"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Among Friends

I talk often about the importance of relationships in this life. I've talked about how important I think the word "relationship" is rather than just "friendship". 

You build relationships with people in this life. People you only know for a short time who take root in you. Who become a vital part of your journey. Who connect in a way that there just aren't words for. 

People who, at some point, this life will separate you from but somehow that doesn't matter. It hurts like hell and you say too many "see you soons" but somehow this short period means more than distance.

This post was supposed to be our "family time post". C isn't in harms way. There is no threat of deployment looming for us here. But, still, he is gone more than he is home certain months. At an Army post where nearly every activity is done as "couples" it is so strange to be the one whose husband is not here. It is strange to be in a place where you are the "odd" one because your spouse seems to be "always gone". (He isn't "always gone" but sometimes it sure can seem like he is).  I am grateful that he loves his new job. He has really found "his place". This change was terrifying and difficult and overwhelming and I am so thankful that we both know now that it was the right one. 

This is also the first year juggling the schedule of a kiddo on the Autism spectrum. It's demanding and tiring and humbling. 

In eight short months people have been placed in our lives that have pushed us through. In so many ways, they have walked Eli's path with us. They have seen what Autism is for him - what it is for our family. They were with me days after he was diagnosed. They have encouraged me. They have strengthened me. They have learned with me.

They have quietly waited while Eli and I fought through meltdowns. They have reminded me of my own new mantra of "no apologies" when I automatically apologized for stepping away from a conversation, or moving Eli away from their kiddos, or correcting harm done. 

Women I didn't know a year ago who have loved my children with a fierceness I would never expect.

Today, during a birthday party at a nearby ranch, one of these women convinced me to let Eli ride a horse. Eli, my nonstop, sensory-seeking, will-run-into-walls-for-stimulation kiddo, wanted to ride an animal that could crush him in an instant. "H" promised me she would walk with him, stay right beside him. She nudged me to try something that scared me for him and she promised that it would be okay. The moment Eli was on that horse you could see a change. His entire body went still. He sat there and listened to the trainer (who I later found out is currently undergoing the certification process for equine therapy to work with kiddos on the spectrum) and let her guide his feet into the stirrups. 

As they circled, H stuck right by my little giant as he quietly talked to the horse. I couldn't sit down as I slightly paced and watched his entire demeanor calm. I continually blinked back tears as I watched my good friend praise him and say the same things she has heard me say. I nearly lost it in the very beginning when - as he sat there taking everything in around him - she asked him, "Where are mommy's eyes?" - the very thing we ask when we try to bring him back into our world. 

She knows me. She knows my children. 

No one else there could have known the significance of those few minutes. No one else could know what it took for me to let him go and to give up that control. No one else could know why a three-year-old calmly riding a horse could bring tears to his mother's eyes. 

My dear friend knew and I am so grateful we were able to share in the beauty of that together. 

We build relationships with people rapidly because we have to. Our time together is too short. This life demands so much of us. We need each other. I strongly, strongly believe people are put before us for a reason. That relationships are vital to thriving in this life. That we do not do this alone. 

I am so thankful for those placed before me. I am so thankful to be part of this community.
I am so thankful to know such incredible women. 

Meet Eli, the Little Giant. 
He's pointing at "Mommy's Eyes". So very special. Love you, H.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I'm so glad I found your blog at milblogging.com/ Your writing is so poignant, that you have touched my heart in this single post. My thoughts are with you. You have made a reader out of me.



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