by Kent Burress
I want you to do a little bit of role playing. I am going to tell you about a young mother that stayed with us, and while you read it I want you to put yourself in the role of that mom.
About eleven years ago we had a mom from an isolated village in Central America stay with us for a couple of weeks. Her baby girl had a heart condition that would have most likely taken her life by the time she was old enough for kindergarten so mom found her way to Austin for surgery. I wondered at the time how that mom was able to navigate all the hoops and obstacles necessary to get her sick daughter from a tiny remote village in Central America to Austin, Texas – not just the travel, but how was she able to even find the medical care itself. I have to say that after twelve years here at the Ronald McDonald House I no longer wonder about things like that. I recently used the phrase “warrior mother” to describe a parent with a critically ill child. There was no battle that mother wouldn’t fight to get lifesaving care for her baby.
So put on the role of warrior mother. And place yourself traveling from that isolated Central American village to a city in another country where you don’t know the predominate language, don’t know even one person, you have barely enough money to make the trip, you have no place to stay, and you carry with you a critically ill baby girl. You also are holding very tightly to hope and the belief that despite all those things you don’t have, you do have the chance to give your baby girl a long and full life. So warrior on, mother.
Now switch roles. You are one of the thousands of people who make the Ronald McDonald House possible. You provide a place for that mom to stay, food to nourish her, a safe room to rest and pray. You surround her with people who care about her, about her daughter’s progress, other moms and dads who share her hope and belief that her daughter will be okay.
I recall there were no phones in the village where the mother lived. After the daughter’s successful surgery, news about the baby’s condition was telephoned to a radio station about 60 miles from the village, and the good news was broadcast across the radio waves to the family waiting and wondering back in the village. Good news will always find a way.
Now, put yourself back in the role of that mom today – right this very moment. Watching your now teenage daughter continue to grow and learn and play. Remembering with gratitude, those weeks when you were frightened and far from home and family – and someone (that’s you, reader of this blog!) reached out and cared.