“My little sister had cancer. Stage 4. The doctors said she would be dead within a few months. She lived another year after they initially said that, but around December 2009 things were looking bad. Her scans were not improving, and the doctors told us we shouldn’t put her Make-A-Wish off any longer. They couldn’t give us a definite answer, it could be 3 months or 3 weeks, and we needed to make whatever time she had left amazing.
Soon the Make A Wish people showed up and started setting up her wish. She asked to go on a cruise with a water slide, since she could never go swimming due to her numerous surgeries. They sent her to Disney instead. It was fun and all but she didn’t enjoy it very much. Especially since someone else (who wasn’t a make a wish kid) stole our spot to take a helicopter ride over Orlando. She got back super bummed about the trip, but overall was happy she got to be Belle, her favorite princess.
A few weeks later my mom decided we were going to find the cheapest cruise to the Bahamas, stay at a cheap hotel across the street from Atlantis, and make her wish come true. On the way back from a hospital admission, we decided to stop at the port and see the ship. The security guard let us through to the nearly empty parking lot when he saw her little bald head. We parked and all lined up for pictures next to a chain link fence with the boat behind it. We realised we were parked in a tow away zone so we moved a few rows back, next to a black super expensive car. We were all happily talking about the boat when the ladies in the car next to us couldn’t get it to start. My dad jumped out and got the jumper cables to jump start their car.
Somehow my mom started talking to the ladies and it came out that they actually OWNED the boat. My mom started rambling on, practically begging, to have a cot added to a room so we didn’t have to buy an extra $200 a night room. My little sister asked if the owner had ever driven the boat.
A week later we got a call; it was the ladies. They wanted to give us a trip to the Bahamas in the biggest suite facing the water. They told us we would be staying in the nicest suite at Atlantis, with a limo ride to and from the hotel. We would all get a chance to drive the boat, take pictures with the captain, have our own butler-like guy to take us around and hang out with us, and all activities would be free. Want your nails done? Perfect, head to the salon. Want to eat at the most classy restaurant on the ship? Come at 7 we’ll have your table ready.
When we got to the fancy restaurant, she was whisked to the kitchen to meet all the chefs, and didn’t come back for almost 30 mins. We never found out what happened when she was back there, but she came back the happiest I had ever seen her. Later on, they brought out this decorated plate of chocolate covered strawberries and cookies, with her name written in icing.
Everything was perfect. They gave us money to buy souvenirs, the room was stocked with snacks and toys. The towels were folded into animals and she thought it was the coolest thing ever. It was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for us.
We were invited back 3 other times and once more to finally spread her ashes into the ocean. I like to think she will always be at peace in the waters near the Bahamas, always remembering the best time of her life when a complete stranger did an extraordinary act of kindness.
She ended up living 2 1/2 years after the first doctors told her she’d be dead in a month. I think that was pretty tough of her, and I’ll always be proud of her and everything she went through. This March will be 6 years since she passed. It’ll be tough knowing she’s been gone longer than she lived, but I know we’ll get through it by remembering the happiest time of our lives we spent in the Bahamas.”Advertising
Compassion can be found in the most unlikely of places. But what unites us all, even in our darkest hours, is hope. “Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.” – Robert H. Schuller
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10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society
Let’s face it. We are living in a digital age, and there is absolutely no turning back. One of the biggest influences on society these days is social media. It affects us both positively and negatively. Social media was originally designed for people to share interesting facets of their lives with their friends, but it has become so much more than what it intended to be. It is now a medium for information to pass around the globe. In many cases, people first learn about current events through Twitter or Facebook before hearing about them from conventional news sources.
We also rely on technology for nearly everything we do. People these days seem as if they can’t go anywhere or do anything without their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. They need to be in constant contact with others via electronic devices.
However, there is also a downside to be too connected to social media and electronic devices. We are too dependent on them, which make us oblivious to what we are doing to ourselves. Being too connected can have a negative effect on our lives and the society as a whole. Here are 10 true illustrations that show how our society is negatively impacted because of the use of technology.
1. Facebook is eating away at your time.
How much time do you usually spend each day on Facebook or other social networking sites? Is it hindering your productivity? Do you find yourself wasting time to a point where you don’t even know where it goes? If the answer is yes, Facebook might have eaten away at your time.
2. We’ve become “Likeaholics.”
When you are posting something on Facebook, are you doing it just to see how many of your friends will give it the proverbial thumbs up? This illustration shows that some people are treating “Likes” on Facebook as if it was a drug they needed to inject into their bloodstreams.
3. Our electronics have priority over our lives.
Given a choice between your dying phone battery or you dying, which will you choose? In this case, the man in this illustration chose to charge his phone over to sustain his own life. As a society, we need to be more careful of our priorities.
4. Our devices are ruining intimacy.
Have you and your loved one ever spent time together where each of you is on your phone instead of communicating face-to-face with each other? Has society reached the point where we can’t even be intimate with each other without being on our phones at the same time?
5. Families aren’t spending quality time together.
Here is a mother making holiday cookies, but what are the kids doing? They are not making cookies with their mother. Instead, every one of them has their faces buried in their own electronic devices. Television used to be what parents use to babysit their kids. Now, it’s a tablet, phone, laptop or video game that does the job.
6. We’d rather record someone than help them.
A lot is happening in this illustration. A black man is drowning and asking for help. One person has a gun pointed at him. The other person has their iPhone pointed at him and is recording the scene, but is not interested to help this man.
7. Society is sleeping, it’s sleeping its life away.
Time is money. After we have wasted the long period of time on social media, we are losing the most valuable currency we have – our time in this world.
8. Despite all the technology we have, we still want what someone else has.
There’s an old saying that goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This illustration shows that despite all that we have, we are still not satisfied with our lives.
9. Sensationalism still sells.
With the information overload that exists today, the media still looks for sensationalism. Here’s a woman who feels she has something important to say, but the media only cares about her because she is naked. Would the news media still have microphones in front of her if she wasn’t standing there topless?
10. In the end, with all of this, we are still killing the planet.
This last illustration argues that despite all of our technological gains, we are still polluting the earth as if we have a virtual gun pointed at Mother Nature. As we build bigger cities and higher technology, how much more damages can we continue to do before putting our lives at risk?
Featured photo credit: Michael Summers via flickr.com