...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Friday, September 23, 2011


Lately, Ellie has taken to going limp when I try to get her dressed in the morning.  She lets her muscles relax and doesn't stretch or exert pressure of any kind as I try to put her clothes on.  This makes putting pants and shoes on especially difficult.  She thinks it is funny to watch me struggle and a couple of times I have gotten a little bit exasperated with her because she is making things hard on purpose.
But that made me think of my sweet little sister-in-law, Paula.  I have told you before about my niece, Becca.  She has rett syndrome (a severe form of autism) so her body just doesn't function as it should.  She can't move much on her own and so every day -- every single day -- Paula faces this dressing challenge that my little daughter thinks is so funny.

Every day Paula gets Becca dressed, and Becca is not so small anymore so it isn't as easy as it used to be.  Every day she helps Becca's legs stretch into pants.  Every day she carefully, tenderly puts socks and sometimes shoes on tiny feet that will never push back to make the job easier.

But she doesn't complain, she doesn't whine.  She loves that little girl to pieces and I am grateful for her sweet example.  I wish I was more like that.  Paula is kind and loving and gentle, but she fights fiercely for her daughter to have what she needs.  From pre-school to vacations to hospital stays she stands up for what will be best for her baby no matter what anyone else tells her is right.

She also had the courage to bring more beautiful children into this world, even with the concern of rett gazing over her shoulder. She and my brother have had to make many difficult decisions and will have to make many more, but they do it while smiling and adoring their growing family.

She is the kind of person who makes the world a better place.  Actually I have a whole bunch of sisters-in-law (especially because Josh and I have four brothers a piece and no sisters at all) who do that and I love them all.  They are amazing women and I'm grateful for the chance to learn from them.

But today I'm grateful for Paula.  She's pretty incredible.   

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