Life Lessons From Unexpected Places

editorial-logo3This past week, I had the opportunity to meet a very brave young man named Wyatt Crippen and his parents. Wyatt is a student at Mt. Horeb Elementary School and he is facing his third brain surgery for his second brain tumor. I have to admit that this was a hard story to do and I dreaded the scheduled interview, not knowing what to expect. It is easy to report on the political machine, to watch politicians and report on their votes and deeds. Sometimes it is even easy to get caught up in the political mess that we often find ourselves wading in. It is not easy to face a little boy and his parents as they navigate their way through illness, indecision and financial devastation. I was expecting something tragic and what I found was a boy with a serious medical condition that has a serious zest for life and his parents, who could have been frozen with fear, putting one step in front of the other and facing this challenge head on. I feared that I would look at Wyatt Crippen and want to cry for his situation and instead I found myself laughing with him as he talked about his dog. He showed me his Karate gear and explained that he had to give up the beloved sport due to the risk of head injury but he wasn’t melancholy and quickly moved on to the things that he can still do and does very well, like building Legos and playing games. His father gave the majority of the interview, as his mother was still at work, and though he was clearly worried about his son, it was apparent that this family is taking charge of their situation. They are collecting information and will make an informed decision, leaving what cannot be controlled to faith.

What I learned this week is that tragic circumstances do not translate to a tragic life and up hill battles are the same as walking on flat ground-they require putting one foot in front of the other. And though it is certainly more difficult to climb uphill, sometimes it is just a matter of stamina and having a goal worth reaching for. Wyatt has a facebook page that has more than 20,000 friends and counting. Most have never met Wyatt or his parents and most never will. They are sharing this journey through the connection of compassion, empathy, sympathy and faith. They consider themselves warriors and have even garnered the name Warriors for Wyatt. As young Wyatt and his parents charge into battle against this foe for the third time, I hope that they have a defining victory. As for me, I have learned that sometimes life lessons come from unexpected places-even nine year old Lego kings.

Source: K. Depew, News Director