I met someone today who has Neurofibromatosis. It was a weird, yet familiar feeling. Like meeting up with someone you haven't seen for a really long time.
As I got closer to him, I saw a severely affected person who was trying to hide himself with a hooded sweatshirt and glasses.
It was 90+ degrees today.
He had a dog with him, which made for an easy conversation piece. A huge Great Dane, who practically threw me to the ground to lick me and let me know that his owner may in desperate need for a new friend.
I could tell the dog was old. Despite his energetic embrace, he hobbled away, limping, then resting in the shade. The dog's body came up to my chest, which made me and this gentleman laugh. "You could ride him!" he joked.
I smiled as this man and I finally made eye contact. "My name is Kristi." I stuck out my hand to shake his. "Doug", he smiled and grabbed my hand. "Say, are you on Facebook? You look very familiar", he said to me.
"Wow", I thought...."No way!"
I told him who I was on facebook, about my website and my blog. His response to me almost made me melt. "I am one of your avid readers...." This truly shocked me, because I have never met a reader of my blog. Well, except for family, of course.
As we talked, I could see the walls that were built around this man go down. He took off his glasses. Then slowly pulled his hoodie off of his head. We continued to small talk, until the bell rang for the kids to get out of school.
Through our talk, I found out this man is alone, with 2 young kids, both who also have NF. One Rachel's age, one Riley's age...and he lives just a few blocks away. An amazing connection was made today....and I actually thanked God for my NF. I praised, because I knew God's plan. It was staring back at me and plain as day, today.
A few hours later, I got a Facebook message that read, "It was so nice to meet you Kristi, sorry about my dog, and thank you for teaching me a very good lesson. Thank you for showing me how to THRIVE with NF. I look foward to seeing you tomorrow."