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No, not the person who you say, “I wouldn’t want to be THAT person.” or “You never want to be THAT person.”  No.  You definitely do not want to be those people.  Rather, this is one type of person that you could/would…dare I say should want to be.  Too many pronouns?  Allow me to explain.

I listed my responsibilities in caring for Joe and Bella the other day.  One of them is making sure that they are brought along with our “race” against cancer in the event that we don’t “win” the race.  A few things have come to mind when I look at what “those days” might look like.

1.  I have read on some blogs where the siblings say “goodbye” to their brother/sister when the end is imminent.  Even I can’t go there…right now.

2.  In the event that Trey’s aortic patch would burst and he bleeds out in the middle of the night, what would my strategy be to minimize the trauma for Joe and Bella?  How could Joe ever sleep in the same room again?  I have since realized that Bella would be more the problem (even though she doesn’t share a bedroom with Trey) as she wakes up when a fly changes the velocity of it’s wing speed and Joe could sleep through a GWAR concert held on his bed.

3.  Joe and Bella both need someone that they feel close to and trust that can spend time with them in the days/weeks/months following the races “conclusion.

#3 is the focus of the post today and, to a degree, the conclusion of my post from earlier in the week.  Toward the end I mentioned that even if you don’t have kids that you are vital to kids lives.  Here’s how.

I was taught, years ago, while working with kids in crisis that every child needs, “An objective 3rd party adult who does not have the authority to punish.”  This person acts as an advocate, sounding board, confidant, cheerleader, friend, resource and so much more.  For many of the folks of “my generation” it was a grandparent.  Very often it’s a friend’s parent.  If a church or organization is doing it right the youth group leaders could/would/should fit this role.  For years when I was on YoungLife staff this is exactly who we were and what we did.  The Big Brother/Sister organization is a perfect example of people filling this need in kids lives.

What happens so often is that kids grow up without this resource.  Like with any need, they (unknowingly) try to fill it any way they can.  What happens is that it is filled by imperfect if not damaging substitutes.  Either it’s their friends (who are not adults), inappropriate love interests who are older (certainly not “objective”), parents themselves (parents are to parent…not to be best friends), or things that aren’t relationships at all (online options, hobbies that become obsessions, etc.).

I say all of this in regards to Joe and Bella as I have been encouraging some people to consider this as  an act of love toward them.  God has taken care of this in wonderful ways.  One of the main reasons I have wanted this was for “those times”.  So many of the people in Joe and Bella’s life would be mourning for themselves in “those days.”  It is unrealistic (and unhealthy) for them to be expected to care for Joe and Bella while trying to grieve and be comforted themselves.  For example, imagine the first few days after the…errr, “end of the race.”  There is a viewing(s), service, follow up meal (party?).  These are all things I keep notes on and trust that God will direct as and if the time comes.  But what of Joe and Bella?  How much do they attend?  How long do they attend?  Who meets their needs?  Who sits quietly with them or runs them up to McDonald’s?  Who “sneaks” them back to the house to play Wii or reapply make up?  It can’t be Rachel or me, we’ll be a bit busy.  It can’t be an aunt or uncle, they’ll have their own grieving to do.

Nope, it’s the objective 3rd party adult without the authority to punish, that’s who.  Joe and Bella’s know who they are and have agreed to this.  Now I ask you…are you this to somebody’s kids/teenager?  God bless you if you are.  You are vital and important.  If you don’t have kids of your own this is a high and noble calling.  It is all part of how God meets our needs in so many different ways.


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