My name is Susan and I am emotional. I don’t want to be but I am a mess. You see, over the past few weeks I have witnessed the kindness and generosity of family, friends, and complete strangers that is (in the words of Charlie’s grandma Kathi) just beyond beyond.
When Rob and Ang asked me to work on the scheduling for Charlie’s Angels I was a bit skeptical. I had no doubt that I could create a lovely spreadsheet that would organize names and numbers but I was pretty unsure there would be names to fill the spaces. The proposed therapy for Charlie requires 114 man hours each week….EACH WEEK. We have an enormous family and Rob and Ang have tons of friends….but 114 hours?
Between those that are obligated by shared DNA, and those that are obligated by some unbelievable high school lore we covered a bit more than half of the shifts. Our (Char’s grandma’s and aunts/uncles) In-laws and neighbors, co-workers and friends signed up to help our grandson/nephew by filling even more. We even have a new blog friend (who has a full plate) that wants to help. Angel was thrilled and grateful and anxious to start a few hours each day and maybe, hopefully, eventually work up to the desired 5-6 hours each day.
When Angel said the ward was willing to help I didn’t expect much. See, Rob and Angel were building their house when Char got sick so the people in the ward didn’t really know them at all. They never watched Angel and Rob serve and love the youth (Ang was the YW pres and Rob was the most popular Course 17 teacher in the church) or saw Charlie smile with his whole face . They didn’t know what the therapy entailed or how disabled Charlie really is. Boy did I underestimate the members of the WB 5th Ward! Over 40 people of all ages have committed their time to help a complete stranger who drools A LOT. Speechless.
I ran across a talk on the blog of one of Charlie’s purest friends that was given by James E. Faust in 1984 titled “The Works of God”. I cried as I read it and realized that 108 people are performing “the works of God” with Char every week. Elder Faust said “The care of those who are diminished is a special service rendered to the Master himself, for “inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these … , ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40.)
Over the past 1 year-9 months-and 6 days, I have been blessed to be a part of Char’s life. He is a tangible reminder to me of ‘the plan’ and how important families are. My children have learned compassion, kindness, and acceptance that will make them better human beings. Char soothes my soul, and when I am with him I KNOW he is going to be just fine. My faith and testimony of the Saviors love for each of us has increased, and I have seen kindness and charity I never imagined. I have seen Rob (kind of) and Angel accept their circumstances with humor and grace and hope. Elder Foust said “Those who are close to the handicapped can frequently feel the nobility of the spirits who are confined in differently shaped bodies or who have crippled minds.” He is right.
Charlie is making progress already. Last night he smiled and kind of coo’d while watching the flashing lights on Jared’s ambulance. Angel smiled too. THANK YOU for your sacrifice and service. THANK YOU for giving Rob and Angel hope. THANK YOU for giving our little man a chance. Exploring Char’s potential would never be possible without you.
Susan-Charlie’s oldest (and wisest) auntie
Click HERE if you want to read more of the talk by Elder Faust....