a baby's hug

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?'

Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.'

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'

Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'

I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.' Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

prayer update

My aunt just wrote this in an e-mail. Thanks so much for those of you who have been praying for my cousin.


Last week Thursday we had the Occupational Therapist from Chedoke McMaster come to assess our house for suitability for Jesse to come for visits. Though our house is not completely wheelchair accessible she did not want us to make to many structural changes. She and the Physical Therapist have a very positive outlook for Jesse future. We have 2 ramps and have moved Jesse's room to the main floor and moved a TV & Computer to our main floor also. At this point the bathroom and backyard from our kitchen are the only non accessible areas for him.

The strength in Jesse's left leg is about a 4.5/5 and 2/5 for his right leg. We still do not know how much if any permanent damage was done by the swelling of his spine. We have been given a discharge from Chedoke of December 21/07. What a great Christmas present. At that point he will be going to either Shaver {in St. Catharines} Rehab or to a private Physical Therapist as an out patient.

There hope is that they can have a 1/2 leg brace made for his left leg and a full leg brace for his right made. This will give him sometime out of the wheelchair and sometime in it, when he is tired.

His second round of treatment is scheduled for Dec5th at McMaster. We are still waiting to hear about the MRI. We do have an appointment scheduled with the Neurologist in January.

His first full weekend home was last weekend and he had a full schedule. Friday we had dinner at Maureen and Don Ledwez's house and had our fill of steak {how did they know he loves steak?}. Saturday the family was busy rearranging things in the house. In the evening Jesse's friends picked him up to hangout. Sunday we went to church and went shopping in the States with Tyler and Grace. Came home for pizza and wings a dip in the hot tub before heading back to Chedoke.

Friday we as a family are picking Jesse up and going to Belleville to Cheer on James and the Eden Flyers as they compete in OFSAA Volleyball. We will stay till Saturday night if all goes well.

As quick as we all want the recovery to be this will be a long haul. A month and a half has come and gone. We Praise God that we see improvement and have hope. We know without a doubt that God has an amazing plan for Jesse and still desires to use him to glorify Himself.

Keep praying for healing and that his spirits are uplifted.
Please pray for the family too, as we try to keep it all together. Rudy is now done with his Job up North so he can be working in Niagara and live at home. James and Carly are doing great, however I am sure this is tough on them too. Work has been very busy for me, though they are very understanding, I still feel the need to be actively involved if they are giving me a pay cheque.

We as a family thank you so much for your continued prayers, support, doing our laundry {JUDY!!}, meals {ANNELISA} and all the calls, emails and “what can I do?”.
A special thank you to Ziggy and Harry for becoming us when we had to go to Colorado, it made it that much easier. Marlene for coming with us and Alvin for flying out and driving Jesse's car home with Rudy. Also Rudy's parents for taking so much time and visiting with Jesse when Rudy and I have to work.

As James said, "now I know what FAMILY is all about".

Lenore, Rudy, Jesse, James and Carly

addicted to blogging?

41%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

trick or treat

So, we had 3 little trick-or-treaters come to our door this year. Here's a cute picture of the monkey, lion, fire fighter and farmer's wife that came to our door.