What an incredible day! March 2nd is Read Across America day and I was so blessed to be picked as an Honorary Chair. When they had asked me what school I would like to read at, I originally mentioned the elementary school that was a part of the high school that I graduated from, but since it's a private school, Sheri Miyamoto from CTA said she had something in the works and would tell me once things were finalized, but she thought that I would like it.
When we finally got together to meet and share a meal, she told me I would be reading for the Loma Linda University Children's Hospital. I can't even begin to tell you the emotions that I felt, but the tears were in my eyes and I couldn't have been happier with the choice and where I would be reading "Armadilly Chili".
One of the coolest things about reading here was all the ties that I have to this hospital and community. Basically my entire family has some major connections to the hospital so, this was THE perfect choice!
We all experience so many things in life, but there are very few things that can make such a strong impact. Today was one of those days and seeing all those sweet faces, many with just big smiles, others filled with the pain they were experiencing at that moment...but overall just beautiful faces. There were definitely moments where I couldn't hold back my feelings, where I felt completely overwhelmed with sadness because I knew that some of them were very sick and I just wish that I could take away their illnesses so they could go outside and play like other healthy kids.
I had video of the reading, but it go cut off!! I know! WTH!!! I was devastated when I found it the memory was full! But, I will still post it when I get it all fixed up...but till then, here are some pictures of my reading partner, Vice President of CTA (California Teachers Association) Dean V. I can't even begin to tell you how much fun I had reading with Dean.
I couldn't get pictures of all the kids...privacy stuff...you guys understand...but here are some of the great kids that I did get to take a picture with.
Aileen - just a sweetheart...sat in the front and listened. When I asked who like Hannah Montana, no one raised their hands, but she ended up picking a H.M. book to read.
Amanda - she was so quiet throughout the whole reading and didn't crack one smile, so I wasn't sure if she wasn't feeling well, but when we took our picture she melted my heart when she quietly asked me if she could get a copy of our picture. I hope that I brought a little joy into her day.
Deven - was so pleasant and just sat quietly in the back
listening to our reading. He is tall and ripped!
Jonathan - loves playing Wii and Super Mario Bros.
we have much so much in common!
Mariela - is a fellow meat lover like me!! woo hoo!
And loves pepperoni pizzas too! We will get along just fine. =)
Patricia - sweet and quiet, listened and has a great dimple!
Rozella - was loving her new book about wild horses
and definitely has the same spunk like a wild horse!
Incredible smile and enthusiasm.
Rodrigo - he had the most amazing eyelashes! So sweet and had such a handsome little dimple too!
I hope that I can come back every year to read to the wonderful kids at the LLU Children's Hospital. I can't tell you how much they each touched my heart and it is my wish that each of them will be healed and will live a very long life. Just sitting here writing this and thinking about each child, some with oxygen tanks, others with the I.V. machines in tow, some in wheelchairs...I can't help but cry. I want so much to take away their pain, but they are in amazing hands...all of the doctors, nurses and entire staff love these kids and you can just see it. They are all in my prayers and I hope to see them all one day soon.
Thank you Sheri for picking me...for finding me on Twitter and for asking me. Thank you Joanna for letting us come to the hospital and share such a fun book with these kids. I hope that we were able to bring a little bit of sunshine into their day, I know that they definitely brought a ton of sunshine into mine.
For more information about CTA and LLUCH please go to the links below: