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  • Writer's pictureRetah McPherson

She was willing to step into his world

25 September 2019

Aldo and Chantel have been married for 5 years this week.

To be married to a person with a brain injury means you need to step into his world to find him.  It will be somebody that is willing to live and grow together in a small world, and lay down your life to the one you love.

Not many people are even able to allow Aldo to finish his sentences, because he speaks very, very slowly and they don't have the patience.

I believe the true character of a person comes to light in the way you treat someone who can do nothing for you in return.

Chantel not only stepped into his world, she is happy to share his world with him.  She quickly learned that you only fail when you stop trying. So, every day we just start all over again.

With Aldo’s brain injury, you get the same questions every day. "What day is it today? How old am I?"  Some days we say the wrong day, and we all will laugh when he just stares at us with much unbelief in his eyes towards us.  You must find a smile and laughter in little things.

Chantel never stops to answer him in love, speaks to him with respect and helps him with compassion.

She works with him every day to create a positive healthy mindset, because negativity will never produce health or a positive life.

Last year we nearly lost Aldo.  He was very, very sick and had another brain operation. The setback put him back about 5 years.  It felt like we started all over again from the very beginning.  But nothing is too difficult for God.  We just needed to get up and start again!

We started with walking again, helping him to put on his own clothes again, eating and everything that we all took for granted, we had to start training him once again.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. You only fail when you stop trying!  This is how we not only help Aldo, but this is how we all need to renew our minds every day.

The life that Aldo and Chantel are living is so small.  They live in a small flat in our house.  A brain injured person needs routine and not too much noise and people around them.  We protect them, as Aldo is very open in the realm of the spirit because of his injury.

What takes us half an hour will take them 2 hours.  Every day the same things.  Success doesn't come from what we do occasionally, but what we do consistently.

I teach them to dream big, doesn't matter their situation.  Aldo made a movie in his head for months of how he saw himself riding a tandem bicycle with his dad.  We saved and Abba Father provided the money so that we could buy the tandem.  Today they have the privilege to ride together in the mountain.

Other than that, Aldo is in his little flat the whole day.  Reading his Bible or doing his maths, even if it is small grades maths.  Sometimes just building puzzles on the computer.  I believe his brain needs to work every day!

You will not taste success without seeing something beforehand.  There is no dream too big for God, to make it a reality.

Aldo and Chantel’s dream may differ from yours.  But that doesn't matter.  In our own situation, we can still experience summer!

Tinus baths Aldo every night at 8pm, and then Aldo goes to bed.  So we can never go out at night with him.  Today we took them out for lunch to celebrate with them.  We have learned to make moments – and we don't compare our moments with yours.

He still struggles to communicate with people, and it looks different from the way we communicate with each other – but at least he can - his way.  We have learned to find places to eat where we can sit outside where people can't stare at us.

A year ago we looked death in the eyes.  That is why we celebrate today!  We celebrate every step of this journey.  And the best of all is – we can see in each other the change of heart - more of Him and less of us.

The fact that he could go for a ride in the mountain with his dad is huge for us.  Every day we just count our blessings.  Some days are good days, some days not so good. 

On the good days Chantel will put him in the car and take him for ice cream.  On a Monday morning, she will put him in the wheelchair and take him to buy groceries while the shop is quiet.  The bad days we just take turns to stay with him.  He cannot walk alone, so somebody needs to be with him to help him every step of the way.

This is how we all dance on our eternal melody with our Abba.  A melody of unconditional love.

Everything begins in the inside, before it shows up on the outside.  In their small lives, it is very important for me to help them rejoice in the small things.

Chantel and Aldo are very happy together.  They understand each other and we love her as our own child. We work together as a team, because no one can do this alone.

Chantel also struggles with her own childhood pains, and needs to face them just as Aldo faced his childhood pain.

Together they fight these dark traumas, and choose to walk side by side holding Abba Father’s hand as He leads them into inner healing and restoration.

Trauma healing is not a one day quick fix, and her wounds are also very, very deep as she covered it all her life.  The fruit was evidence, and she wanted healing so badly!  What came out was painful and hard for her to face.  Her anger and pain had to be dealt with, and this dark deep pain was the reason for many of her struggles.  And still is today, but what we do for Aldo, we do for her.

God wants us to walk in transparency, and today I can see that God put them together so that they can heal together.  The battle is in the spirit, and faithful is God that he reveals all!

In the beginning, we did not understand what was going on – but today we see how the enemy came to kill, steal and destroy – but Jesus came to bring life and life in abundance. 

For years Tinus and I took so much strain and our bodies could feel it.  Fifteen years of trauma.  Today we realize that we have to look after ourselves.

If it was easy, everyone would do it.  The truth is it is a very hard journey.  But how I thank God for what He taught us Himself through this road.

Aldo said to Josh, “Are you coming with us today?”  Josh – “You think I will miss a chance to go out with you? Let’s go!”

Thank You Abba, You are truly faithful!

I want to bless them – and speak life over their marriage in Jesus Christ’ Name.

To you, all I want to say is “Thank you” for your love and support all these years. Thank you for lifting our arms when the going gets tough.

I am so thankful that we can walk and learn together.

Retah and family

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