Monday, July 6, 2015

Angels among us

I was offline for a few days.  Mostly because we had a wicked thunderstorm that took my internet and TV for a tailspin.  TV I don't mind.  You may as well cut my right hand off when it is the internet connection.

Funny how important being online becomes.  Call it an addiction or a very strong desire to be connected.  I'd like to think it is a little bit of both.

The other matter why I was distracted was because of a tragedy that struck my sister.  I've been known to give her a lot of credit for years because she has the patience of a saint and is truly an angel among us.  Both her and her husband.

As a bystander, sister, and family member, it has been amazing to watch how she could be a Foster Mom to special needs children and those nobody else would want to help.  I have to sadly admit that if I were to lend a hand for a child, I would be inclined to help a fully functioning one.  Not my big sis.  She reaches out as a Foster Mom, with her strong religious beliefs to give her strength and her genuine big heart, to help those children that fall into "the system" because of the shortcomings of their natural parents.  She has had kids envelope into her home that had moms that were prostitutes and abused.  She has opened her arms to those that have severe disabilities that are scratched off of anyone looking to adopt a child because they want a brand new baby, like a clean slate, to enter into their homes.  Not my sister.  She didn't debate or reflect on the impact, she just brought them in.

I always admired her and her husband's patience, love and strength to bring a child into their home that was not of their making but to make the most of the child.  It extended beyond them to their own three children who made it a part of their family and brought acceptance into their world.

Over the years there have been some sad situations these children were born to.  They were never sad to my sister or her husband, they were children that needed help.  They opened their arms, gave them their heart and absorbed their needs as their own.

We hear about Foster Parents.  Often it is shocking, rarely is it about the ones that are angels.  My sister is such an angel.  Gifted with children as others are talented building businesses, amassing money, or finding fortune.  She should be rich as a reward for what she has done for these many lost children from lost souls called parents. 

The "system" takes these kids from parents that cannot cope with them.  Whether it is because they have trouble with addictions, poor lifestyles, or simply unable to nurture the child that they brought into the world.  Thank heaven their are angels like my sister who reaches out to bring them into her arms and love them.  Unconditionally. 

Such was the good fortune of a young boy when he was four.  His mother had already four children by different fathers and she was only 24.  Social services decided that she was not fit for this boy and he was put out into the system.  Thankfully, my sister was there.

At four, he was unable to speak or communicate his needs nor accustomed to a loving home.  That changed when he walked into my sister's home.  He learned sign language and his frustrations were minimalized by just being able to express himself.  Eventually he could say a couple of words, only a couple, yet Ma-Ma and Da-Da meant the world.

He had a unique smile and it reached the soul of anyone he shone it on.  He had a goofy, fun personality that even my own kids grew to adore and accept.  Our family knew that a visit from my sister and her family was sure to include him.  It went without saying.

Lucky for me and my children, we learned from him.  Sure he did things that were different - from a boy with special needs.  Certainly, he had a contagious smile that allowed any of us to forget that.  He touched others in a way that extended beyond words.  He tested our boundaries on what is normal.   He taught  us acceptance.

This boy grew and grew.  He was perhaps bigger than many his same age, with a bigger heart than most.  Unfortunately, he started to have seizures.  Often unprovoked, unexpected and without cause.  This was distressing to my sister, but never faltered her love or commitment  to help this boy.

This past week, on the morning of Canada Day, July 1st, my sister was making blueberry pancakes, the boy's favorite.  Oddly, the smell didn't bring him to the kitchen so she asked her husband to go wake him up.  Sadly, he couldn't be woken up.  He had passed away during the night from a seizure.

My sister's heart is broken.  He was the love of her life and every new gesture, sign or smile showed promise.  It was never clear whether he was her angel or she was his.  What was to be was there were two angels among us.