More than a Gift

I really don't think he knows what he did.

This man. The leader of the children's youth group at our new church.

He did it.

He made me cry.

Tonight as we sat in mass Seraphina seemed to be making it through. I had hope as I sat back peacefully and felt this overwhelming warmth come over me. I thought this was the mass that we would be together, a family. We sat in the second to last row. The woman across from me was older, she looked over.

I braced myself.

She smiled.

I held Serrie and for the first 15 minutes she flourished. Then she got a little squirmy. I looked at Colin and asked for her snack. He didn't bring one. I asked for her cup. No cup.

I took her out making a bit of noise.

We sat in the Narthex.

A woman sat next to me.

I apologized. She looked at me with warmth and said, "I have 4 kids, its okay".

It IS okay. This little girl is God's girl. She's just here to teach me to be a better mom, to teach my husband to be a better father and to teach my kids to be better adults. She was okay.

I distracted her. She had a pen. Paper. She doodled. Then she stopped and squealed again.

My neighbor (and I hope she doesn't mind), friend, looked back. She asked if I needed help. I didn't. This was life. This was our life. This was Seraphina.

She ran down the hall. She asked for water. She told the fountain "hello beautiful silver thing" and then it happened.

He walked in. He was the youth group leader. He had a stuffed Peppa. He handed it to her. A gift. I wondered why? She sat. She brushed Peppa's teeth. She kissed Peppa. She looked at her shoes and told me they were beautiful. She showed me her shoes. She showed me Peppa's legs. She showed me her legs.

Then it was time for Youth Group Game Night. As we left I tried to return Peppa. It was for her. A gift. Why? He noticed she liked it at the last movie night. Really? He barely knows her and here he is giving her a gift.

We rode home with her snuggling Peppa. We arrived and she took Peppa in. She danced to music and sang with Peppa and then she was able to rest.

What he didn't know is what he did. He erased the feelings of pain of others not accepting her at our former Parish. He showed me that he and his family accepted her, disability and all. He made me believe that so many in this world want what is best for more than their own children but for others. 

I don't know the man who gave her this gift well but he didn't just give her a gift. He gave me a gift too. He gave me the reminder that I am not alone and that others will love her even if she screeches, even if she's not typical, even if she can't sit through mass and that gift is more than any toy, its peace of mind, its acceptance and its love. Thank you Kevin for living love. How blessed we are to be in your presence.


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