I have decided I have a career in radio! After dropping the kids off at school this morning and claiming control over the dial I tuned into my favorite morning dose of country music on The Highway where Dolly Parton was giving an interview. As I listened to her I convinced myself I was every bit as good on the radio as she was! I grabbed for my phone and played back my interview from late last week comparing notes to Dolly’s interview and decided I could definitely commit to future interviews without thinking twice! Okay, lets come on back to reality!! Who am I kidding comparing my mad radio interview skills to the legendary Dolly Parton?!
Have you ever witnessed a miracle? I mean a true modern day miracle that you know could only come from the Hands of God Himself? It’s something we all want to see for ourselves; something we want to be a part of in some way. It’s a sign that God is truly in control, that there is still hope for this crazy world we find ourselves tangled up in. For the last fourteen years I have been living with exactly that. Elizabeth’s story is powerful, her life has been a series of miracles that over the last few days I had the privilege to hear similar stories from other parents and realized there are miracles happening around me every single day.
You may remember me sharing with you an organization I have found myself completely dedicated to these days. Circle of Friends is a non-profit that raises money for our new campus of Arkansas Children’s Hospital being built right here in Northwest Arkansas. Full of many faces, all with their own reasons for wanting to be a part of a hospital that is going to fuel everyday miracles in our backyard. Hosting several fundraisers throughout the year, we kicked off our Miracles and Magic Radiothon last week; which is when I began comparing my on air voice to the famous on Highway 56! Circle of Friends spent months preparing for 48 hours of miraculous stories that would bring in $53,684 going directly to Arkansas Children’s Northwest. I was so very humbled to be a part of these 2 days, not just in sharing Elizabeth’s story but having the privilege to meet so many other parents who have been touched by the mission of Children’s.
After my brother died I remember my mom and dad meeting other parents whose children had tragically passed away and they would talk about how they were instantly bonded; somehow now part of a family that understood the heartache. I’m not sure I really understood this until I had Elizabeth and began to meet other parents who had spent time at ACH. Stories were shared, some with the happiest of endings and then those like Elizabeth who had come to accept that this amazing hospital was going to be part of their every single day life. It doesn’t matter if you spent one night or 100 nights, we all share that feeling of pure helplessness; the fear of what next and not knowing if there is anyone else out there that could possibly have those same feelings.
I have a thousand Elizabeth stories; 14 years will give you more adventures than you could ever imagine! Having to choose just one or two was an almost impossible task. How do you take the hundreds and hundreds of appointments, surgeries and hospital stays and tell one 6 minute story? As much as this was about sharing Elizabeth’s story it was so much more about telling our Arkansas Children’s Hospital story. This was going to be easy …. this hospital has saved her life more times than I care to count. Elizabeth’s beautiful face hangs in those hallways where I once sat waiting for a nurse to open the door to a life so different than I imagined would be. There is a staff that reaches far beyond the doctors and nurses that embrace you, allow you to show every emotion and stand beside you with their hand on yours as if they were going through it right along with you. When you walk through those doors you are not just a patient, you are family and now look what you all have done who have given so generously …. you are giving us the opportunity to be home and for that I would simply like to say thank you.