Today we returned to Greenville, South Carolina for the first time since Toby was 2 months old.
Greenville holds some incredible memories for us. It was where we went to college, where we had our first apartment, first home, first child Gracie was born and where we found out about Toby's diagnosis, gave birth to Toby and spent four long weeks in the hospital with him after birth. This is where people rallied around us, prayed for us and supported us. This will always be considered my home to some degree.
I am reminded of all the incredible people we had in our lives while we were here, some that we still keep in contact with and some that we will most likely never see again. God used so many people in our lives through those months I could not imagine mentioning them all, but I do want to mention a few. I believe that looking back at times like this can truly help us see the goodness of God.
There was Dr. Greig who was the one who first broke the news of Toby's Spina Bifida. He was the "worst case scenerio Dr." The one who pats you on the leg while he tells you how bad it's going to get. He's also the one who lets you cry. He's the Doctor with the big box of tissues in his office. Dr. Greig acted like he had all day long to sit there with us while we cried and tried to soak up all this information. I never felt guilty for cying in his office.
Then there was Jean Brown. She was the head nurse of the Spina Bifida Clinic. She was the one with all the information. She gave you the facts and only the facts. She told you the worst case and the best and then let you know the chances would be you would be right in the middle. She didn't have time for your tears. (not in a bad way) She was there to equip you. To make you into the fighter that you needed to be for your child. She'd let you know everything you needed to know, but not one sentence more. She made me realize that I could take care of Toby and if I had any doubts, well, I just didn't have a choice. There were days when I needed that more than anything else.
Then there was The Blakes. They were the family that didn't beat around the bush. They didn't tiptoe around you at church because they were afraid to upset you. They asked the hard questions and sat their and listened while you gave them all the answers. They were the people that you got to rehearse everything to that the Doctor's had told you. It sunk in a little more to say it aloud. Then they would hug you like there was no tomorrow and pump you full of incredible food before you left their home. They were the listeners. Days when that was all I needed someone to listen.
Then there was Debbie Jones. She was the practical one. The one who gets no glory. Not the one who is holding your hand at church or sitting at the hospital with you. She's the one that sits at home watching your other child and making sure you don't worry about making it to any appointments. I don't know what we would have done with out Debbie. She never once asked for anything in return. She was just always there and always willing. After we got the diagnosis for Toby we went over to her house to pick up Gracie and she never asked a question. She just did her part and kept being willing to do more.
Then there was Larie and Phil. The friends that are once in a lifetime friends. Larie was the everything person. The shoulder to cry on, the practical one, the listener and the fighter. She matched whatever I needed on any and every day. When I was ready to fight, she put on her boxing gloves, when I was ready to cry and not go on, she was crying with me, when I needed someone to take Gracie or go with me an appointment, she was riding in the car or taking Gracie to McDonald's. When I needed to talk everything out, she listened without offering advice. I know that Phil sacraficed a lot of time with his wife through those months. I know he was there to let Larie cry when Larie was got home from crying with me. He was the supporter Larie needed so that she could be the supporter that I needed. I am so thankful that God moved them to Greenville when He did.
Looking back there was so much I needed through that time in my life and it is incredible to look back and see that God filled each and everyone of those needs. It gives me the hope to know that God is going to continue to fill those needs through the coming days, months and years.
I know that if you have a child with special needs there is a list of people you could think of. Maybe you can sit there and list them all out, but my challenge today is to look back and thank the Lord for providing those people for you and maybe even call them up and thank them. Chances are a lot of them had no idea!!