To the mother of my son’s best friend . . . thank you.

When my son was little, I prayed for him to have a friend. His medical needs were limiting his ability to walk, talk, and play, but I so dearly wanted him to experience the love of a friend.

I dreamed of LEGO parties and muddy shoes. I longed for sleepovers and slices of pizza.

As we entered kindergarten, I looked on the roster and tried to depict what children might be his friend. But choosing friends, even when you have disabilities, comes naturally.

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And so, years of friendship formed within the walls of our small school. Though he could not talk, my son would light up at the sound of your child’s name. He would giggle and squirmall signs of happiness in our world. 

Pictures were taken. Gifts were given. Memories were made.

And my momma heart melted with every single one.

Maybe this feels awkward being thanked for something that appears small. But, dear friend, please know, in our world, your child moved mountains.

They created a language just between them.

They shared smiles and secrets.

Your child made a choice to include my son. 

They held his hand. 

They spoke to him naturally and with purpose. 

They picked him for partners during PE, knowing his participation was limited.

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At the end of his life, when nothing else mattered, those friendships stuck with me.  They helped me realize that his life, though short, had been so full of love and laughter. His life had been meaningful.

He had been given the gift of friendship so pure and natural.

Now, among the pictures and memories that hang on my wall, I cherish a picture of my son with your child. It reminds me daily of the innocence that exists in childhood friendships and the love that was given so freely to my boy.

So, friend, thank you. Thank you for allowing these friendships to grow.

From one momma heart to another, those memories will never be forgotten.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Brandi Fought

Brandi Fought is the mother of four children with special needs. Through adoption, her family dynamic changed quickly, and she has spent her years tending to children, doctor appointments, therapies, and IEP meetings. Loss entered the Fought home in May of 2019 when the oldest Fought child passed away. With years of special needs parenting and grief behind her, she writes to help others navigate the journey of medically fragile children and faith.