Sitting here tonight thinking how interesting life is sometimes. I've got bittersweet sentiments about something that took place earlier this evening -- Sorrow and Joy.
Tonight was the annual Christmas party hosted by my son's group home. It is held at a local church, where food and goodies are provided along with genuine, down-to-earth goodheartedness, Santa Claus handing out presents, and Christmas carols sung by young and old alike. Don't tell anyone, but the guitarist is also Santa (affiliated with the home), who changed back into his regular attire. I don't know if and/or how many of the "kids" (My boy is 20) have caught onto this. I'd like to believe they never will.
Year after year the wonderful folks from Adam's group home put on this festive event, their dedication, commitment, and love are evident to all. Families come together to a warm and friendly place where the children can are free to be themselves, their parents so happy about that fact and the knowledge that neither they nor their child are alone.
Adam's aide at school came tonight. I'll call her Diana. She was at our table. I'd not met her before. She was a lovely woman, and Kane and I very much enjoyed talking with her. She was very sweet to my youngest child, who is on the autism spectrum and has an intellectual disability. They talked music, school, likes and dislikes. At one point, when she noticed Alison having a tough time trying to cut her meat, she offered to cut it for her, which Alison greatly appreciated.
After dinner I got up to walk around and mingle a bit. Diana and Kane were chatting at the table. Kane told me when we got home that Diana's husband passed away about a year ago. She told Kane that working with Adam has been the only thing that has gotten her through many of her days. Her face lit up as she talked about the progress she's seen him make and her hopes for his future. She said she felt they had a good connection. That was clearly evident.
All the holidays of 2014 are the first that she's spent without her husband. When Kane expressed his sympathy, she told him, "He's cancer-free now."
Sorrow and joy. Sorrow for this wonderful woman who is grieving the loss of her husband of 26 years. Joy because my son, unbeknownst to him, provided her with purpose and a reason to be happy about the day ahead. Joy, also, because of how Diana has touched my son's life.
When the night was over, we all hugged good-bye and wished each other a Merry Christmas.
I wish I could describe just how deeply this has touched my heart, but I'm at a loss for those words, but I offer up a small prayer:
Thank you, God, for this wonderful woman in my son's life. Please bless her with Your comfort and peace during this very difficult time of grieving, especially as Christmas draws near. Amen.