And So the Story Goes

I like it when things get wrapped up in a neat little bow at the end of a story. When we walked into the examination room Wednesday and found a table all decorated, a celebration of Rebeka and all she’s been through the past ten months, I knew we were beginning to start the closure part of this story.

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There were cookies and punch and candy and little pink necklaces, all laid out by the kind people who have checked us in, taken Rebeka’s temperature, changed her casts, scheduled her appointments, chronicled each turn of the foot with pictures, and the doctor who said “yes” all those many months ago. “Yes, let’s give it a go. Let’s see what happens. We’ll start with a couple casts, and we’ll just see.” These are our unsung heroes, the lovable secondary characters that make every story so rich and real and interesting.

These are the women we see first as we walk through the specialty care center. They cheered the first time Rebeka walked in without a cast or wheelchair, and they baked us yummy cookies.

These are the women we see first as we walk through the specialty care center. They cheered the first time Rebeka walked in without a cast or wheelchair, and they baked us yummy cookies.

These are her physical therapists. They know just how hard to push Rebeka, and they make hard work seem fun.

These are her physical therapists. They know just how hard to push Rebeka, and they make hard work seem fun.

Gina was there from the very beginning, taking pictures of Rebeka's foot and helping us navigate schedules and checking in on us after surgeries to make sure we were okay. She is an excellent cheerleader.

Gina was there from the very beginning, taking pictures of Rebeka’s foot and helping us navigate schedules and checking in on us after surgeries to make sure we were okay. She is an excellent cheerleader.

Dr. Dehne does really hard things, things that can hurt like torquing a foot, but he does it because he knows it is the only way to make that child better. He is a fast-moving teddy bear of a man who will do what it takes to help a child. We will miss him, all of the Dell team, so very much.

Dr. Dehne does really hard things, things that can hurt like torquing a foot, but he does it because he knows it is the only way to make that child better. He is a fast-moving teddy bear of a man who will do what it takes to help a child. We will miss him, all of the Dell team, so very much.

This story has also come full circle, like so many good stories do. When Rebeka first got here, we were living out at the lake. And now, we’re back. We’re walking a different mile route, more hills, less street lights, different friends. Last time we were here, she was walking on the tops of her feet, barely able to make it seven doors down before she needed to be carried. Now she’s walking on the bottoms of those feet, and we’re walking a mile and more.

The other day Rebeka’s friend, Gayle took Rebeka to Sea World and she got a bubble gun, just like the one we got (and broke) from Disney. She took it on our walk.

The other day Rebeka’s friend, Gayle took Rebeka to Sea World and she got a bubble gun, just like the one we got (and broke) from Disney. She took it on our walk.

It was a little like a fairy tale, walking down this enchanted green street with a trail of bubbles in our wake.

It was a little like a fairy tale, walking down this enchanted green street with a trail of bubbles in our wake.

There is a little girl down the street who runs to meet us when I text her mom to tell her we’ve started our walk. She is a perfect companion, finding baby turtles and telling us her stories as we make our way.

There is a little girl down the street who runs to meet us when I text her mom to tell her we’ve started our walk. She is a perfect companion, finding baby turtles and telling us her stories as we make our way.

There are friends who help chase around minnows and plop them in the baby pool on the beach where the little fishies endure closer scrutiny.

There are friends who help chase around minnows and plop them in the baby pool on the beach where the little fishies endure closer scrutiny.

 We have less than three weeks with our girl before we kiss her cheeks one last time and send her through security with the sweet family who will be taking her back to Rwanda. We’ve got a few more walks to take. A quick trip to the coast to fish for red fish. A few more physical therapy appointments and one last appointment with her doctor.

A good story is never really over. It sticks to your ribs, and you find other people who’ve read it so you can talk about it. We have lots of people who have followed along on this journey. There are years worth of stories to tell and re-tell, a lifetime of them. And someday we’ll go to Rwanda and our family will meet Rebeka’s family. There’s a sequel in our future, for sure.

This is not The End, but the To Be Continued . . .

This is not The End, but the To Be Continued . . .

 

11 thoughts on “And So the Story Goes

  1. One day, I hope our paths cross so I can give you a hug. I have loved following this story, loved rooting for Rebeka. (Do you think she knows how many hearts she has touched?)

    Thank you so much for sharing her.

  2. It has been a blessing to watch Rebeka (via photos) and read all about her stay with your family (her family). I was honored to meet Rebeka in May and she is one sweet young lady. Thank you for sharing her with so many folks. My heart has been touched by her sweetness. I love that my daughter and granddaughter have gotten to be a part of her life, too.

  3. It IS like a fairy tale, Meredith. What a wonderful happy ending to this chapter for Rebeka. You and all the people who have been a part of her life here have set Rebeka up well for what’s next in her life. I always think it’s harder to be the one left behind than to be the one leaving, but it makes me smile to picture Rebeka WALKING into whatever is next for her in Rwanda– stepping into the arms of amazed family and friends, having easy fun at school, playing at things she could only have dreamed of before y’all crossed paths. Fabulous! And I know you are right– you’ll see her again, somehow, some day.

  4. Yes, sequels to come! Can’t wait to see all that this sweet girl experiences. Thanks for your huge part in this journey, Meredith, and for sharing it with us.

  5. All of these photos are wonderful, but there’s something that I love about that last photo — the one of Clay and Rebeka on the dock. Maybe it’s the peacefulness of the water… the quiet connection between them… the stillness when we all know that the past ten months have been anything but still. It’s a beautiful shot. A beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it, Meredith.

  6. Do you remember when this story started, you weren’t sure (it was unlikely) that her feet would respond to the treatment? Look at now. God is SOOOOO big, and this story is SOOOOO beautiful! How wonderful that you were a part of this. I can’t wait for the sequel, and for the story after that, to see the impact/change that will happen in Rebeka’s country as a result of her being more mobile and exposed to new things in different places. Keep blogging, Meredith. I know you must have more to say, and you say it so touchingly.

  7. Oh my goodness — makes me teary-eyed, yes, what a wonderful, great, beautiful story. Thank you thank you for allowing us to glimpse into your lives along this journey, as you inspire and encourage us through the love and life-changing …can’t even think of the words…stunning gift of dreams and life you have given to Rebeka.

    love, Erin

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