To the Girl Who Took My Daughter to the Pool When I Couldn't

Life as a mother with a disabling chronic illness is incredibly challenging. My body grows weak and tired quickly. I need help every day doing household tasks and caring for my children. This is especially true in the summer months when my children are home all day long.

I was grateful for dear friends and family who stepped up to help me in big ways this past summer. I was especially touched by an offer of help from Justyne, a sweet 11-year-old girl.

Justyne goes to our church, and she loves my 6-year-old daughter, Adelaide. She volunteered to take Adelaide to the pool once a week this summer. What a blessing she was both to Adelaide and to me!

Justyne was helpful to me because she gave me some much needed rest in a quiet house. But she was also a big help to Adelaide. She gave Adelaide a chance to play at the pool, which she otherwise would not have had. Justyne gave her the gift of friendship with an older girl. She also provided Adelaide with exercise on a day when she otherwise might have had to stay indoors all afternoon.

Children of parents with a disability or chronic illness may need some extra love and practical help. They might miss out on special events and activities if a disabled parent is unable to take them. They may miss out on common summer activities like going to the park or going to the pool. Sometimes they may even miss out on simple board games at home because a chronically ill parent is not well enough to sit up and play.

Justyne is a great example of one way to help the child of a parent like me, who isn’t always able to go out due to a chronic illness. She is also an inspiring example of a kid who already understands and cares, at a young age. When someone like Justyne steps in and helps, it provides much needed playtime. It gives a kid a chance to be a kid. It provides a break from the difficulties of life when a parent is ill.

Thank you, Justyne, for your example to all of us. And thank you for loving my daughter so well. You have blessed my whole family!

This article was originally posted on The Irresistible Church.

Image credit: Thinkstock.

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