He looked so strong and invincible.
I wanted to reach out to him, to tell him that we had been in the same place but I couldn’t. I couldn’t because I didn’t know what was wrong with him. All I knew was that he was bald. All I knew was that he looked like Felix did a year ago. He was laughing and battling with the waves with such utter joy it was breathtaking. Amongst the throng of surfers and body boarders, he looked liberated.
This is the image of childhood cancer which is often hidden. These children are still kids who, when they get an ounce of opportunity, grab life with two hands and relish every moment. These children will not be defined by their diagnosis. They are still part of a family, part of a community and part of a dream. They still have aspirations and hopes. They still love life.
I don’t know if Felix noticed the boy. I’m hoping he did but in the same way he noticed the lady on the board with red hair or the young lad who was struggling to keep hold of his board in the wind. The boy in the sea to him was just another person.
For me, the boy symbolised so very much. It reminded me of where we were and how far we had come. It made me think about all that we had learned and how we had grown. I was in awe of him and his family who were probably close by, watching carefully as he fought the waves and jumped with joy. I felt proud to observe these small but important and lasting memories being made.
To the boy in the sea, I salute you. You are the epitome of strength and determination; Thank you for sharing your joy and exuberance for us all to enjoy.