The Miracle of Michael
Murphy Peter (MurphyP@TCE.COM)
Thu, 27 Aug 1998 16:34:00 -0500
On Friday, August 21st, 11-year old Michael Schroeder concluded his
four year battle with cancer. On Sunday afternoon there were long lines
at the funeral home filled with people who came to say goodbye to Michael
and to express their feelings to his parents. The church was packed on
Monday for his funeral Mass. The outpouring was not because such a
young life had been lost. It was because Michael inspired us with the
strength of his courage and character.
For four years, thousands prayed for Michael and his family. We prayed
for a miracle. Maybe the miracle we wanted to see was not granted. But
there were miracles. The first miracle was life itself which is a
gift from our Creator and should be used and enjoyed to the best of our
ability as a way of celebration and thanksgiving for this precious gift.
Michael certainly showed a wonderful example. He loved life and lived
it with zest. He played organized baseball, basketball, soccer, and even
football throughout his illness. Sometime he attended practice while in
pain. The thing that Mikey loved more than sports was making people
laugh. In Scouts we should fill our programs with as much fun and
adventure as possible. Every troop meeting and campout should be fun
and exciting. Because, like Michael, our time on Earth may be short so
we must make the most of the time we have.
His second miracle was the one that amazes me the most. In the many
years that I knew Michael, starting when he was a Cub Scout, every time
I saw him he was smiling and happy. He had good days and bad, but
he never complained. When he was able to attend school, he'd try to
cheer up any classmate that was feeling down. He'd sit with anyone that
was alone during lunch and try to make sure they were included in
playground activities. Our pastor remembered being in his hospital room
after one particularly powerful round of chemotherapy. His mother bent
down and whispered in Mikey's ear "I wish I could take the pain for you".
Michael looked up with an impish grin and gave his mom a dismissive
wave and said, "ah, it's not that bad." The last time I talked with Michael
he was so weak that he was in a wheelchair and had a patch over one
eye due to double vision. He certainly knew that he didn't have long to
live. Yet he was all grins. Michael certainly knew how to be BRAVE and
CHEERFUL. What a world this would be if more of us left person a little
more happy than before we met. We could all follow the example of
spreading cheer and joy instead of complaining about our petty daily
The third miracle was the love that Michael inspired in family, friends,
and strangers. Countless people came to care for and love Michael and
his family through prayer. The power of such a large faith community
is really something. I think few of us will ever generate as much love in
the world as Michael did in his short time here on Earth.
Michael's life, courage, character, and love are an inspiration to all who
knew him or knew of him. God bless you, Michael. And thank God for
blessing us with your presence.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City