An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Treasured Friend, Kind Stranger

The boys both have difficulty making friends and struggle even more with keeping friends.  A lot of times, this translates into most of their closest friends being understanding teens and adults that come into their lives in various ways.  Babysitters, family members, police and firefighters (Maize I am looking at you guys ❤ ), neighbors, Mommy’s close friends, store clerks, favorite workers at restaurants, etc make up the bulk of David and Joshua’s friend list.

One of these friends is a young man named Jacob who works at one of our local Wal-Marts.  He became an instant favorite from the moment the boys first met him.  Kind, fun, willing to look at their various treasures they would bring specifically to show him, and was even full of hugs and high fives for them.  He once even spent part of his work break just hanging out with the boys because he enjoys seeing them smile so much. 🙂

Today though, the boys found out some news that was really hard on them to hear.  Bittersweet describes it best.  This wonderful young man got accepted into a college that is offering him an amazing opportunity, but he has to move far away in order to accept their offer.  As a result, his last day to give high fives, share hugs, and spend those precious moments with the boys will be later this week.  The boys were heartbroken and started crying as soon as they heard.  Being the amazing young man that he is, he got them thinking about their recent adventures and telling him stories to help them stop crying.  They started back up soon after we were back in the car and when we were walking into a local McDonald’s for a wifi and dinner stop.

This is where I get to say how grateful I am for how loving and attentive God is to even what some would consider the “little things” in life.  A sweet kind stranger saw them crying on the sidewalk outside the McDonald’s door and me trying to get them to come on in and she asked them what was wrong.  When they couldn’t answer through their tears I told her about their friend moving.  What she did next was the sweetest thing; she bought them both some cookies and gave them hugs.  When she found out who it was that was leaving, turned out she knows the young man too and had some happy news to share.  She told us that he plans to come back for the summers and when his schooling is finally done too.  That news sent the smiles spreading back across my boys’ faces real quick and turned our whole night around. 🙂

To our friend Jacob:  We have come to treasure our chances to spend time with you and you have truly been a bright spot in my boys’ lives.  We will always be thankful for that and will keep you in our hearts and prayers as you start this next adventure in your life. 🙂

To the kind stranger:  Thank-you for showing such sweet compassion for children you don’t even know.  I will never forget the kindness you showed them and how you helped put smiles back onto their sweet faces. ❤

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