Ronald McDonald House
By Kathy Murphy
My husband Warren and I arrived in Hawaii from Guam with our son Davee on October 15, 2000. Although there had been a room available at the Ronald McDonald House when we first landed, we didn’t move in until October 28. Davee at first was reluctant to stay there because he was a very private person and didn’t know what to expect. At the age of 18 and sick with cancer, Davee felt the last thing he wanted was to be around people other than his family.
The volunteers were just great. Not only cooking for the families from time to time, but also spending time with the children. I saw a great number of caring people helping families in their time of greatest need, and letting them know that they are not alone. I saw families reaching out to other families, helping one another even if it was to just lend a listening ear. Of course, everyone at Ronald McDonald House welcomed our other two sons, Ricky and Coyce, when they came out to join us because Davee's condition had worsened.
By then it was December and there were many activities going on, with Christmas just around the corner. The children were all entertained with the daily activities.
On Christmas morning, all the children in the house received a big bag full of gifts donated by the community and put together by the Ronald McDonald House volunteers and staff. I shall treasure that Christmas forever, watching the boys opening their gifts with great excitement and eagerness.
Davee was like a little kid again, with a big smile on his face, and eyes wide open, anxiously tearing the wrapping paper to see what he got for Christmas. It was so heartfelt for us to see such joy in our son’s face.
After the holidays, our youngest son, Coyce had to go back to school. Again the staff was very helpful, getting him enrolled and getting him to and from school daily.
After several months of being in and out of the hospital, Davee’s condition took a turn for the worse. The doctors could do no more for him, he was dying and it was only a matter of time. He was sent to the hospice, where they took good care of the pain he was suffering from.
The staff was still more caring and loving in understanding our needs. By allowing us to remain at the Ronald McDonald House, they helped us more than they can ever imagine. (Thank you!)
Davee stayed at the hospice and we commuted back and forth, from the hospice to the Ronald McDonald House, so we could shower, change, and cook our meals. We wanted to spend as much time with Davee as possible before he left us.
Davee passed away on March 13, 2001. We had a memorial service for Davee at the church we attended while we stayed in Hawaii. Some of the family members, some of the volunteers, and all of the staff members were there to support us in our time of bereavement.
In the nearly six months that we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House, we the Murphy family, would like to say, thank you and that we love you, to all the staff members and volunteers for your loving kindness!! §
Here is a poem I wrote before Davee passed away that I would like to share with all….
Life may be shorter than we know, embrace it in the moment.
For the moment may be gone and all we have are memories to hold on.
Memories of the lives, whom we love and treasure in our minds and long for in our hearts
But, the love we have for them never departs
And the sadness can be put behind with time
So trust in the lord
Let him be your guide
And he will never leave Your side