Yesterday was a tender mercy moment, made possible with the help of my youngest brother.
Twenty years ago, shortly after moving to Texas, I decided to take a sign language class. My husband was taking night classes, and I already had my degree, but I had worked in a special education school in Utah and gained interest in sign language.
Shortly after the semester ended, a family moved into our congregation. They had a son about the same age as my son is now, and he was deaf. My husband was his primary class teacher, and I was asked to be his interpreter so that his mother could attend the adult classes.
This became one of those experiences where I felt like I was the one being ministered, when it should have been the other way around. We came to love this family, and I especially appreciated this child's patience when it became obvious that he could read lips better than I could sign. I remember him rolling his eyes and correcting me (or filling in for me when I hesitated). This was long before we had children of our own, so it was a time when we especially enjoyed opportunities to play even a small role in the life of a child.
After a few years, the family moved away and we regrettably lost touch. Not long ago (maybe because of my own hearing loss) I was thinking about this person and whether there was any way to see how he was doing. My youngest brother is the same age, and they were both in our class. He heard me wonder aloud whatever became of our young friend, and somehow worked his magic to find him and reunite us on Facebook last night! We spent a little time chatting online, which is a lot easier than talking via sign language -- at least for me!)
I was happy to learn that he is doing well, he served a mission for our church, and he has a good career. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that he remembered my husband and me, even though it has been nearly two decades since we've seen him.
When I was first diagnosed with cancer (wow -- coming up on FOUR years ago!) one of my initial worries was whether I would live long enough for my children to remember me. This little reunion last night was a way to remember a happy time in our young married life. It also later dawned on me that if my brief and trivial stint as a bumbling sign language interpreter was memorable to an eight-year-old child, perhaps I don't need to wonder if my eight-year-old son will still remember me.
(NOT that I plan to go anywhere anytime soon!)