Friday, March 2, 2018

Meeting Nicole

Robin, Samantha and I were waiting in the foyer of our favorite pizza place tonight, anxious to sink our teeth into some pizza and fries.  The door to the restaurant swung open and three ladies stepped in out of the blustery winds outside.  One in particular hollered out very loudly about the weather outside, almost to a degree that my initial reaction was to feel slightly annoyed.  But then I immediately realized that this was a special young lady.  And at this very moment I met Nicole.

Nicole immediately exclaimed that she was going to a horse show tomorrow!  She wanted to know our names, and she was overjoyed to see pictures on Samantha's Ipad.  Most of all it seemed she just loved the interaction.  In so many ways she reminded me of Tyler.  They both enjoy long car rides, they both enjoy looking at pictures, and they both have times where their speech volumes can peak at pretty high volume.   Best of all, they both seem to enjoy their importance to other people.  They like being liked.

Her Mom was very open about talking with us and sharing a little bit of their story with me.  We were happy to share Tyler's story as well.  As it turns out they are both the same age and live in similar size residential homes.  Its amazing how much we had in common in just a ten minute interaction.  I was very proud of Sam and how well she interacted with Nicole as well.

Once we were seated in a booth, Nicole's family was seated in the booth next to ours.  Every once in a while I'd look up and Nicole would get excited and wave.  She even stopped and sat with me for a moment on the way back from a potty break.  I think I had made a friend for life.

On our way out we stopped to show them a picture of Tyler, and Nicole grabbed my phone and yelled "Oh my..I LOVE him!".  We smiled and talked about that all the way home.

As I've said before, I've gotten to meet so many wonderful special needs families in my travels.  It's comforting to make contact and assure each other that we are not alone out there.  

I can honestly say I will never forget Nicole and her family.  They are the very definition of grace, beauty, and dignity.  I'm proud to have crossed paths with them, and I hope Nicole has the greatest horse show ever.

Be well and God bless.  Tom

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