Several years ago, when we received my son Tyler’s diagnosis for fragile x syndrome, we reached out to the National Fragile X Foundation (NFXF). My wife Jammie and I soon after attended our first conference and met so many families that were on the same journey we were on. At one of the events someone made the comment to us that “this is the best group of people you never wanted to be a part of.” The person who made that comment was not wrong. Over the years we have enjoyed those relationships and have forged a lifelong bond with so many other families.
I have found over the years this is the way it goes sometimes. We run into circumstances that put us around people we would never have imagined and yet, those relationships become ones that you cherish. What got you to that point may be frustrating and, in some cases, extremely painful. You would not have wished for the negative situation, but you find yourself in relationships with people in way that would not have happened without the negative circumstances.
As I reflect back on my life this has been the case in many of my strongest relationships. I have people in my life that walked besides me through my divorce that would not be in my life had I not gone through that very hard time in my life. I am surrounded by a group of men that I cherish that would not be in my life if it were not for the fact that I am a father of a child with unique needs. Even in last year, faced with a global pandemic, many of my relationships were strengthened because we needed to rely and cling to each other in times of uncertainty.
The great Mr. Rogers once stated, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Sometimes the best helpers are those who have walked a similar path you are walking and are now helping you. In some cases, they are walking it currently alongside with you, as you support each other down the path. Though I will do everything possible to shield my children from having to deal with pain and hurt, they will experience bad times in their lives. I pray I can teach them that even though they are experiencing tough times, they need to search for the good people.
Tim Geels – Director of Implementation and Governance