Hi God. Are you there? It's me, Mom. No, not YOUR mom, {E's} mom. Yes, I need to talk to you. I have a special request. Well, more like a list of demands. And yes, I know - I'm not supposed to demand anything of you, but I feel like ya kind of owe me on this one. After the sucker punch of finding out she had special needs (which we've handled marvelously, thank you very much), I feel like you kind of owe it to me to make sure that whomever loves her after I leave this earth, meets this specific criteria. So, when you send her a husband, please make sure that he fits these seven things.

1. Compassionate - Please let his parents have raised him in such a way that he is able to see outside of himself and his own needs. Let him have genuine empathy for the world around him, and for any struggles {E} may encounter. I think when one is able to be empathetic, one is able to TRULY understand. 

2. Genuine - It is imperative that he be a man that is true to his word. A man who says what he means, and means what he says. {E} is the type of kid who holds people to their word. Honesty and truthfulness go a long way with her. Let him not be afraid of belly laughs, or societies prying eyes. They may pry because he may be of a different race, and they may pry because she is in a wheel chair. Let him not be afraid of those eyes - let him genuinely love HER and see HER.

3. Integrity - For the love of all things holy (and you, of ALL people, know about all the holy things), let him be a man of integrity. May he ALWAYS do the right thing, even if it is not the popular thing.  There may be times when he has to go against a doctor's wishes because he KNOWS {E} that well. If he sees the doctor is incorrect, or not helping, please let him speak up. Please give him the ability, the strength, and the bold audacity to be an advocate for {E}, and for all people who may need advocating for. 

4. Empowering - Let him be King of The High Fives, her loudest cheerleader, her confidante and support. May he have eyes and a heart that allow him to see her potential, and push her towards it. Let him be so secure in his capabilities and manhood, that he is never threatened by her pushing him away so she can do something independently, but rather filled with joy that he has empowered her enough to even TRY to do it on her own. This will speak volumes about his role as her husband, and who he is as a man.

5. Optimistic - God, this is important - really hear me on this one. PLEASE LET HIM BE OPTIMISTIC.  Please. {E} has such a big spirit, and such a way of looking at things that no challenge is too big for her. Let him see her and say "the sky is the limit". Let his heart be driven to make her bad days better. Let his glass be half full more than it is ever half empty. Let him understand the energy that flows from him out into the universe, also flows into my {E}. Let his heart also be open enough to allow her energy to flow freely into him. Just like I want his heart to be driven to make her bad days better, I pray that he is able to see that her heart is just the same for him. 

6. Playful - Seriously, God. Seriously. Things are tough enough in life. To run around not engaging in the general silliness of it all, is silly in and of itself.  {E} and I have been known to shimmy down the aisles of Target, salsa dance in the kitchen, and wear fake mustaches out in public - just because. Please let him be a Just Because-er. Let his running man in the produce section put mine to shame. Give him a Dougie that makes Dougie E. Fresh look like he stole it from him. LET.HIM.BE.ALIVE. Never fearing other people's opinions, or society's staunch rules of appropriate Target shopping behavior. Let him love to live life, every second, of every day. {E} does. The least you could do is find her a match, right?

Last, but certainly not least....

7. Loving - And I don't mean like, he loved his puppy in 2nd grade, or his custom Chuck Taylor's in high school. I mean like he was loved so good and so hard by his parents, that he knows not what it is to be intentionally mean and ugly and hurtful. He has no concept of the silent treatment because his parents always acknowledged him, and listened to him, even when they were angry with him. The idea of striking another human being in anger is so far removed from his psyche that it never even becomes a fleeting thought when he is upset - because his parents never struck him. They taught him to discuss, to listen objectively, to try and understand, and to agree to disagree. In short, I hope, I pray, I plead, and I beg of you, to make sure that once I'm gone...once you feel my job as her parent is done, that you will send her a man who has loved her as I do, because he has been loved. 

Signed, 

Mom

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