August 04, 2014

The Part that I Love

There are a lot of painful pieces to this unexpected special journey we are on - physical, emotion and mental.  Perhaps those pieces are what people see when they meet or learn about Bridger and say, "Oh, I'm so sorry."

There is truly nothing to be sorry about.  If they knew of the other pieces that make up the puzzle they wouldn't offer their condolences.  This other pieces of this special life include an acute lesson in compassion, in long suffering, in humanity and priorities - and for that, I wouldn't trade this journey for the world.  In fact, it is such an amazing experience that I am surprised more people aren't lining up behind me to take part.

It is an exclusive and tight club we have here in the world of Special.  I have wonderful people that stand beside me - those other beautiful mothers and fathers of children with special needs. 

But there are wonderful people that are lining up behind us to take part.

That is the part that I love.

Those people are the amazing teachers, beautiful neighbors and friends, kind volunteers or employees of organizations serving those with special needs.  I respect, admire and cherish those people and hold them in the highest esteem because they are part of this journey by their own election.

Most of those people I have the opportunity to meet, to thank in person and to stand beside as we learn these great lessons together.  Technology has also allowed Bridger's love to be shared beyond our immediate circles.

One such connection has been through the IRun4 organization that connects runners who want to be connected with a buddy with special needs.  It is a relationship that allows runners to share their gift of mobility with those who can't run.  It provides mental and emotional encouragment to both runner and honorary runner.  They dedicate the miles that they run to their special buddy and spread awareness about those with disabilities and their various syndromes.

Runners are often on the wait list for months and months as they eagerly await their match. I signed Bridger up for the program last year and he was immediately matched with a beautiful runner, Amy. She is a kindergarten teacher - which was so fitting as Bridger was in kindergarten at the time.  She has a heart full of love to give Bridger.  Thoughts of him inspire and motivate her on her arduous runs.

The long distance, Facebook-based relationship became a little more real this week as our cross country adventure allowed our paths to intersect.  We mapped our travels to navigate an interstate in Iowa that ran right past her home town and we arranged a surprise meeting a local ice cream shop.  It was the highlight of our trip to see Bridger and his runner share their first hug!

That is also the part that I love - watching Bridger share his love with others.  Once you taste it, you will never be the same.

What a joy to see our wonderful runner face to face!  I am so blessed by those who stand with me in this journey, and think the blessing to be mutual as they take part in something special.

I went to bed that night with a full heart.  It was full of gratitude as I was thinking of Amy and all of the other wonderful, amazing and beautiful people that I would have never have met if not for a special little boy named Bridger.

That is truly the part of this journey that I love.