My son Branden has lots of friends,
in fact his teacher says he is popular.
(Whatever that means.)
He is fun and easy to get along with.
But Branden has one friendship that's different than others,
that's his friendship with Annie!
(No, he doesn't have a little crush on her, although she is certainly cute.)
He and Annie have a bond,
that seems to have been there from the day they met or before.
Let me go back about a year ago when Annie and her family moved into our neighborhood and ward (our church congregation.) Her first week at primary (our churches children's organization) he was first to step to her side and help her around. Each week he was determined to sit by Annie and be there for her. Annie loves everyone with such perfect unconditional love. But she seemed to have a connection with Branden. In my faith we believe we lived as spirits before we came to this earth to be tried and tested. I firmly believe these two must have been friends then, and sensed that connection when they met here on earth.
I forgot to mention Annie has a very rare progressive disorder. Annie's disorder is 4h syndrome leukodystrophy. When she was diagnosed there were only about 19 people world wide with this diagnosis. The numbers have grown a little since then as they learn more about it. The problems that she experiences have to do with hypomylination of the brain, atrophy of the cerebellum also affecting the pituitary gland, and hypodontia. What all of that means is that Annie has trouble getting the signals from one place to another, there is significant delay. She also has no balance so she can not stand or walk on her own. She has problems with ataxia that make it very difficult to feed herself or to write or stack blocks. Her teeth are coming in, in a strange and delayed order and are misshapen. Speech is also difficult for her and her short term memory is affected, but she is doing much better than anyone ever expected. She is capable of walking with a walkabout gait trainer. She operates on the level of a 4 year old. She loves to hug almost everyone, tightly! Branden just lets her love on him and is so sweet with her. This past month Branden and Annie were able share their baptism together. Each were excited to get baptized , but were even more excited when they found out they would be sharing their baptism together.
"Yessss!" were Branden's exact words.
Watching them together was so amazing.
They truly brought the spirit of Jesus Christ through the true love and friendship they displayed. Annie's mom calls Branden Annie's Hero. I suppose he is an eight year old hero as he lovingly lets Annie hang on his neck and squish sloppy kisses on his cheeks, and he's always willing to be by her side. But he is friends with her because she is like him, a hero. She can melt your heart in 1 second and draw you closer to Christlike love every time you see her. She just lifts you up with her infectious smile and encompassing hug!!
No wonder these two are friends!
I share this special moment and friendship because I think we all can learn from these two eight year olds. If we all could love and accept each other as these two do the world would be much better.
We can often learn so much from children!!
Thanks for stopping by!