We all have them.  The longer we live, the more they crop up into our lives…  I am talking about anniversaries for moments we wished had never happened.  As a nation, we have 9/11.  Yet each family has their own sad days of remembrance, too.  For me, it is October 15th.

October 15th is the day my husband and met with the neurologist to discuss why my son was developing in a pace not similar to others.  I already knew in my heart the truth, but that day the words got spoken out loud and written down in medical files.

Years later, it is not as hard of a story as I had thought it would be.  If I could have sat down with God and made a list that day of everything I would want and need for my son, and included things I didn’t know then, but I do know now…  that list would be so long.  Make him young when we learn.  Make him mild.  Make him fiercely emotionally connected to our family, even though I know other families don’t receive that grace.  Put us in California, where the laws are good.  Put us in the school district with a great reputation before we even know we need it.  Give us insurance companies that say ‘Yes.’  Give us the best therapists.  We need super supportive grandparents, financially and emotionally. I need a best friend who is also a psychologist.  Make his sister an extreme extrovert.  Make him my cuddly child.  Make academics easier…  I could go on and on…  making the list of what I want and think I need for my son.

And the truth is that everything I could have ever asked for was answered by God with a ‘Yes.’  I feel guilty and conflicted about writing that, knowing that others have not been so lucky.  All I know is that when much has been given, there is an obligation placed upon you, and I intend to figure out how to fulfill that.

Regardless, October 15th was still a very low point for us.  In the weeks that followed I spent hours on the phone to the insurance company, and re-worked everything that was established in our family rhythm and priorities to make room for our new reality of daily therapy, and constant effort for baby steps.

I could not also spend hours on the phone with my own family, too.  Not because I did not have the time, but because I was tired of crying.  Speaking the words out loud to loving people and hearing them ask compassionate questions and be so very kind with me, was too much for my raw tender heart.  I felt so very alone and isolated in my own struggles.  It seemed no one I knew would have any idea what I was going through.  And often times, their words indicated as much.

And then my brother texted me…  “I have this doctor friend at my work, and she has experience with this in her own family, she could be a resource to us.”

It seems like such a simple text.  Yet, it was the salve on my wounds that I didn’t even know that I needed.

Notice the last word…  ‘us.’  My brother could have written, “She could be a resource to you.”  ‘You’ would have made logical sense.  This is my kid.  This is my burden.  This is my story.  But he wrote, ‘us,’ and he meant it.  My brother intended to stand WITH me.  My son was loved by more than me, and my burdened would be shared by more than me.  In act of true kindness, my brother offered solidarity and ushered in my healing.

Since then ‘us’ has become the sweetest word to me.  It offers promise and hope and it is the power of community to save.  May you have an ‘us,’ and may you, too, offer ‘us’ whenever you can.

  • Jeanine

steve and me

This post is part of a series in which I explore the practical meaning of the life of love God is calling us to.  Directions is the first post that kicks off the series, and Waiting and Wiggle Room (Love is Patient) and Plus One (Love is Kind), follow from there. ‘Us’ is the story of love’s kindness offered to me.  If you want to get notifications about future posts sent to your e-mail so you don’t miss them, then you can subscribe at the side bar or the bottom of the page, depending on the device you are reading on.  Cheers!



1 comment

  1. Leslie Garman January 29, 2016 at 7:59 pm Reply

    Jeanine, I am always moved and challenged by your words. I love your boy and I love you. Thank you.

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