noah knows what great and magnificent courage and meaning and love he has brought to total strangers who are strangers no more. God Bless..