Making a difference
Isolation makes hard times more difficult, even though it's often our first response. I'm extremely guilty of this. Because of the person I am, my first response is always to withdraw, to keep people from getting too close. Often when my friends will ask me what is new...what's going on in my life, my first instinct is to change the subject. They'll often call me on it, but if I don't want to talk about something, I don't. And usually I don't.
Casey is like this too.
This last year has been very hard on him. He's hurt. I see it, I understand it. Though I've gone through it right beside him, it's completely different for me than it is for him. I have no idea what it must feel like to have a father, who was one of your best friends, walk out without ever saying goodbye. So, though we've gone through this together, and have drawn strength from each other, I don't know how it feels to be a child abandoned. A wife...yeah, got that one down pat. But I've not been through what Casey's been through. He doesn't talk about it at church, he doesn't talk about it with his friends...or his brother. He doesn't talk about it at all.
Casey got some amazing graduation cards, all of them he'll treasure. One, though, touched him above all others. I tried to scan it onto my computer, but apparently my computer and printer are not playing nicely with each other as yet, so I'll type it out and hope that I do it justice.
I know that you don't know me or my family, but I feel that I have gotten to know you through your Mom's writings. I experienced something very similar to what you are going through with your Dad during my High School years, so I can relate to what you must be feeling. The Lord placed some incredible people in my life during that time and I pray that He does the same for you.
From what I can tell, you are an exceptional young man, and I have told your Mom before that I hope my boys have the kind of character you have when they get older. You have taken such good care of your Mom this year and, as her friend, I thank you for that.
She couldn't be more proud of you, and our family feels the same. I pray that you allow the Lord to guide your steps during the years ahead and He will bless you beyond your dreams.
Love, The Tapp Family
This was the very first card Casey received, and when he opened it, he was overwhelmed that someone he'd never met cared about him or his graduating. He read it to himself, and then asked if he could read it to Charlie and I. I got a little teary eyed and Charlie put his arm around me as Casey read it. It was one of those special moments that I'll always remember about my oldest son graduating, but what happened later engraved itself upon my heart. Later that night I went to talk to Casey, and I opened the door at the bottom of his stairs that leads to his room. There he sat, in the middle of his stairs, reading the Tapp's card. He looked up at me, and when our eyes met...well, there was a long moment of understanding. Understanding that someone else knows how he feels, understanding that someone else cares and understanding that even though we may sometimes feel like it, we are not alone.
Charlie told me that he heard Casey talking about how he feels about his dad leaving to the youth pastor a couple of days later. As far as we know, and believe, it's the first time he's opened up to someone. Michelle's card touched Casey in a way that he needed desperately.
I am so thankful for this sweet woman's heart, and for the way God used her to tell a young man she'd never met that he is not alone, that others have gone through what he is going through, and they understand.