by Anniel 9/20/16
A Tribute to Ronald McDonald House Charities
“He’s coming! Ronald,
Ronald McDonald is coming!”
Word spreads rapidly through the
House, and all our children who are able,
Eyes brightened by joy,
Come as quickly as they can.
A burst of red and yellow, big, red hair,
big red nose and mouth, the quick patter of big, red shoes,
and he’s HERE – Eyes breaking through
illness into essential health as
the children laugh and clap –
“Who wants their picture taken with Ronald?”
The children retreat into silence and quick indrawn
breathing as shyness sets in.
“Me!” I hear my own grown-up voice say,
“Me, I want my picture with Ronald!”
Out comes a long arm and I am
scooped into an embrace, while a red, round,
plastic thing is placed on my nose.
“You have to be a clown, too.” He whispers as the camera flashes.
Then little voices begin to shout, “Me!
Me, I want a picture! I want a red nose!”
And the children (whole for awhile) flock.
* * *
Home again. Grandchildren, who
have known much of our sorrow, playing
on the floor – I open a large
envelope and find – two big, red noses
gleaming from a photograph,
Me – and Ronald, and a new red plastic nose.
“Boys,” I begin to tease, “I forgot to tell you
something important. When we were last in
Chicago, I graduated from Clown School.”
Ałec, snorting, eyes rolling: “Sure, Grandma!”
Daniel, certain, eyes narrowing: “No, you didn’t.”
Ethan, shocked: “Did you really?”
“I really did, and” (flashing photo before them)
“Ronald McDonald – HIMSELF- (reaching
into pocket, placing round, red plastic thing)
“gave me my nose!”
All eyes – flabbergasted.
Somewhere in life, when their griefs come,
may these children remember
that, just for a little while,
Ronald McDonald, HIMSELF,
helped Grandma learn to laugh again.
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