It's so easy to judge people at face value and not realize the hidden battles they struggle with every day. A Nebraska father told how he handled unjustified and cruel comments from a stranger when he was carrying his six-year-old daughter in his arms. Instead of escalating the situation with rage or violence, Brent Gehring acted differently.
Cling to Emma
At the age of seven months, Emma Gehring was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor formed behind her right eye before spreading to the right hemisphere. Life for Brent and Kathryn Gehring was full of tense and emotional moments as they watched her brave little girl undergo multiple chemotherapy treatments.
After spending five years in hospital and going to chemotherapy, Emma could not walk alone. Emma's father, Brent, often helped his daughter move if she did not use her stroller. Life was hard, but Brent and Kathryn were happy that a daughter was alive and fighting her cancer.
To endure a reckless stranger
The Gehring family is from Nebraska, but would travel to Boston for Emma's treatment. One fateful night after eating at Union Oyster House, Brent carried Emma in his arms. From nowhere, a man reluctantly expressed his disapproval. "What the hell are you doing, this is what's going on with kids, let them go."
Brent was surprised by the stranger's hurtful words, but he was not surprised by his anger at the man's disrespect. Emma had taught the Gehring family so much about kindness and patience, so Brent did something incredible. With Emma still in her arms, Brent stepped away inches from the man's face. He said: "… my daughter can not walk and I like to wear her …"
Deeper than the surface
Normally Emma would not feel comfortable with strangers, but she stared into the stranger's eyes as her father told her story. When Brent let the rude man know how his daughter Emma had fought a rarity brain tumor In the last five years, both men were in tears.
Brent could have fired at the man to defend him daughterbut he took the opportunity to open his eyes to someone for his bad judgment. Both men had learned a powerful lesson that day and Emma continues the fight for her life.