“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you,” ~ Matthew 7:7, New Living Translation
Last night in Times Square was glorious. I wasn’t there myself, because I don’t live anywhere near New York City, but I imagine it was. When I saw the above pictures for the first time on my Facebook newsfeed, I was moved to tears. Why? Because finally, finally, FINALLY, someone heard us childhood cancer advocates asking. Someone heard us knocking, and we weren’t even knocking on their door.
The Empire State Building said no to us. They slammed the door repeatedly in our faces. They didn’t do it once, or twice, or even three times. They have refused us for at least two years, bereaved parents, survivors who lost part of their childhood fighting cancer, parents of current warriors scrambling to get the same amount of recognition for their babies as women with breast cancer get in September/October. Yes, stores are already filled up with pink everything. But September is for the babies, the kids who are too small to have a voice themselves. It is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
What happened when the Empire State Building said no? There was bad publicity on both sides. Our side, the side for the kids, was painted as vicious. Really? Anyone who has ever loved a child can tell you that there is absolutely nothing he or she wouldn’t do for said child. Their side was painted as cold and uncaring. What happened? News stations picked up the story. Times Square got wind of it. They stepped up for the kids.
Can you imagine being a parent of a dying child and he says to you, “I am never going to grow up to be anything”?
Tony Stoddard can, because that child was his son Cole. He’s gone now, but Tony can now look up at the sky and say, “You are something, Cole.” Cole and every single child who lost their life to cancer meant something to this world, to their families, to their friends, and even to the strangers who loved them and watched their journey and prayed for them.
This is why we fight. This is why we are getting somewhere. A love like this… it can move mountains! It was love that lit Times Square gold last night. We always say the color of the childhood cancer ribbon is gold because children are more precious than gold.
When I saw those pictures at the top of this post for the first time, I ws moved to tears because all I could think about were the children’s whose faces I see on my newsfeed every single day and all the sweet little ones who are no longer here. This is a victory. There are still miles to go before we rest, but it is something. We are finally getting somewhere. It is the beginning of hope.
Thank you, Times Square, for restoring my faith, OUR faith, in humanity.