I have a story to tell you. It's kind of a cheesy story, so "bear" with me... :)
Last night when I was getting Derek ready for bed, I remarked that I'd had a rough day and that I was ready to go to bed too.
Derek looked at me and asked, "How come?"
Derek has been asking more questions lately, so this shouldn't have come as a shock to me--but it did. My son wanted to know what was troubling me. It sent shivers down my spine. He'd never asked anything like that before.
And THEN, when I was tucking him into bed, he asked for his bear. So I handed it to him and he looked at me for a moment. Then he got out of bed and selected another bear. He climbed back into bed and gave me the bear, saying, "Here ya go. Mommy. Bear."
I asked him, "Do you want me to have a bear too?"
He said, "Yes! Give hug."
And together we hugged our bears until Derek was asleep.
Why am I telling you this? Because it occurred to me, as Derek was hugging his bear and struggling to keep his eyes open, that if I could go back in time to the day Derek was diagnosed, I would show my former self this exact moment in time. I would comfort that weeping woman, who felt so helpless and afraid, and tell her this story. I would give her hope. Four years ago my son had no words. Four years ago my son didn't know how to show compassion. Four years ago, life was very different.
Today, my heart is full of joy and wonder. As difficult as the journey has been, I would not change a thing, because simple moments like this would not be as miraculous as they are now.
My son gave me his bear last night. But he has given me so much more than that...