Autism makes for some difficult times around the holidays.
It helps us see things in a completely different way.
A way that maybe, just maybe, might be a lesson for us all.
Jared typically doesn't ask for anything..... ever.
He doesn't ask for toys.
He doesn't ask for candy.
He doesn't ask for shoes or clothes.
The only time we can get him to tell us something he wants us to buy him is when we start talking about Christmas.
We will start asking him in early November, what he would like Santa to bring him.
(Yes, Jared still 100% believes that Santa brings a Christmas present to those people who are on the NICE list.)
So this year, just like year's past, we begin trying to get Jared to tell us something he wants for Christmas.
Usually he tells us some sort of video game or movie... but this year that didn't happen!
This year he says, "I want a Hokie Stone Uniform."
Since being the manager of the Cosby football team, Jared has really started to LOVE football!
His two favorite football teams are Cosby (that's his favorite) and Virginia Tech.
Of course he is on the sideline of the Cosby games on Friday nights, and then on Saturday's he is in front of the TV watching his other team - the Virginia Tech Hokies!
During the week, he watches clips of past VT football games on YouTube.
This season, his favorite game was the Battle of Bristol - when VT played Tennessee. Unfortunately the Hokies didn't win that game, but that didn't change how much Jared loved that game. He absolutely LOVED the special Hokie Stone jerseys that VT wore at that game.
And so when we asked Jared what he wanted for Christmas, we knew what he was talking about when he said "I want a Hokie Stone Uniform."
He wanted a jersey/shirt like the Hokies wore at the Battle of Bristol.
However, when I began searching for this jersey in November, it was no where to be found.
I searched the Internet and found that they used to sell them at Nike.com but they no longer had them. I found one 3XL for sale on eBay but I knew my sewing skills were not good enough to turn a 3XL into a size Large.
I tried to talk to Jared and see if there was anything he thought he might want Santa to bring him.
But his answer never changed.
A Hokie Stone Uniform was all he wanted.
Finally, I contacted Nike and after several tries, got a live person on the phone, who informed me that they had no more, and didn't think they would ever have anymore.
One and gone.
Once again I went back to Jared, and tried to convince him that he might want something else from Santa.
I shared that Santa may not have any Hokie Stone Uniforms left and may not be able to make any new ones.
Jared would just say, "Santa will do it", or "I am on the nice list and Santa will get it for me."
His belief never wavered.
As a last ditch effort, I decided to contact Justin Fuentes' office at Virginia Tech.
I emailed and asked if they knew anywhere that might have a Hokie Stone Jersey.
I explained how much Jared loves VT football
and how this item is the one thing
the only thing
that he wanted for Christmas.
Within a few hours, I got an email back, with the name and phone number of someone to call.
I called and was then connected with a wonderful gentleman who contacted his buyer and long story short...
within 24 hours
a Hokie Stone Jersey
was on its way to our home.
I am incredibly thankful for the people that helped make this possible - as it was out of my reach to make it happen.
So this morning, the first thing Jared went to when he woke up was his stocking.
He pulled out the candy and quickly laid it aside.
He dug down deep into the stocking and pulled out his Hokie Stone Jersey.
He immediately put it on and his face lit up as he shared, "Santa brought me my special gift!"
You could see it all over his face.
In Jared's world, he sees things as very matter-of-fact.
His faith in the things he believes to be true never falters.
Oh, if I could live my life more like that.
To live a life where you trust beyond trust that good will always overcome evil...
That people will always do what they say they will do...
And to always assume the very best in people.
But so difficult at the same time.
As we end 2016 and enter 2017...
may we each not waiver in the things that we know to be true,
may we be people who choose to believe the best about those around us,
may we be willing to step outside of ourselves and lend a hand to those in our lives each day.
may we each take with us some of the Christmas Spirit that was present today and carry it with us throughout the year.
And of course.... Let's Go.... Hokies!
|Jared turned on the YouTube clip of the Battle of Bristol game,|
so he could stand next to his Hokies and of course Justin Fuentes.