One thing I used to mourn when I was pregnant with Toby was how different Gracie's life would be. When we first found out we were expecting we were excited for us as a couple, but we were excited for us as a family more. Gracie would have a sibling and being only 15 months apart would seem to have to guarantee closeness. I pictured days of playing, park visiting, running and all kind of things.
After the dreaded diagnosis day I mourned different things and for different people. But man did I mourn for Gracie. I cried and cried about how different her life would be. How she would have to always be second. How his needs to a degree would always come before hers. How long I would be away from her. How much Toby would need me and how much she would have to grow up.
Parts of what I mourned are true. She did grow up faster. She deals with things as Toby's sister other kids dont even think about. (just the other day she got a chunk of hair pulled out because her hair got stuck in tobys braces when they were playing) She doesnt get to play the same way that some of her friends get to play with their brothers and/or sisters. She does have her mommy taken away more often for doctor's appointments, therapists and things. She deals with more stress when mommy and daddy get stressed about something coming up in Toby's life.
Toby is toby and man we love him, but he's not the easiest brother to get a long with.
And their relationship is lots of love with a little hate mixed in.
But I write this post not to share the woes of Gracie's life. I'm sure I havent even tapped the surface of what goes on in her head with everything. But I write this post to share Grace's beauty.
Toby life has made her more beautiful. Toby has allowed Grace to learn unselfishness faster than I could ever teach her. Toby has taught Grace about serving others. Toby has taught Grace patience. Toby has taught Grace the meaning of true love through tough times. Because of Toby Grace is who she is today. Toby has helped shaped Grace. He has helped make her beautiful. Her spirit is one of the most beautiful that I could ever describe. Toby's life has enabled Grace to learn life lessons few adults truly understand.
I look back at my tears for Grace and smile. Yes sometimes the tears still come, yes sometime its hard on her. But there is a smile through those tears now. (which isnt it almost always that way) Grace is beautiful beyond belief not because of her outward.....but because of everything that is within her.
This post came to my mind and these thoughts more clearly than ever before. For the past week we've been buckling down harder on Toby's back brace and leg brace. Well every morning Grace goes straight to his room and takes it off. I've never asked her to, Toby's never asked her to. She just does it. She gets in his bed and without a word starts to unstrap all the straps. She loves her brother and the older she gets the more she understand that things are harder and more difficult in his life. Today I snuck in and took a quick shot of her. I love this girl.
I hope that as you might be in different stages of this journey that you will remember how our children's lives truly make us and the people around us have true beauty.