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Photo license: © All rights reserved
This photo is a tribute to a little girl I met when I was working at a children's hospital. Her name was Shelby and she had a disease that badly scarred her lungs.
She spent the last year of her 5 years in the hospital and we became very good friends. She was funny beyond her young age, which is probably why I loved her so much. I spent a lot of nights just rubbing her back while she struggled to breathe. At a certain point, beyond comforting measures, there wasn't anything treatment could do for her. She had the lungs of a lifelong smoker because of her illness.
Shortly before she died she whispered into my ear that I was her favorite. I told her she was my favorite too. There is a line in the book Tuesdays with Morrie that says,"Death ends a life, not a relationship." I know she is still with me.
I was in Cambodia when I saw the girl in the photo and I had that split-second thought of, there's Shelby. She looked a lot like her, and I remembered that after Shelby died I told myself I would see the world for her. This little girl made me remember that.
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