Rich in Friends

We have never had to suffer the isolation that often accompanies an injury like Abbie’s. This, perhaps, is the most profound evidence of God’s grace in our lives. We are utterly surrounded by people who care, who listen, who quietly come alongside and shoulder our burden. Abbie, as I often tell her, is the richest little girl I know. She is wealthy in friends… the best kind of friends: tender-hearted, considerate, joyful, patient, kind. Words cannot express the depth of gratitude in my heart for the precious little ones who care about Abbie, and let her know it.

Cassidy is the daughter of one of Ray’s co-workers. She has followed Abbie via the blog for a long time, and kept bugging her mom about meeting Abbie. She was already one of Ray’s little sweeties, as he took special delight in giving her quarters — until one day she opened her wallet to reveal several dollar bills! We have loved watching her grow since she arrived home from China at one year old. She has blossomed into quite a personality, so I was excited to have her visit Abbie one evening.

Abbie still had her casts on, so Cassidy was a little shy, and overwhelmed with the sights at first. But, once she warmed up, she was off to the races…or perhaps, the theater — this girl is made for drama! She read many books out loud to Abbie, and even did the voices of those silly monkey jumping on the bed just the way Abbie used to. It is possible to smile through tears!

Abbie hadn’t yet had anyone sign her casts, so I asked if Cassidy wanted to do this. Of course! She signed her name on BOTH casts, so that “one wouldn’t be lonely.” She then also put Abbie’s name on there for more company. Abbie delighted in having another little girl in the house, especially one as animated and friendly as Cassidy.

Last week the Cheshire family stopped by to make up for Abbie not being able to go to church on Christmas Eve. Not many families could stage a re-enactment of the Christmas story, complete with all the characters including a live “Baby Jesus.”

Little Iliana was the youngest of the three wise “men”, and played her part beautifully, with Christa the Angel, and Isaac, Wise Man #2 adding their joyful smiles to the mix.

The kids acted out the whole Christmas story for Abbie, then Katrina and Christa danced for her. The visit ended with Christmas gifts of crowns and an angel. How completely blessed we were. It is a major troop movement to take eight children anywhere, let alone having everyone’s costumes and props. Unbelievable. As they drove away into the night I wondered aloud, “What have we done to ever merit such kindness and love?”

We may have lost much, but for us, the Lord has replaced “normal” with “extraordinary”. Thank you, Cassidy, Christian, Katrina, Caleb, Christa, Ian, Isaac, Iliana, Ilisha, and each of you who show amazing love to a little girl for whom you are the whole world.