I think what I am most grateful for from this experience is seeing the burden lifted off of AJ. This man beside me is literally the most selfless, caring, kind man I have ever met. Every single day, in spite of the craziness of our lives, I feel like the luckiest woman alive. To take on my children and love them as his own and provide for all of us in every way he can without ever complaining, to come home from a long day at work and help me with kids and cleaning and homework, etc., and to never once complain or feel sorry for himself seems impossible. But he does it. With a smile on his face, and a grateful and happy heart, he does it. I have held this beautiful soul in my arms as he wept, struggling to understand why anyone would want to take away his children, why our family, though different from the other families around us, can’t just be loved and accepted, and celebrated. I have watched him carry the burden of trying to support our family and fight a battle that we never saw coming. I get emotional when I think of the few times that he has had to carry me to the shower and wash my hair and body because the pain made me incapable. I think of the countless times he stops what he is doing to take advantage of a teaching moment with one of our children. You have lifted this man’s burden, something that I could not do, and I cannot thank you enough for that miraculous gift. AJ literally never expects anything from anyone, and to watch this burden be lifted from him has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Thank you.
We’re not through this nightmare yet, but your help has given us hope. It has given us a light at the end of the tunnel to look toward. It has restored our belief in the goodness of people. And it has inspired us to do better, to be better, and to help others in any way we can.
Each week during our Sunday lesson with the kids, we have what we call gratitude prayers. Starting from youngest to oldest, we each say the things we are grateful for that week. I am going to be a weeping mess this week. Like, ugly-cry ridiculousness.
I may not be able to pay each of you back personally. I may not be able to thank you individually, but I want you to know that I will pay this forward. I promise. I am changed because of you. Every single donation, be it $1 or $500, has literally changed my life. I love you. Each of you. And I want you to know that, as difficult as it seems, as impossible as your burden is, there is hope. There is goodness. And there is light at the end of your tunnel.
From the very depths of my soul, I thank you.
Friends, we have changed so much for this family, and I will never forget the parts of your hearts you have opened up to them. To this woman I love so much. To her incredible counterpart. To her children. If you’d still like to donate, you can do so on Tuesday’s blog post.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing