Who are your heroes? Are they political figures, sports stars, television personalities? While I admire many people in these arenas (and scratch my head over the popularity of others), my heroes are less well known. They are the ‘unsung heroes’ around us. Over the next several weeks, I want to introduce you to some people who are my personal heroes. You will find out they are ordinary people, like you and me, but they are making a difference with their lives.
I would like to introduce you to Randy & Nadine. I picked them today because they are my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and today is their 21st wedding anniversary. This is my gift to them!
As they started their life together 21 years ago, they had no idea of the challenges that lay ahead for them and their family. A year and a half after they were married, they gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Megan, followed shortly by their handsome boy Josh. They dealt with the challenges of living on a ranch and raising children and several years later welcomed another beautiful boy, Caleb, into the family. It became apparent early on, that something was different with this sweet little boy. He didn’t respond like they felt he should and his development was delayed.
After many years of struggling to find answers they received a diagnosis they did not want to hear. Caleb has autism. I have known many people who have children or loved ones with challenges. But I have never met a family that has risen to the test of raising such a special child, like they have. Whenever I am around them, I am touched by the patience and tenderness that they show. I know there are times when they feel unequipped for the task, but it is beautiful to see a family united in caring for someone with so many special needs.
This extends beyond Randy and Nadine to their two other incredible children. Josh is a big brother with a big heart. He shared a room with Caleb for years and treats his little brother with tenderness and respect. Megan is a lovely young lady whose love for horses is second only to the love she has for her family. She is always proud to show off her little brother with the latest pictures she has taken (she took the beautiful black and white picture).
A couple years ago they welcomed one more member into the family. His name is Kane and he is a service dog. He has the sweetest disposition and is Caleb’s constant companion. He is my # 1 canine hero!
You can see why I picked this incredible family and why I am proud to be related to them. They exemplify God’s love in action. They are my heroes.
“Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.“
1 Corinthians 13:13