Honorary is more than a name

Last week a chief of police passed away in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Michael Feeney, 10-year-old cancer fighter passed away last Friday after finally succumbing to Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancer of the bone mostly seen in children and young adults. Those diagnosed with this type of cancer usually live for about five years with aggressive treatments as the cancer recurs and is hard to eradicate. Michael was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma four years ago.

He had been chosen to be an Honorary member of the New Jersey town’s police and was also running for a school office in his elementary school. One of his duties as Honorary Chief of Police this year would have included lighting the town Christmas tree this month. His obituary mentioned that he has left his parents and one sister behind.

He was accorded the funeral honors that any member of the police force would have. Officers from out of town came in their dress blues to attend Michael’s funeral. those that were unable to come called and apologized even though no one had expected them to come at all.

In a build up to today in the news I have read different articles about today being ‘Giving Tuesday.’ Today is the day of Michael’s funeral, Tuesday. In the different parts that I looked up it said that he was a ‘great inspiration’ to those around him with his attitude despite the obstacles in his way. He gave a lot in his life, but to me the most important thing he gave was hope. Hope for happiness even if it would seem to others to be fleeting.

This young boy is gone from our mortal coil, but he has left behind great things for those of us who did or did not know him. He might not have been old enough to enter Police Academy but he was a member of their police force and so was treated as such when he passed. It doesn’t matter how old you are and it doesn’t matter what your health is like, you can give a lot to this world just by being the kind of person that you want to be.

Chief Feeney, I salute you.