We got to talking about the service dog (that's Chris in the photo above performing in between sets at the concert), and I told him how Todd and I still sometimes feel uneasy, accepting donations to 4 Paws in Riley's honor, when there are families in dire straights financially. Families that are out of work, or whose kids have severe health issues, or both. A dog for Riley isn't life or death and we are not exactly struggling. We live modestly but Todd has a good job and can (and does) pick up overtime when we need something for the kids or want something extra.
We talked about how 4 Paws for Ability does not want the dogs to be a financial strain on the families seeking them. We talked about how the fundraising each family is required to do brings awareness to 4 Paws, and how this whole effort has been a chance to educate people about Asperger's. To let people into our often secluded world.
Then Christopher, my darling brother said,
"You know, raising kids is hard (he's got two beautiful girls). It's a tough job, and raising kids with special needs has to be a hundred times harder. A lot of times people don't know what to do, but this gave us a chance to feel like we could do something. To feel like we could help in some way."
With his words, something that had been weighing on my shoulders lifted a bit.
Christopher and I could not be more different. He is uber conservative. I'm to the left, (then over to the left a little more). We're opposite in so many ways, but I believe we "get" each other's hearts.
I love him.
More than words.