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Adam's Story Conclusion
Our journey over the last two years has taught me two things:
   There are far more good people in the world than most of us realize. People who give of themselves so others in less fortunate circumstances have opportunities to forget the bad stuff and just have fun. Just when I think I have seen it all, another good person comes along and does something for Adam that makes me sit back in wonder at their kindness, generosity, selflessness, and more.
   A father could not have a better boy than I do. Every day my love for Adam grows. Every day I am so proud of how he stands up to adversity. Every day he shows us a love, intelligence, understanding, and zest for life that makes me want to put my arms around him and not let go.

I would like to thank everyone who has read Adam's Story. 1999 has gotten even longer than 1998. For those of you who are involved with Adam in some way I hope you enjoyed reading more about him. You have all made a difference in his life.

For those who do not know Adam I hope you find in his story that the world can be a better place than it seems. It is full of wonderful people who rise above and beyond the call of duty for the less fortunate in this world. If Adam's Story serves to inspire one person, if it makes one person smile, if it makes one person appreciate their loved ones more - that is enough for me.

And I have one last thing to add about the most important people in Adam's life for the next several years:

We have seen our share of doctors, from the cold, detached, analytical kind on one end of the spectrum to Dr. Castle at the other end of the spectrum. I am sure some of the cold, detached, and analytical kinds of doctors are also highly respected and have excellent results in the field of medicine. After all, it is the results that count. But if you can get the excellence, as well as the warmth, kindness, and compassion of a Dr. Castle, which would you choose? I guess what it all boils down to, as I write this in December 1999 after 8 months of Adam under Dr. Castle's care, is that we feel we have the best doctor, and human being, taking care of Adam that we could possibly have.

I also have a deep, deep admiration, respect, and love for all the great people in the clinic at the University of Michigan. While there are certainly many success stories with the children, that sustain them in their daily efforts, there must also be stories that have a tragic ending. Another short life ends before it has truly begun. People like Dr. Castle and everyone at the clinic who have the courage, conviction, and dedication to their profession to carry on through the good and the bad, through having a piece of their heart taken by watching another child's life end despite all their efforts, are truly heroes.

They could all "distance" themselves from their patients and still do their jobs. But they don't. That should tell anyone about their character.

I don't know if I could walk down that path day in and day out as they do - knowing that the heartaches will always be just a few steps ahead. Words can't really describe how much I appreciate their efforts, and how much I appreciate all of them being there for Adam. What they give of themselves to children like Adam has a value without equal.

Thank you all:
Dr. Valerie Castle
Nurses Judy, Martha, and Marcia
Child Life Specialists Sheila and Lisa
And all the others at the clinic who are making a difference for our kids every day.


I would like to close with a poem that was recently brought to my attention. It contains a lot of life's little treasures that we may take for granted. I know they have all become extremely precious to me since we began walking down the unknown path forced on an innocent child by cancer:

Parent's Poem
    Mothers, touch your children,
    Fathers, hug them tight,
    Let them know you love them
    morning, noon, and night.

    Put your arms around them,
    hold them near to you,
    Feel the beating of their hearts,
    the life that you made new.

    Roll around the floor with them,
    tease and laugh and play,
    Listen to what they'll tell you,
    they have so much to say.

    Take time to get to know them,
    see the colors in their eyes,
    Appreciate that person
    that deep inside them lies.
    Let them run their fingers through your hair
    and down your face,
    Fill their hearts with words of praise,
    make home their favorite place.

    Cuddle with them on the couch
    and watch a t.v. show,
    Sing with them or share a book
    and help their world to grow.

    Take a walk into the park,
    hold each other's hand,
    Smell the flowers, feed the ducks,
    build castles in the sand.

    Mothers, touch your children,
    Fathers, hug them tight,
    Show them what a gift they are,
    to love them feels so right.

 by Kathie Davis


No matter what the future brings, I am grateful beyond words for the opportunity to be Adam's father.

Please give your children or loved ones an extra hug tonight from Adam.

Sincerely,
Don Rose
Kayleigh visits with Adam at the
University of Michigan Hospital