By Abigail Sacran
Mondays are my day. My husband, Louis, gives me the day off. I do the grocery shopping (alone and it is glorious); I run errands for my little eBay side hustle; I do whatever I want.
Today, I was at Sam’s, and I noticed a mother who had a son with Down syndrome. I could tell he was a teenager, but I wasn’t certain of his age. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure he had Down syndrome until I noticed he was carrying a harmonica. This isn’t something a typical teenager would do, but it’s so much like my David.
How Making a New Friend Brought Me to Tears
I began to make small talk with the boy and asked about his harmonica. He was absolutely delighted! His delight made me tear up. Not tears of sympathy, but honestly, tears of envy. Oh, what joy! Pure. Simple. Joy. I want that joy.
His mother saw us talking and came over. We stood in the aisle at Sam’s and talked for almost 20 minutes. We talked about our boys, therapy, medical issues, and the challenges of raising a child with special needs.
I stood in the aisle at Sam’s and thought about our Spreading Sunshine community and how much it means to me.
She’s new to our area and moved from Texas because her child was so severely bullied. She longed for a church and a community, and I was able to share with her about both. She blessed me today. Her son, Nehemiah, blessed me today. I stood in the aisle at Sam’s and thought about our Spreading Sunshine community and how much it means to me. Unless you’re a parent of a special needs child you can’t imagine how lonely you can feel. You can have friends, lots of them; but the majority can’t truly understand. Families in our community can truly understand!
Kindness Can Make a Difference
Never underestimate what taking the time to be kind can mean to someone else. It may be a comment on a Facebook post or it may be to a stranger in the aisle at Sam’s.
You never know what a long-term impact you are having. Thank you for being here. Thank you for loving our family. Thank you for coming alongside us and supporting Spreading Sunshine.
3 Ways You Can Bless a Family Facing Pediatric Health Challenges
- Stay consistent.
Long after the initial diagnosis or crisis happens, medical families need your help and support. Take a moment today to check in with someone you know who might be facing the critical or chronic illness of their child. Send a text or give them a call.
- “Buy” them some time.
Medical families are juggling a lot in addition to the everyday tasks we all do: doctor’s visits, at-home caretaking, and surgeries/treatments. Think of ways you can “buy” them some additional time in their days. Send them a meal. Mow their lawn. Pick up their children at school.
- Encourage them.
A big part of our ministry here at Spreading Sunshine is encouragement. Our families are often in a very dark place, and a little encouragement is a huge blessing. It can be as simple as sending a card or dropping off some goodies at their house.