Meet my friend, Robby. We’ve been acquainted for about twelve years, and friends for ten.
The first two years that I knew Robby, I didn’t interact with him much. Cerebral palsy confines him to a wheel chair or the floor, and he communicates with grunts, yells, and occasional smiles. His developmental age is approximately 18 months. Although I always acknowledged Robby’s presence with, “Hello, Robby, how are you?” it was Robby who made the first overture of friendship when his face showed pleasure at the sound of my voice.
Knowing that Robby responded to my voice intrigued me. I spent more time on the floor talking to him, and coaxing smiles. His eyes held a look of recognition, but I rarely captured one of his special smiles. One day his mother handed me a dish of black olives to give to him, and a delighted grin spread across his face. Although Robby can feed himself finger foods, I pop black olives into his mouth at every opportunity because the ratio of olives to grins is one-to-one.
Robby is the 38-year-old son of my friends, Robert and Cherrye. If you have read Dad’s book, Maiden Spring Legacy, then you already know something about Cherrye. She is skillful with the English language, and edited the book. Dad credits her with “great ability and patience as an editor.” When I was in graduate school, I was never required to attend the dreaded writing clinic due to Cherrye’s excellent proofing of all my papers.
Tomorrow is a big day for Robby. He is scheduled to be admitted to the hospital so that he can be sedated for extensive dental work. An empty coffee cup when he awakes will be Robby’s first clue that his day is different.
Thank you, Lord, for Robby. Wrap him in Your perfect peace. Grant him a speedy recovery so that he may soon drink familiar cups of coffee, and grin his way through a bowl of olives.