Happy Friday y’all!!!
I’m taking a little detour from the usual running/training/foodporn posts because I have something really special to share with you.
I don’t often talk about my family outside of Big J and the littles. I don’t talk about that because for the most part there’s a lot of history that I haven’t made peace with. It’s time to work on that a little.
I may have mentioned my baby, little, younger brother in a previous post, but if I haven’t, well, let’s just say that I haven’t been the greatest big sister on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, I love that boy! I always have. I just didn’t always know how to show it. He was born when I was 10. He was born premature and stayed in ICU for several months. He’s been a fighter since the beginning. I remember getting up with him in the mornings to feed him, changing diapers, babysitting, getting him ready for school and eventually driving him to school. I always thought that I was going to be the ‘cool’ big sister and take him everywhere that our parents said he couldn’t or shouldn’t go! Life didn’t work out that way.
I grew up and moved away and left him at home while I followed my own path. Part of me felt like I’d abandoned him, yet part of me knew that he was the strongest of all of us kids and that he’d be just fine.
There are huge gaps of his life that I missed because of demons and dragons I couldn’t or wasn’t willing slay. I can’t change that. During one of those gaps he went and got brave as shit on me! He joined the Army. He signed his name on that blank check for this country, you know the one that says, “I am willing to pay for your freedoms with my very life”
In December of 2009 he was severely injured in Iraq. (I won’t retell the story here. He’s a much better storyteller than I could ever hope to be). The short story is that he ended up having to have one leg amputated but exceeding everyone’s expectations of recovery. He and his beautiful wife have endured pains no young couple should ever have to face, but they’ve done it with such grace and strength. I admire them both for their courage and bravery.
It had been a little over 5 years since I last saw my brother Andy and his wife Ashley. In fact, they weren’t even married the last time I saw them and I’d not met their oldest baby. Not to mention finding out that they have another little one!!!
My aunt messaged me on facebook and sent me a friend suggestion for my brother. I requested and he accepted and we started chatting right away. It was hard to fight back tears just typing back and forth.
It wasn’t more than a couple days when he sent me a text that they were in the area and would I like to come say hello before they headed home. I just happened to be home that day after taking Little J to the doctor. We dropped what we were doing and rushed to meet them.
It was simply amazing to feel like we could just put all the yesterdays in the rear-view and pick up where we left off. I can’t even begin to describe how my heart swells with pride as I’m learning about all of the amazing things Andrew and Ashley are doing! In the midst of dealing with their personal struggles and raising a family, they’re never too busy to reach out to others in need.
I want to encourage you to check out the Houston Amputee Society’s website Andy is a big part of this organization. I’d really appreciate if y’all could help spread the word to help this group keep doing what they’re doing to make all amputees feel a part of a community that loves and supports them.
I don’t know how I can help them, but I do know that I have an amazing group of followers, and that y’all are super creative and can help me come up with ideas on how to raise funds for them.
If you have a fundraising idea, leave a note in the comments section. If you’re so inclined, feel free to make a donation yourself! Every little bit helps and I feel that by reaching out to you all, it’s the very least I can do!