It has been a bit of a crazy and sad week in our house. A person I knew from church was killed tragically. I can’t help but write about it.
While she likely wasn’t a regular reader of my blog, she was aware of my advocacy for my daughter’s celiac disease and maintaining a gluten free diet for her. I am sure she could relate, Ann had a challenge of her own, when one of her twin children was diagnosed with autism — where he needs extraordinary care. She definitely understood being an advocate for your child’s special needs.
Several years ago I met Ann when doing Vacation Bible School. Both of us were helping in the kitchen with snacks. I recall telling her how I expected I would always be on kitchen duty for anything my daughter was involved in so I could be on the “inside” knowing what the food for the next day would be.
She eventually became Emma’s Sunday School teacher during Emma’s elementary school years. Ann would often check in with me about what kind of snacks she could bring that would be safe for Emma. While I may not have realized it like I do now….I am so very grateful that she took that extra step–something she may not have thought was such a big deal– to make sure Emma felt comfortable and included.
More recently, she was seeking answers about whether a gluten-free diet could help her son. She and I talked through a few ideas, but then her husband became gravely ill and passed away in October of 2011. She had told me at his visitation that she had seen a difference in her son when he was gluten free but she was recently having a hard time maintaining it. — Totally understandable.
Then last Tuesday she was hit by a car while standing on the sidewalk, awaiting for the light to change so she and her sister could cross the street. She was killed instantly — leaving her twins without their parents.
I feel for the kids– how unfair it is and their worries about what’s next. Such sad, tough, scary questions that are much bigger than the topic of today’s article.
But amid all of those big issues, I also find myself thinking about those moments of gluten-free awareness and kindness that Ann had toward Emma and that they meant so much to me. While I am sure at the time I said thank you, now I am sad I will never be able to tell her how grateful I was for those little moments where she had Emma’s back.
Each Monday morning on The Savvy Celiac Facebook page, I ask What was the best GF moment of your weekend? There is always someone who is grateful for the extra effort a loved one, friend or colleague put forth to make sure they had a good gluten-free experience. I suspect many of them today will be Super Bowl-related.
Amid all of the frustration many of us go through wading through the world of gluten free, I urge all of us to make sure we recognize those little gluten free moments that others create for us, then take the extra step to voice our appreciation.