Seattle, Washington – Brenden Foster spoke, and hundreds answered.
Eleven year old Brenden Foster died this day of Friday, 21 November 2008, but throughout this world he will be remembered always. His darkest hour was his brightest light. This is a story as much of his words as it is of his deeds.
His dying wish was to help the homeless. “They’re probably starving, so give ’em a chance, food and water.” It has become a national movement. He wasn’t afraid to die. He had said that he just wanted to make a difference, before his time came. And he did!
Touched by a young boy with an old soul, kind hearts answered Brenden’s urgings to feed the homeless and took part in KOMO’s Stuff the Truck food drive in honor of Brenden on Thursday.
“They’re probably starving, so give’em a chance,” he had said.
And so many did just that. In these hard financial times, many put their own needs aside to think of Brenden’s last wish.
“I’m so thankful for what I have that I just have to give,” said Joan Riley.
“He’s just a little old man in a child’s body. It’s a shame he has to go early. Very wise young man,” said Karen Blacketer.
Blacketer has little to give these days; she lost her job. But she believes in Brenden’s dream and knows the need is great. So she dug deep in her pocket and gave to those less fortunate.
And she wasn’t alone.
Lines of cars formed at Fred Meyer stores in Federal Way, Bothell and Issaquah. People donated cart after cart of groceries, boxes of food that will stock the shelves at Northwest Harvest and Food Lifeline.
Local businesses jumped in as well. Schwartz Brothers Bakery donated 3,500 muffins.
We didn’t just stuff the truck; we stuffed six and a half. Generous souls helped raise more than $60,000 in cash donations. And along with the donations, many shared smiles and tears while talking about their inspiration, beloved Brenden.
Brenden was once the kid who ran the fastest, climbed the highest and dreamed of becoming a marine photographer. Leukemia took away all those things, but not his dying wish to help others.
Brenden saw TV coverage of the incredible turnout, and his family members said their sick boy was simply overjoyed amid his pain and discomfort.
“He doesn’t have much time….24, 48 hours. Course we never know. That’s up to God,” said his grandmother, Patricia McMorrow.
Brenden’s only 11 but his grandma says he’s at peace with his passing.
“He’s ready. He’s told us that the angels have come three times and he’s ready to go with them,” Pat said.
Leukemia will win this round, but Brenden wants everyone to know this is just the beginning of the good he wants to inspire.
“He tells us that when he’s an angel, he’s going to keep doing the good work,” Pat said.
He was a regular kid, who wanted to become marine photographer. Some time ago had been diagnosed with leukemia. As death was staring him in his face, its others that he was thinking about. The homeless caught Brenden’s heartfelt attention. He had said, “Well, I was getting back from one of my appointments and I saw this big thing full of homeless people and then I thought. I should just get them something.” That the country, even the world responded, he said, “I think that is great. You think that’s great?”
He had one more wish, and that was to sprinkle wildflower seeds to save the bees. He had heard that the bees were dying off. His wish was answered by a retired pilot who asked his flying friends to sprinkle wild flower seeds around the world on Brenden’s behalf.
He spoke with the wisdom of ages. Of that which made him feel sad, he had said was, “When someone gives up.” His advice was, “Follow your dreams. Don’t let anything stop you.” Asked what he thought the best things in life are, he said, “Just having one.”
If we can learn anything in this life, we can be inspired to do so by this young man.
Three years ago, doctors diagnosed Brenden with leukemia. His body may have been held back but his spirit excelled far beyond the dreams of most of us. On death, “It happens. It’s natural,” He said.
“I should be gone in a week or so”, he had said. “I had a great time. And until my time comes, I’m going to keep having a great time,” he said. I heard that he saw angels coming for him three times in the night before he left us. Then Brenden took his darkest hour and turned it into the brightest of light that truly can inspire the world.
God bless his little soul.
We all should remember Brenden this holiday season (and always) by thinking of the less fortunate. Give to you local food bank or shelter and help others in need.