Just before Easter, I received a letter, a real, hand-written letter from a gentleman who reads this blog. He is a friend of Mom's and sent the letter through her to me. I've read the letter a couple of times and have needed time to mull it over and consider the contents before acting on it. You see, it is not often that you receive word that you've profoundly impacted someone's life.
This letter shared with me the story of the man's anger at the loss of his special needs brother during his teens and how he carried it with him until this year when he started reading Dementia Be Damned. This letter shared how the posts here helped the gentleman see his brother's life and death is a different light and allowed him to let go of his anger, allowed him to forgive his mother the choices she made and allowed him to breathe again.
When I first approached Mom with the idea of a blog documenting Lyn, her changes and any information we could find on dementia in the intellectually disabled, we both acknowledged a hope that maybe somewhere, sometime the blog would prove useful to someone. What I was thinking was that someone might read our descriptions of the neuro-psych evaluations and feel more comfortable seeking one out. We also hoped, and still do really, that another care provider of a person like my sister would find the blog and feel like there are others in the world who understand what they're seeing and feeling. What I did not anticipate is the love and acceptance we have for Lyn to allow a person to see his own history in a different and transformative light. As a Mom, I hope to raise my children so that I guide them into being good adults. As a foster parent, I hope to calm a fearful heart and provide a place where a child can feel safe enough to begin healing. As a blogger, I hope to share information and stories. This, however, is beyond my hopes.
To say that I am humbled is an understatement. I found myself overwhelmed by his letter and had difficulty accepting that I and this blog could have such an impact on someone. I owe this gentleman a personalized response and needed the time to piece my thoughts together so that I could adequately respond with the depth of my own feelings. They have been examined and sorted and I believe I can now respond in the manner he deserves.
Until he receives my letter, however, I want to publicly extend my thanks for the time, emotion and care he poured into his words. I am honored to have the opportunity to play any role, large or small, in a person finding peace in themselves or with their family. I am touched by his faith and appreciate him sharing his story with me on such a personal level.
To my friend, if I may call you that, know that if we ever have the opportunity to meet in person, I have a hug just for you. Thank you for reaching out and touching my heart.