Monday, January 8, 2018

Wonderful Moments

As a special needs parent I have spent most of my days and nights wishing for peace and comfort.  Perhaps an even more accurate description is to say that I have wished that the winds of bad fortune would shift away from us, harmlessly out to sea.  It seems a never-ending odyssey; either the winds are raging and it takes every ounce of strength to hang on, or the winds are calm and time is spent boarding up for the next storm.  

But amidst all of the turbulence and uncertainty there can be the sweetest and most beautiful of moments.  No matter how rare these moments are, they remind us that we have a very genuine and profound purpose in this life, which is to take care of another person.  Its very easy for us to lose track of that fact I suppose....that we are being given the opportunity to protect and comfort another human being.  

Sunday morning held one such moment for me.  As I have written about in the past, the relationship between Tyler and his sister Sam has rarely been a happy one.  Unfortunately for Sam, Tyler has always had aggression toward small children.  It almost appears that he is afraid of them or is uncomfortable with them because they are small and he doesn't understand them.  Samantha has experienced this reaction toward her ever since she could remember, and it makes her very sad.  We can try explaining it until we are blue in the face, but she still cannot understand why "her brother doesn't like her" as she puts it.  I can imagine that this kind of rejection can be confusing and difficult, especially for a girl as sensitive as Samantha is.

One of the goals for all of us is to somewhat repair the relationship between Tyler and Sam.  Or at least create some form of bridge to allow them to become even a little bit closer.  We have had Tyler buy Sam a few gifts for her, like replacing her IPAD when the screen cracked.  Granted, Tyler had no idea that he bought it, or even what an IPAD is, but having Sam receive it from him made a huge difference to her. 

Another more profound effort has come at church.  As the ending video is being played, the family slips to the back where Tyler is sitting and gets to get hugs and kisses and some very valuable face time with him.  Some days he wants it to be short and sweet, and other days he wants to linger and visit a bit.  For quite some time Sam has not wanted to try to hug Tyler.  She wants to, but she has the fear that he will strike out and do something to upset her.  We would bring them together in a "group hug" basically meaning I would embrace both kids at the same time so Sam would feel protected.  Over the last month Sam has decided that she wants to try and do it on her own.  The results have melted our hearts.  He smiles and wraps his arms around her for the same hug that he gives to everyone else.  You can tell that this means the absolute world to Sam.  


This may be one of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen.  All she has ever hoped for with Tyler is that he be happy and safe.  She wants to be part of that happy world that she wants him to live in.  She feels strongly for him and she simply wants him to understand that she loves him.  She wants him to understand that she accepts him and loves him as her big brother, for exactly who he is.  In this brief moment she gets to do exactly that.

These moments, my friends, are what we truly live for.  There is no denying that the world is incredibly challenging, and for those of us caretaking for a special needs person, it can seem overwhelming, BUT we cannot ever forget that there is always a light that shines its way through that darkness to remind us that love is reason we do what we do.  

Be well and God Bless.    Tom 

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