Today the kids and I went up to see my grandma along with my mom, my Aunt Nancy (mom's sister), my sister Micki and her son. My Aunt Sandy (mom's other sister) and her husband, my Uncle Tom have recently back from Virginia, to live with my grandma until the trailer they've had built can be put on her land. My uncle is pretty bad off - he's had some sort of brain trauma, along with numerous other disorders, and he's just not doing well.
When we first get there, Izzy jumps out of the van and runs on into the house where he runs right up to my grandma and gives her a big hug, which I believe made her day. He hasn't seen my aunt or uncle since he was a little baby, so he doesn't remember them at all, but for some unknown reason he instantly warms up to my uncle, even going as far as climbing up on his lap and just sitting there happily. After a while he gets down to play some, then he goes back and sits in the floor by my uncle's leg. Izzy then stroked my uncle's leg, from knee to ankle, very gently and sweetly, probably for a good ten minutes. My uncle was so impressed by Izzy's kindness, and he kept taking Izzy back up on his lap and loving on him, for it's been quite a while since he's seen any of his own granchildren, even though he probably wouldn't be able to remember if had anyways.
One of the problems my uncle is currently experiencing is a sense of being kind of out of his body. People become flashes of light and areas of darkness and so he gets scared. He deals with this by reaching out a hand, so that someone will touch him and bring him back, so to speak. We didn't know this, however, when suddenly my uncle stretches his hand out towards my mother, palm upwards, silently pleading for her to help him. My mom says, "Tom, do you need something?," and before my aunt can explain what he's doing, Izzy walks over to him and very lightly wraps his small fingers around my uncle's outstretched hands.
My uncle's eyes go wide and he says, "That is beautiful. How amazing that such a young child understands the importance of human touch and knew just what I needed."
As my uncle continued to speak, astonishment clearly on his face, Izzy walked over to my Aunt Nancy, the one who went up with us, and said quietly, "Uncle Tom is pretty sick, isn't he?" I was floored, and still am, that such empathy and gentleness can exist in the heart of the biggest, most rambunctious three year old I know.
He's a good boy. A big giant good boy with a big giant good heart.