Some of you might be aware from reading these blogs that during the holiday season I donated money to a few charities. One of which happened to be the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Now due to my generous donation of not-really-that-much, I get emails from them stating a few scenarios that donations like mine have gone towards and essentially the email is asking me to donate again. Spam, if you will. I don’t so much care about them filling up my inbox, as much as I read a few of the wishes that contributions like mine helped to achieve, and well, I’m kind of concerned about the quality of the wishes these kids have for what is essentially one of the last great memories of their life.
Because I can’t remember the details of all the other ones I’ve been sent, I’ll use the most recent as an example.
Cesar is a sports fanatic, especially when it comes to baseball. He has all the gear to support his favorite team, the L.A. Dodgers along with his favorite player, Hanley Ramirez, whose jersey he wears with pride. When his wish day arrives, Cesar and his family, dressed in their Dodger attire, ride in a limo to Dodger Stadium where the excitement starts. Cesar is in awe as his brother pushes Cesar’s wheelchair toward the first glimpse of Dodger Stadium..and that is only the beginning.
The emotions are indescribable as Cesar meets the L.A. Dodgers and their managing staff during batting practice, but his excitement is at an all-time high when he meets Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez talks with him and signs his jersey and a baseball while other players join in and come to meet Cesar. “It was quite the scene, just full of love for Cesar” says his mother. At the game, just when Cesar doesn’t think it could get any better, he is put on the big screen where his smile lights up Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers win the game but it is Cesar who is the ultimate winner.
Now granted, this is certainly one hell of an experience for a 14 year old boy. And I accept that this kid might just really really really be into baseball. If that’s the case, that’s great kid, do you. But its odd that most of the ones I’ve seen have been kids just wanting to meet some famous sports personality or team. Is that REALLY the last thing you’re looking forward to in your life before you potentially cross over?
Call me weird, cause I am, but it seems to me like there is a serious lack of adventure in some of these kids lives. Where’s the kid that wants to jump out of a plane before he dies? Where’s the kid that wants to go scuba dive with sharks? Where are the kids that have a drive to taste life before they die? Not the ones who have settled into their terminal existence already and the riskiest thing they do is be an LA Dodgers fan, but the ones that are looking for the thrill of life one more good time so they can be at peace.
I understand there are probably certain liabilities with the wishes, and it would be a fiasco if a kid got his face bit off by a great white while he was on a trip paid for in donations, but shit, at least he would have gone down doing what he had dreamed of doing, instead of lying in a hospital bed waiting for the clock to tick his final few seconds. Hell, I would even be so inclined to donate if the kid admitted he just wanted to get laid before he died. I’d chip in on a hooker for him, just so long as he manned up and admitted that was what would put him at peace. Obviously there’d be a plethora of legal issues there, but you get my point. If the best memory that you want to take to the grave is spending your day with a bunch of people who’s yearly salary could probably cover your entire hospital expense (but they won’t) then go ahead, but consider that there are things out there that would make way better memories. There are things out there that will remind you that life holds greater value than the images shown to you on a box in your living room.
So I say to you, one and all, do what you love, love what you do, and above all else, go live life while you can.