Thursday, November 3, 2011

Three Wrinkled Shirts

"Hey buddy,
could you help me fold your laundry?"

I've done his laundry for
I have no idea what his
response will be.
Maybe he will
want to help.

Dark, chocolate mocha eyes
lift to meet mine.
They show confusion,
then excitement.
"Oh, okay!"

So, we start.
I demonstrate with my own shirt.
He copies my motions.

"Yes, that's right, Josh.
Fold it like this...
The sleeves go like this...
Careful, don't crumple it...
Well, it was only the first try.
Alright, let's do it again."

And he does it.
He folds three of his own shirts.

After years of just me...
washing, drying, folding...
socks, pants, shirts, underwear...
whatever else found its way into his laundry hamper,
Josh folded three of his shirts.

They will probably be a little wrinkled.
But he did it himself.


Those shirts aren't the first wrinkles
we've experienced with Josh.

At eleven, Josh can walk,
sing on tune,
run (albeit awkwardly),
memorize Scripture,
read basic children's stories...

And he looks so normal...
its very easy to forget that he's not.

Six hated letters.
A label.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified.
The doctors' way of saying,
"It's plain to see that there is something definitely wrong,
we just have no idea what it is or how to help him".

I'm his sister.
I know what the "Not Otherwise Specified" means.

It means a constant life-struggle.
So many things that we confront on a daily basis.
Things that, out of love for him,
I won't write about.


But, today.
Those small hands of his...
with the pinkie-fingers that are half the size they should be...
held opportunity to overcome
and seized it!
He and I won a victory over his label.
Three shirts are folded and put away.
And I'm proud of him.

Just like when we thought he would never read,
would never be able to talk to people...
He has shown that he CAN.

God is so gracious to give me
moments like this.

Moments that I can see the big picture.
When I have hope.
When I'm able to trust God with my little brother.

I have no idea what the rest of the day will bring.
Such is life with Josh.
Such is life in general, right?
But I am praising God right now for what has been
accomplished in the life of a
special boy.

I thank God for three wrinkled shirts today.


Sunny @ Sunny at Star Hill said...

This is absolutely beautiful my dear! Be thankful that God has given you the eyes to see the 'little things'. The small things that some would think don't matter, but that are huge!

Being an older sister to a disabled brother myself, I totally understand how much those three wrinkled shirts mean.

Bless you!

Megan and Abby said...

I love it. I'm glad to hear that Josh is advancing, even if with only little steps. He's such a sweet boy sometimes; yeah, I've seen him in his worse moods. God does amazing things.

Maiden Princess said...

So beautiful! What a joyful moment. Thank you for sharing! It is the small things as well as the large that bear thanking God for! Praising with you :)

In His Love,
Maiden Princess

Caitlin said...

So beautiful!
I am reminded that our father rejoices in our little victories, too. :)

Thank you for sharing this beautiful, raw, moment! :)

Hannah Grace said...

Like everyone else said...this is beautiful. Such a precious little man! My first brother was diagnosed with autism when he was about 1 or 2; the doctors all said he would never walk, talk, understand what was going on around him, never learn...never even recognize his own parents. And yet, now he's a wonderful, very handsome and smart 17 year old guy, with only a slight speech issue. It's amazing what God can do...even if it's only three wrinkled shirts. :) I'll be praying for your brother and family! <3