This one is going to shock you. I'm sure it will because I still break out into a huge smile when I remember this little part of our trip. Still so grateful to God for putting this all together for our Abigail and our family.
Do you remember her EoE pen pal letter? (from this post back here)
Well, these pen pals had only just started. There were three letters that had gone back and forth between the two of them. I mean Abigail had not even begun to scratch the surface... she had so many questions to ask and so much to learn about her sweet new pen pal. (like what stuffed animal do you sleep with at night?) Really important questions like that.
On our way to New York out of passing the time in the car I was on my phone and came across an email from facebook. I'd long since deleted it from my phone and never go on the 'big' computer. But I didn't want to delete in entirely since it was facebook that allowed me to find Dane in the first place.
The email was a facebook message saying something like, "so Abigail said in her letter that you're going to be in NYC?? Can we meet you?? Do you have time??"
I think I broke out in a sweat right there in the car. Without saying anything to the girls I said, yes, of course! And we planned to text after our Central Park carrage ride.
After the the horse and carriage I still didn't believe that it was possible but a quick phone call and we had chosen a meeting spot. In a part of the park I'd never been in before.
We walked by the Central Park Zoo on our way.
While we waited the girls explored.
A small playground within the south side of the park. One that we'd never even seen before. One with a really fast slide.
We shed our coats because it was so warm.
All of our leaves are long ago gone at home. It was like stepping back into mid October.
Now, I don't have a picture of the girls meeting or even her sweet family walking through the gate to the playground. I had never met them before, never texted, and only had one quick phone call. I just didn't want to scare them away with my lens in their face.
But I can tell you that Abigail and Dane (don-A) were instant friends. Instant.
The walked holding hands. They chatted without breathing inbetween. They ran ahead (Central Park is Dane's park after all... she knows every nook and crany)
All the while her mom and I had so much in common and were quickly discussing the different EoE treatments, medicines, path of life that this disease has taken us on. I was was so grateful for her right away.
We had a snack at a lovely outdoor cafe next to the boat pond. (nope, never been there before... all of the local NYC residents were there) And then ran around the duck pond.
Isn't she just the pretties thing... that little Dane?
I learned so very much in such a short time from her mom about EoE. Like the dark circles under their eyes (darn, I already touched them up) and the furrows in their esphogus.
We explored a castle and the great lawn.
And before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye.
Her mom hailed us a taxi (cuz she was cool like that) and we all hugged.
We hoped in and tears filled my eyes. For this new friendship, for the One who set it all up, and for the blessings that come from places that are hard.
It was just plain old awful to say goodbye so quickly. But the sun was setting and we had dinner reservations and a show to get to. In the cab I hugged Abigail tight and say, "say thank you to God for his love shining down on us today."
Life is beautiful. And sometimes there are things we have to do as parents that are just so painful. Things we want to take away from our children. But He can turn ashes into beauty. And a beautiful life comes from a beautiful heart, not a perfect body. And for that lesson I am forever grateful.
(we love your Dane and can't wait to see you again)