Wednesday, August 12, 2015
I'm grateful for God ordained encounters that have impacted our lives. I am thankful for DeDe Grogan and the impression that her and her son Seth Ross left on our lives.
I met Dede right as I started my first year at ASU. I had sacrificed everything I knew to pursue higher education, which included leaving my job to attend school full time. I did not know how I was going to provide for David and I, but I knew that I could not forfeit the opportunity to be the first person in my family to graduate from college. I also knew that God would provide for all of our needs.
Our first Christmas was rough and it was the first time I had no means to support David alone. I was feeling helpless and wondering if I had made the right decision. My first encounter with Dede was when she arranged for our family to be sponsored for Christmas. Little did I know that our relationship would reach far greater than a Christmas sponsorship. Once Dede discovered that I also had a special needs child, with not hesitation she took me under her wing.
Dede was the first person I had ever met that was living a similar situation as ours. Up until that point I had very few people who understood the road we were traveling. I lived a very lonely life, struggling silently. I was young and still trying to figure life out when God blessed us with Dede and Seth’s friendhip. I have never had the opportunity to share with her how instrumental their friendship has been for us, but now is better than never.
Dede you graciously taught me how to be David’s hands, feet, voice, and advocate. You taught me that it was ok to take off my cape from time to time and that there were amazing support systems out there when the load was weighing me down. On days that I did not have enough energy to seek those supports out on my own you sacrificed your own time to make those connections for me. You lead by example and you held my hand throughout the way because that is the kind of friend you are!
I remember reaching out to you when David was becoming a teenager and I was struggling with the transition. You invited us to go to functions that Seth was introduced as a teenager. You exposed us to the fun and exciting events that came along with teenage years. You were also the first person I reached out to when David was becoming an adult. I knew no matter how long we went without contact you would always be there, and you have. You have encouraged and cheered me on with private messages that no one but I saw. Never did a desperate plea for prayers go with out a lovely note of encouragement from you. You always went above and beyond.
I just want you know that meeting you and Seth has absolutely changed our lives! When people tell me what an amazing mom, advocate, or special educator I am, I can help but think of you and the others who helped me grow into who I am today. You and Seth are both 1 in a zillion. I hope one day I can be that person for you as well. I LOVE YOU and I thought you might need to know how much today.