A few years ago, one of our Jill’s House dads said this about his son with disabilities:
“[He] is our ‘little piece of heaven,’ as we like to say. In the eyes of Heaven, we know that [he] is a child of God, precious and perfect in his sight…It’s important to know that we look at [our son] not as a burden, but as a blessing directly from God…Even so, the fact is that [he] is entirely dependent on us for everything…He requires around-the-clock care in order to feed him, to clothe him, to bathe him, to monitor him during the night, to give him his medications, and to position him in various locations throughout the day…This level of care, especially over a long period of time, takes a physical, psychological, and financial toll on the caregiver…[This] can often make on feel unusually burdened, isolated, alone, afraid, worried, dark, hopeless, and mentally and physically exhausted. Pure exhaustion. In the mind of the caregiver, there seems to be no answer to this.
I’m here to tell you that there now is an answer to this. And that answer is Jill’s House.
[Our son’s] first weekend there gave us the priceless gift of the first night in over seven years when my wife and I did not have to provide care to [him]—it was [his] first night away from us in over seven years. For the first time in seven years, the abnormal was replaced with calm and a sense of normalcy. Fear was replaced with peace. Isolation was replaced with relationships and a sense of ‘home.’ Physical and psychological exhaustion was replaced with rest, encouragement, renewed energy, and last but certainly not least—hope.”
I was reminded of this quote as I drove up to Jill’s House today. After 13 years, we just had a new sign installed, and I was reflecting on what might go through the hearts and minds of our Jill’s House families when they see Jill’s House. By God’s grace, I’m hopeful that we will continue to be a beacon of hope for thousands more families over the decades to come.
Joel A. Dillon
CEO, Jill’s House