By: Gabby Gauruder
Do you believe in coincidences?
As I entered my junior year at MSU this fall, my world had been shaken. I always thought I understood what it would be like for a person to go through a serious illness but it wasn’t until now that I truly realize how hard it is to fight for your life.
It all started with my favorite person in the world, my momma, being diagnosed with cancer. Since the semester started I have been in and out of hospitals trying to be there for her as much as I can. However, with two majors and playing on the women’s soccer team, I have not been able to be there ideally for her physically. You can imagine how hard this can be. Fortunately, by the grace of God there is always a bright side to a negative situation.
Last week my soccer team celebrated the life of our assistant coach’s daughter, Adalin Farnum. It was the four year anniversary to the passing of the nine year olds life. Adie was an amazing light to the world that not only fought cancer since she was five, but fought to make the world a better place through her illness. Adie left her mark on our world by starting “random acts of kindness.” So last week my team performed these acts and we could feel her presence through every one of them. It was amazing to feel like we improved the world in just one week.
The button on the end of my random acts of kindness week was being able to teach some “Courageous kids” with medical illness last Friday night. 4thWall Theatre Company traveled to sing, dance, act, and laugh with a group of some very brave kids. We played our usual games, learned sign language, and performed a play but for some reason this time things felt different. I took a moment to look at all the kids as we learned the dance moves to “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. As I looked at each face I noticed they each had a different story but one thing in common: strength.
Next to me, stood a special little girl with dark short hair. I could tell she had just finished chemo. It only took about 20 seconds for us to realize it was a special friendship in the making. She wanted to hold my hand and dance with me during the song. We talked and laughed together for the remainder of the class. I even got to make a special appearance in the play with her as I was the Queen of Catland and she was the princess. I dreaded every minute I felt tick away as class started to come to an end. I didn’t want to leave my new friend. How do you stay in touch with a child? They don’t have Facebook, or a cell phone… we could both feel the tension in the air as we didn’t want to have to say good bye. Things got silent until my new friends eyes became wide as she shouted “we could be pen pals!” I ate this idea up. Not only do college kids love getting mail, but now I had a way to stay in touch with this special person.
I sat by my friend one last time as her grandma got her things ready. At this moment I don’t know what came over me. I am not one to just start talking about my personal life but it just came out. I looked at her and said “you know, my mom is going through chemo right now, do you have any advice for her?” In that moment this young girl with such a brave soul, took a long pause, and looked at me as if she was saying “don’t worry everything will be alright.” In that moment, I looked at her and saw my mom. Then I saw my coach’s daughter. She smiled as we had another moment of bonding. My friend started to explain the advice I should pass on to my mom, but I couldn’t stop smiling at her. It was like Adalin was right there and I had a peace of knowing my mom is going to be alright. I thank God for this little girl and know that there is no such thing as coincidences.
Everything happens for a reason, and in Gods timing. Adalin chose to make this world a better place, so did my new friend. And for me and my mom, let’s just say I have a feeling everything will be alright. After a whole week of random acts of kindness I am so blessed that through this young girl I got to see the strength Adalin and my mom have.
What I found to be most amazing is at the end of the night I asked the supervisor how old my new friend was. She told me she is nine. Nine… the same age as Adalin when she passed just four years ago that same week. As I walked out to my car that night, the one emotional bone that I have in my body got the best of me. I played over and over in my head, she’s nine…it’s like its Adalin. I shed a tear thinking about how everything just fell into place.
Thank you to my new friend who showed me some of the strength my mom has. I also thank you for showing me Adalin, I know you guys would have been great friends. I challenge all you readers to continue with these random acts of kindness. As I will be donating to Courageous Kids in honor of my mom, Adalin Farnum, and my new nine year old friend.
Thank you 4th wall for making a difference in these kids’ lives, and my own!
For more on Adalin’s story or to learn more about random acts of kindness, please visit http://friendsofadalinfarnum.blogspot.com/