How do you say "thank you"? How do you tell the people around you that without their love and support, you would not have been able to continue breathing? How do you make someone realize that your very existence is solely dependent on the fact that when you needed them, they were there?
My family has experienced tragedy, but I have a feeling if you take a look around Payson and Quincy, IL right now, it is not sadness that you would see. It is strength, determination, love, and devotion. You would see complete strangers rallying around one another to lift up one broken little family. You would see smiles as they read of the progress that our little superhero is making.
Can you tell me what love looks like? Many of us have been fortunate enough to feel it's effects, but I'm telling you that I have SEEN it. It comes in the form of prayer and encouragement through text message, email, or facebook. It takes the shape of a Superman shirt that covers the backs of so many kind people. It walks for 24 hours straight in recognition of the struggle and suffering of one little boy. It takes the shape of a friend who sets aside her own life for awhile and sits at the bedside, comforting a breaking mother. It's family members pulling together to support and attempt to continue some sort of normalcy for our other children. It's women leaving their own homes to come and clean ours so that we don't have to worry about such things. It's care packages brought by several friends with everything we could ever want or need. It's answering the phone and knowing that there is nothing you can say to make it better, but just listening as I scream and cry and tell you that I can't take it anymore. It's smiling through tears as I tell you that we have made progress.
I could never even come close to thanking every person that has had a hand in making this nightmare bearable. I can't quite wrap my head around the enormity of the situation back home. What I can say is that I am extremely proud that I come from a place full of such big hearts. I can say that through all of this chaos and pain, you have all played a part in allowing me to smile again. Thank you from the bottom of my broken, but healing heart.