She helped me a few times during my pregnancy and shortly after Anderson was born we met for lunch. She did something unexpected. She wrote us an overly generous check for Anderson’s college fund.
Why? Because she knew we needed it. No, not the money. We needed someone to believe in him, to believe in us as his parents, to believe that our dreams were worth dreaming.
Although our stories were different, she was uniquely qualified to help us at a time when things still looked so uncertain.
That same month we were able to pay it forward to a friend I have only met online. Her son suffers from chronic medical issues. We sent them a check to help make a small dent in the medical bills that were piling up. My friend told me that her husband was in disbelief, “Why did they do this?” he asked. Her response: “Because they get it.”
And she was right.
Stanley said this, “There is a fellowship of suffering—a natural bond between those who have suffered deeply and similarly.”
I’ll be the first to tell you that what we went through pales in comparison to these other friends. But our diagnosis story, our NICU stay and open-heart surgery, have made us uniquely qualified to help other parents walking a difficult road alongside their child.
A preacher once said to me, “I believe people are living in hell all around us.”
Sometimes we live in moments that are a glimpse of hell on earth. But even in the dark, there is light. If we let it, our suffering can be a gift. The gift is the gift of purpose, a purpose that is higher than ourselves.
To Allison, You have no idea what your act of kindness meant to us that day and how it continues to shape how we live our lives today. Thank you so very much.