The kindness of friends: how have yours helped with your child?

Last week, I got an email from my friend Rob. He said that a yoga teacher who works near where we live was going to be at an event he was planning for Saturday night that I’d be at, too. “Maybe she could help Max!” he wrote. “I’ll make sure to introduce you two.”

The event Rob had that night was for a gathering of friends to view a film he’d made. It was a movie about his wife and my good friend, Karen. She’d died unexpectedly of a heart attack in May 2009, leaving behind Rob and their three kids, under five. Rob had spent a year making this tribute to Karen, a labor of love. Her birthday happened to fall on 9/11, the day he showed the film.

Rob’s film was an hour and a half long, the first part of it filled with photos of Karen from childhood and their wedding. The theater quickly filled with sobs; I didn’t stop crying the entire time. During intermission, I downed a shot of whiskey (let me tell you, I never drink but I needed that), then headed over to hug Rob. We were talking when he said “Hold on a minute,” and he found the yoga instructor he wanted to introduce me to.

Rob’s heart and mind were heavy with grief that night. And still, he thought of Max. I was so touched.

In the years since Max was born, I have been amazed by the kindness of friends. Last year, my good friend Wendy watched Sabrina for four days when we went to Duke U. for Max’s stem cell infusion. She and my friends Hedy and Wendy are always there to cheer Max on and listen to me; after Max was born, they all did a ton of research on childhood stroke and helped me find resources. Other friends help, too, but these are the friends who would do anything to help me and Max.

What meaningful things have friends done to help your child?

Ellen blogs daily at Love That Max

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