Last winter while at a friend’s wedding, I found myself seated next to a friend who was having a hard time at work. I tried to steer the conversation in other directions a couple of times in an effort to be sociable, but I could see that even though he didn’t want to talk about work, it was all that would occupy his thoughts.
So I did what anyone would do. I offered to get him a drink from the (open) bar.
“No, thanks,” he shook his head. That’s when I noticed he wasn’t drinking at all. He had given it up recently. I was stumped. What could I offer him to help him enjoy his friend’s wedding?
The next thing that popped into my head wasn’t a practical idea. It was just what was on my mind:
“Would you like to pet a bunny?” I asked him.
He burst out laughing. “I can’t believe you just asked me that!”
I felt slightly embarrassed, but what happened next felt like one of those serendipitous moments that strengthens your faith. I didn’t pull a rabbit out of my purse, but he pulled out his phone and leaned in so I could get a good look at the screen.
“Check this out,” he said, using his thumb to reveal the screensaver: a two second clip of a bunny twitching his nose and taking a slow step-hop. He played it twice more, our smiles increasing with each bunny hop, filling us with calm pleasure as we watched this animal’s simple behavior.
After he re-pocketed the phone, looking a little embarrassed himself, he asked why I had asked him such a question. I explained that just hours before friends of ours had asked me to donate to an organization that was close to their hearts.
From the charity’s website:
“The mission of Lucy's Love Bus is to improve quality of life for children with cancer and life-threatening illness, to support their families, and to mobilize the next generation of cancer activists...Lucy’s Love Bus delivers comfort to children with cancer by paying for integrative therapies that help to balance traditional cancer care and improve the quality of life for a child, such as acupuncture, massage, therapeutic horseback riding, nutritional counseling, Reiki, meditation, art and music therapies...Lucy's Love Bus offers children and their families the love, understanding, and comfort that they need while going through cancer treatment and beyond.”
On the day I donated to Lucy's Love Bus for the first time, they were featuring “Barn Babies,” a pet therapy session involving interacting with puppies, kittens, bunnies, chicks, a goat and a piglet.
This organization was originally birthed in the heart of an 11-year-old girl who succumbed to leukemia just six months later. A donation will help fund supplemental services like those listed above to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. The organization also has a special emergency fund for families connected with the organization who are particularly hurting from circumstances due to the COVID pandemic. Click here to donate to the emergency fund.
You may not be able to pet a bunny today, but you can help a kid with cancer get that much closer to supplemental therapies that can increase the quality of a life under threat of being cut too short. Donate here.
Here you will find a catalog of my writing and reflections.