I have to start this post by giving a little background on myself so you understand where I am coming from when I discuss support.

I was raised in a military family.  For all of my childhood we moved and left people behind. I was used to leaving people & vise versa. I also became accustomed to “removing” people from my present thoughts.  Out of sight out of mind.

That didn’t change much as I became an adult.

But, that doesn’t mean I forget people.

I never forget those I love no matter how long ago our friendship was. There are people i have knew when I was 3 and if I saw them today I would hug them and we’d go out to dinner

When my husband and I decided to be Cathy’s parents I knew that this pattern would have to change.

But how do you break 40+ years of habit?

How do you learn to support a child who lives 16 hours away?

I began to pray.

I began to seek guidance, not just spiritual but guidance from friends who had children far away.

I began to ask God to put Cathy on my mind all the time.

When she would pop into my thoughts I would pray or text.

The other thing I added to my list was when she would call I would answer or call as soon as I was able.

That connection became huge for me.  One of the first long conversations we had at the end she said it was my turn to call her.  Now,  I am a great phone companion when you get me on the horn but the calling is a hard thing for me to do.  So I told her that might take some work.

I am still not the greatest caller but it is on the list of things to work on and I am a pretty fantastic texter.

I guess the long and short of it is that you have to be there emotionally.  You have to, by any ways possible make sure that they know they are loved. I wish I could bold that period because it is so important. They (for me Cathy, for you your loved one) need to see that our love whether it is a “I can be there for appointments”, “I can call all the time”, or “I can text and send pictures of us” kind of love they see that there is only a period not a conjuction, comma, or caveat of any sort. We put a priceless tag on that love and they are the recipient of it.

You have no idea how much the gesture, however simple it may be, means.

Their very life may depend on that text, phone call, or advocacy.

No matter near or far I can love Cathy. Phone calls or text messages I can love Cathy.

But really,  if you met her, you’d know that is an easy task to do!



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