“Bopsy”

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Bopsy 

The 26-year-old mother stared down at her son who was dying of 

terminal leukemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also 

had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent she wanted her 

son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer 

possible. The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's 

dreams to come true. 

She took her son's hand and asked, "Bopsy, did you ever think about 

what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you ever dream and 

wish about what you would do with your life?" 

"Mommy, I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up." 

Mom smiled back and said, "Let's see if we can make your wish come 

true." Later that day she went to her local fire department in Phoenix, 

Arizona, where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as 

Phoenix. She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be 

possible to give her six-year-old son a ride around the block on a fire 

engine. 

Fireman Bob said, "Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your 

son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an 

honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire 

station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! 

And, if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform made for 

him, with a real fire hat — not a toy one — with the emblem of the 

Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber 

boots. They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix, so we can get 

them fast." 

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Bopsy, dressed him in his fire 

uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and 

ladder truck. Bopsy got to sit up on the back of the truck and help steer 

it back to the fire station. He was in heaven. 

There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Bopsy got to go out 

on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the paramedics' 

van and even the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local 

news program. 

Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was 

lavished upon him, so deeply touched Bopsy that he lived three months 

longer than any doctor thought possible. 



One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head 
nurse, who believed in the Hospice concept that no one should die 
alone, began to call the family members to the hospital. Then she 
remembered the day Bopsy had spent as a fireman, so she called the fire 
chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to 
the hospital to be with Bopsy as he made his transition. The chief 
replied, "We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes. Will 
you please do me a favor? When you hear the sirens screaming and see 
the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is 
not a fire? It's just the fire department coming to see one of its finest 
members one more time. And will you open the window to his room? 
Thanks." 

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital, 
extended its ladder up to Bopsy's third floor open window and 14 
firemen and two fire-women climbed up the ladder into Bopsy's room. 
With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told 
him how much they loved him. 

With his dying breath, Bopsy looked up at the fire chief and said, 
"Chief, am I really a fireman now?" 
"Bopsy, you are," the chief said. 
With those words, Bopsy smiled and closed his eyes for the last time. 

Jack Canfield and Mark V. Hansen ( Chicken Soup for the Soul)

In response to the weekly photo challenge: Tiny

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