I know. You're looking at the title, Blessings, and saying that there is no way. I guess logically there is no way there should be blessing through this, but if we look at it illogically there are. Lots of them. So break out of your rut, and look at this illogically. We are. We have too!
Dr. Selby is the leading SMA neurologist on the west coast, if not in Canada. What a blessing to have someone who knows almost everything there is to know about this genetic disease. The medical team - more on them in a later blog - is extensive and wonderfully caring. CureSMA.ca is a fabulous network to provide support for families who have received this diagnosis. Again, very practical things. From toys that work to help keep Emmett stimulated to ideas and suggestions for the parents.
This blog has the full support of OSM Networks. I have another website with them and, while I was working on a draft of Emmett's Journey blog, I had a few questions that I didn't have answers for. Not only did OSM Networks have the answers, they assigned their staff to set it up properly and are hosting it. All at their expense. We really appreciate that. Dave, Scott, and the rest of the OSM team - we greatly appreciate your support.
Emmett loves movement and the adrenaline rush of activity. His lack of muscle control requires that activity be carefully supported. That meant that his Jolly Jumper sat unused, because he simply didn't have the muscle control required. We did have him in it - his mom supporting his head and his grandma bouncing him. His face literally beamed. But that was a lot of work to do on a consistent basis. A call to my friend, John, who is a key person at Jolly Jumper revealed that they didn't have anything designed for what Emmett needed. However, on sending in some sketches, John sent out a list of products that he thought could be modified. More on this soon, but John, God Bless you for your help and support!
Support from friends and emails from around the country have been coming to them. Offering support and asking how help could be provided. We hope that through this blog you will be able to stay in touch with Emmett, Alisha, and Joshua. Hopefully over time it will provide you with a means of keeping updated on the ups and the downs ofbaby Emmett's life with SMA Type 1. Alisha and Josh have not had time to personally contact all of their friends. Please understand and appreciate that they are focused upon Emmett. As of September 2, they've only had two weeks to grasp this themselves and they've had to absorb so much information. It is simply to emotionally and physically draining to tell everyone individually about their Emmett. That is one reason for this blog.
Practical things have been so touching. The loan of a travel trailer to handle guests who've come from out of town. Likewise, a bed was provided to give extra space. There have been gifts of gas cards/money to help cover the multiple trips to BC Children's Hosptial. That is absolutely a wonderful to a young family on a tight budget. There have been friends who've supported those of us in the East to make it out west with access to flight discounts on airline travel. Gifts from the BC Lions are greatly appreciated - Emmett is anticipating (as much as an almost 6 month old can anticipate) attending a BC Lions game in early October. Josh is also looking forward to this also. The main thing - your prayers, kind wishes, and warm thoughts. We already know that there are people praying and supporting Emmett across North America - and even overseas!
As we've mentioned, Josh is a youth pastor at Level Ground Mennonite Church in Abbotsford. They are providing the flexibility with work that this young family so desperately needs. They have also activated a Meal Train! What an amazingly practical and thoughtful way of supporting Emmett. There's no question that at times they are simply too exhausted to think about preparing meals. Josh will be involved in a Church youth retreat on Labour Day weekend - and a travel trailer was offered so that Alisha and Emmett can travel along to keep this family close together. And to ensure Emmett will be safe and comfortable. All of this is, without question, a blessing.
Family. What more can we say. The support and care from family. Emmett has had wonderful visits throughout the summer with his grandparents and his Aunts and Uncle. He's even seen extended family. Emails, phone calls, cards and letters, Skype conversations. Those times are a blessing. Also challenging. But a blessing. Alisha and Josh know that some family members are simply too far away for a visit - so this blog is for you to get to know Emmett and enjoy his presence as much as we do.
Most important of all of these, Emmett is an incredible blessing. He is an unbelievably happy little boy. Your spirits are lifted beyond grief when you have a chance to interact with him.