We had carpet installed last week. The installers and I began talking and at one point they asked what I did for a living. I told them I helped families like ours. It was what our oldest said that made us so proud that day.
She jumped into the conversation and said, "Tell them about Mr. Derek." I told her she could. Deryn went on to tell the men that we made this friend was also stepped on an IED. She went on to tell them how we all became friends and how silly he was. Then she said, "But then Mr Derek just died and none of us know why. We all miss him. He was so funny."
It was that moment our little 10 year old caught the hearts of those men. There was an awkward pause. They knew she had been through so much but she was so happy to tell them about our friend even through the ending was not happy. Those men didn't know what to do. Heck I was fighting back tears before her words came out.
Deryn saw the impact she had made and she changed the subject a little. She went on to tell them about our other friends. She told them about their legs, arms, chairs, vehicles and everything they had had adapted. She told them about watching them all race. She told them about running legs. She told them how amazing they all were. Hearing her talk about all the heroes and all the cool things they were doing cheered those guys up. I think what really cheered those guys up was hearing the stories from her point of view. They were very much aware of the sacrifice our men and women are making, but to see a little girl talk about everything she has seen is quite phenomenal.
It hit me later on....wow our two girls have seen waaaaaay more than the average American. Our two girls have really seen some amazing stuff. Overall the most amazing moments for me come when we get to hear them tell the stories that matter most to them to others.
Our girls are never sad when they talk about the friends we've lost. They talk about the happy moments. I love the fact that they want to share their favorite moments with strangers. But what I really, really love is that our girls see so much hope that has come from devastating moments in life. Our girls have seen that a person can really get knocked down hard by the punches life can throw at you. And I am proud to say they have also learned how to dust yourself off after those hits and keep on moving. Best of all, they have learned how to be positive about it.