Monday, April 12, 2010

Little Kid, Big Heart...

My best friend Rich has cancer.

Last year I wrote a post called Hockey Heals. It was about a special night we shared together at Madison Square Garden. Right around that time, my daughter had heard me talking to my wife about Rich and his battle.

I explained to her that he was sick and that he had a disease called cancer. She asked a lot of questions but seemed to understand most of what I was telling her.

Every now and then she asks me how Rich is doing. She asks if his cancer is getting better. She asks if it's contagious. She asks about his wife and his little boy. It always seems so random and comes to pass as if we were talking about the weather.

This past Friday, my family and I went to temple for a Friday night family service. It's not something we do often. As a matter of fact, it's not something we do ever. Suffice it to say, we were sitting in the sanctuary when the Rabbi asked the congregation if anyone had someone they would like to pray for this evening. Slowly but surely, hands began to pop up randomly throughout the congregation and names would follow shortly after. I tracked the Rabbi's eyes as they wandered over to our side of the room.

She pointed right in our direction.

Unbeknownst to me, my daughter had raised her hand quietly and without any encouragement.

Rabbi - "Yes?"

7 Year Old - "Rich."

The Rabbi continued on with a nod and a comforting smile.

Nothing can describe the impact that the soft, sweet sound of my daughter's voice had on my heart. I was overcome for a moment and then felt my eyes well up. I placed my hand on my daughter's knee and kissed her head. It was one of the most touching moments of my life.

That night after we put the girls to bed, my wife called me into the dining room to look at something. I wandered over; tired from the long day and the emotional evening.

Wife - "She wanted to show you this."

Out-Numbered - "What is it?"

I looked down at the table and this is what I saw...

I guess my daughter is like me. She thinks about Rich all the time. She worries about him being sick. She worries about his family. It's good to know that a person's age has nothing to do with the size of their heart...

Thanks to everyone, friends and strangers alike, who helped me reach my $5,000 fundraising goal for the Garden of Dreams Foundation. My family and I are moved beyond words from all of your kindness and generosity. I have raised my goal to $10,000. Kindness makes a difference. Please give if you can...

To learn more about the Garden of Dreams foundation or to make a donation, you can click on the widget above or visit my fundraising page at