C. S. Lewis wrote about how the presence or absence of another person in your life brings about more or less of you. And, can reveal more fully of the presence of God. That’s saying it really simply. Here’s what he said:
In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s [Tolkien’s] reaction to a specifically Charles joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him “to myself” now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald…In this, Friendship exhibits a glorious “nearness by resemblance” to heaven itself where the very multitude of the blessed (which no man can number) increases the fruition which each of us has of God. For every soul, seeing Him in her own way, doubtless communicates that unique vision to all the rest.
Since Nathan was added to our family I’ve been reflecting on how his life has brought about many challenges, yes. But also how his life has called each of us into more being of who we truly are.
More of Mac –
More wanting to be helpful. More independent. More caring – he can be so rough and tough, but around Nathan he will practically tip toe. He’s visualizes a future with Nathan – playing superheroes, sharing a room, passing down his clothes. More understanding of Nathan and what’s going on than I would ever have imagined.
More of my husband –
More strength and determination and hope when I have none. He endured ten times more the number of my break-downs in the last three months than ever in the course of knowing me. More stamina to work, study, and care for the boys when he gets home.
More of Me –
More able to accept help from others when I’d rather be the one giving it or doing it all by myself. Learning more new things, especially medically when I don’t have much interest in science or medicine. More writing. More therapy.
More, more, more.
It’s helpful to recount what we are able to receive from Nathan’s presence in our lives. Monday was such a difficult day. There just wasn’t enough of me to go around. I constantly felt not enough and not good enough. I’m finding maybe it’s less of the old me – the one that existed before Nathan – and more of the new me – the one who he brings out of me. That’s the part of me who’s needed now. That person is enough. She will have to be.
Look how big my cheeks are! Mommy thinks I’m close to smiling soon!
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!