Those of you who have been following Solagratiamom know that in November, we had to say goodbye to Ms. Erynn as she moved away to Charleston, SC following her engagement to Mr. Pat. Erynn was a BIG part of our lives on multiple levels. She worked with my special needs son, I mentored her along the way as a friend and she also was in our CC world as she provided childcare to our Community and assisted me with Wonderful Wednesdays!
I was very proud of her making the decision to be baptized at the ocean the day before her wedding rehearsal! Her proclamation of faith was a beautiful sight to see as I remembered back to the first day I met her - God has done a work in her heart and life and I'm humbled he allowed me to watch, challenge her at times and play a part in her life as He chose my crew to be a part of that refining work (ahem, some of those in my family are more refining fires than others, I must say - LOL).
Erynn bravely wanted BOTH of my kids IN her wedding. Sarah I was confident of since she follows directions (well, CAN anyway for the beloved Ms. Erynn) -BUT..... Mason.....well.....let's just say that I did a LOT of praying because that was a gamble and I didn't want to be responsible for ruining her wedding!
I've shared before that my son has both a brain injury from birth as well as a little heard of or understood and debilitating autoimmune disease called P.A.N.D.A.S. and unlike those cute pandas that you see at the zoo - well, when Mason's PANDAS flares up, it is anything but cute! If you'd like to read about P.A.N.D.A.S. and how it affects families like mine, you can check it out at www.pansawareness.org.
My son was very interested in being in Ms. Erynn's wedding. He really loves her and misses her. He wanted to do something that would make her proud of him and he counted down the days till he could go to Charleston, SC for the wedding. He did SUCH a good job! It was reminiscent of the days before we ever met P.A.N.D.A.S. and for a moment in time, I could pretend he wasn't sick. Sarah was a very good little sister as she helped him follow instructions to go down the isle of the Church with her. As God works, we ended up eating rehearsal dinner at the table with the Pastor and he shared how his daughter recently had been diagnosed with a debilitating case of P.A.N.D.A.S. as well. We spent time talking and I was able to share much of what we've learned to be helpful in our journey with this illness over the past 6 years.
This blogpost wouldn't be true or complete without revealing the real earthly power behind Mason's achievements and progress despite his illness. That power is another young remarkable woman named Brittney! Brittney has been a part of Mason's life since he was 2 years old. She also became friends with Erynn as a result of working with her on Mason's team. Brittney has provided help and care for Mason in a variety of capacities since she was just herself turning 15 years old! She started as a mother's helper and has progressed from there to being one of our most knowledgable persons on Mason's team of therapists. We jokingly all call her "the Mason whisperer" because she is able to get him to do things no one else can! If it wasn't for her assistance he would not have been able to do what he did for Ms. Erynn's wedding. She lovingly helped him, encouraged him, directed him and grounded him so he could complete the tasks asked of him each day. Britt together assisting Erynn, thought out all the logistics of what would work best for Mason and knew how to accommodate his special needs. Job well done Brittney and Erynn!!! I was struck with the depth of love both of these young remarkable ladies has for such a little guy like my son Mason. Any days I may have that are down, I only need look at these ladies to remember that God has not left me alone to struggle in this journey. I am very blessed and Mason is very loved.
So for the part that is the most fun.....PICTURES!!!! I warn you that my camera wasn't the best and any movement came out blurry so the professional pictures will be much better -but....here they are.....