“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
If someone trustworthy tells you a movie is terrific, hard to watch at moments, but just has a great ending and to stick it out…you do it, right? Someone wise once told me that’s the same attitude we need with God. He has a plan for us, and He’s worthy of our trust. If we stay with Him…it all ends well.
My sister-in-law, Mary Jo, is one of my husband’s two siblings. She’s the middle child in the trio, actually. Mary Jo is married to a bright and articulate German man I recently told you about. His name is Andreas. Together, they are parents to a young man named Thomas, who they adopted from the foster care system when he was quite young. I think he was just a bit under a year old, in fact. My memory is unreliable, though, so I could be a tad off. Here he is more recently with his cousins at Drew’s high school graduation, with his cousin Katie LaReau’s arm around him.
In any case, the addition of my nephew Thomas to the family brought not just a small amount of joy to his parents and also to his grandparents and the entire family. None was more afflicted with joy, in my estimation, than the heart of my mother in law, Jane. This week, we marked the 6th anniversary of her death, a sad and somewhat unbelievable milestone if I am honest. Where has the time gone? However, we’ve also got cause for joy this week because today is the 12th birthday of the youngest grandson of Tom and Jane Thieme– Thomas Sashegyi!
I find myself writing with a bit more care than I sometimes demonstrate today. Typically, I simply allow this to be a few paragraphs of unfiltered spontaneity– a stream of consciousness blog post. This one feels a tad different and that is for one simple reason. In the first 339 consecutive entries, my daily affirmations were directed at and written for the person about whom I am speaking. My goal usually is to provide a reason for someone to smile at the positive qualities I notice, and hopefully that leaves an imprint of sunshine on their day. Today is a bit different. You see, I know that Thomas doesn’t have the ability to read these words, and I’m not certain how many of them he would understand if his mother chose to share them. I do know this, though. It’s important to me today that all who love this little boy understand on his birthday today that I see the dignity of his life, and the possibilities of his mind and the fact that the same good and gracious God who made you and me also made this handsome young man with the devilish grin in His glorious image. Also, I want him to know his Aunt Shelly wishes him a very happy birthday!
Thomas is a curly-haired wonder, the master of riding anything on wheels at speeds and with precision that boggle my mind. The use of bikes and scooters are a strength area. He is also a solid ice skater who has played a little hockey in his past. He loves to fish, and can entertain himself for hours with this activity. He’s got boundless energy, and a reliably good “high-five” that I can almost always get him to “blow up” with me. This year, he spent a little time handing out exactly three pieces of candy to each trick-or-treater that came to my door…well…except for the scary looking kids in creepy masks, ha? This part made me giggle a little, because here’s Thomas in his costume (with Drew), which definitely includes the very sort of mask he was eschewing as my Halloween doorman. Kids make me giggle!
Mary Jo and Andreas, I know your parenthood journey is fraught with bumps and hiccups very different from the ones on my own road of motherhood. Today, as I attempt to celebrate the life of the little man I know you love dearly, I just want you to know that I love your son too, and I see your perseverance and courageous determination. So does the Lord. Christ is with you on your journey though, and He is trustworthy.
Please tell Thomas that his Aunt Shelly, Uncle Tom, and his cousins Nick, Drew and Zach want to wish him a VERY HAPPY 12TH BIRTHDAY! Eat all the cake, Thomas…..it’s your day!!