I know I was just complaining about being too tired to post much tonight, but I have to share this one story about a very special lady we met on our way home.
Last Friday, we stopped at the mall food court in Redding, CA for lunch. As we were eating, an elderly woman in a motorized wheel chair ordering at one of the counters caught my eye. She was having an animated conversation with the person behind the counter. Jeremy and I finished eating, and fed Evan at the table (btw, this is a new thing for us: we decided that Evan is not eating any more of his meals in the bathroom; we don't want him growing up thinking his g-tube is something to be ashamed of--if it bothers people, then that's just their problem). We all made one last "pit stop" at the restrooms, and I was waiting outside for Jeremy and Evan.
The elderly woman was wheeling towards me--I assumed she was headed for the bathroom so I stepped out of her way. She stopped and started talking to me. I had a very hard time understanding her speech (she had a unilateral facial palsy), but realized she was asking about Evan. She wanted to know his name and how old he was. Jeremy and Evan joined us right about that time. The woman told us her name was Joyce and she was 76 years old. Joyce was born with Cerebral Palsy. She was very proud that she had just graduated from college this past spring--it took her 5 years, but she finished her degree. We told her a little bit about Evan, and how we were just passing through on our way home. Joyce asked if she could pray for Evan (of course we said yes, although I wish now I would have asked her instead to pray for our CHARGE friends Caleb and Reuben). As she left, Joyce said that she saw us with Evan and thought that we looked like people that would be nice to know.
As we drove on that afternoon, I thought about Joyce and about Evan. Because of Evan, I come in contact with people I probably would not have otherwise. I don't want to say that B.E. (before Evan) I wouldn't have talked to Joyce, but I probably would not have had the patience--or the very personal motivation--to really listen to what she had to say. How many 76 year olds graduate from college, let alone someone with so many physical challenges and barriers to communication? How did Joyce know right at that moment we really needed the encouragement and hope that came from her story?