The sun is shining, there are a few clouds in the warming sky, and over on a perfectly manicured lawn is a family of four enjoying a fantastic morning.
Yup, it's a picture perfect day in suburbia. This could be any family on any street in any town.
For our story, its the Wades. Father and husband Shane, his wife and mother Rachael along with twin sons Dillon and Conner. The boys were originally triplets born 14 weeks premature. They lost brother Logan at 7 weeks. Conner is doing well after battling some liver problems and Dillion has had it pretty rough for a kid, according to his mom.
"He had 2 brain bleeds, he has Cerebral Palsy, hydrocephalus which requires a shunt; and of those 11 surgeries , 5 of those in the last 6 months for his shunts."
He also has epilepsy and his most recent surgery was to try and break up a cyst growing inside his brain. The local medical community has been great as have the neurosurgeon over in Ft. Worth. They predict Dillon will walk independently someday and while it's not an easy road, Rachael and Shane remain ever optimistic.
"We just turn to God and he never lets us down," says Shane..
The Holy Spirit and the Panhandle Spirit are both working in Dillon's favor. There was recently a big golf tournament in Borger with Dillon being the beneficiary, along with the Borger Elks Lodge offering up a large grant for him. Not all that surprising, but never taken for granted.
"Very supportive and unexpected," said Rachael. "Anytime he goes in the hospital or we need help, it's amazing."
Considering the people around here, it's probably not that amazing.
"We rely on our community, and they pick you up by your boot straps and everything's possible," echoed Shane.
"Totally changed my life for the better, and he has an impact on everyone he meets. He'll just change your life," Rachael said with a smile.
And for Dillion with his own very captivating smile, his future is unwritten.
"Developmentally, he behind and he's catching up. He'll always have CP, and hydrocephalus and epilepsy, but we still believe his chances for leading a pretty normal life are pretty good."
And if you're wondering why this family and this special needs child were chosen for the Panhandle Spirt. Well, why not? There are untold numbers of children in this area that need a little help. Dillon seemed like a pretty good spokesperson for them.
And after the video was shot, after the interviews were on the brink of conclusion, it was Dillon who reminded us what it is to be a kid, and to smile and say those magical words that seemed to wrap thing up perfectly.
"I need a cookie."
Well said, Dillon. You really are what makes up the Panhandle Spirit.