So far traveling Jonathan’s Way, I’ve spoken a lot about how I felt. But I want to introduce you to my husband. His name is Stanley and hands down, he is the one that Jonathan loves the most. (We fondly argue from time to time who Jonathan loves the most, but I think my husband has me beat. No matter). My husband has worked hard all his life. He is calmer than I am or he does a great act of being calmer than I am. When we found out that Jonathan was Autistic he said very little. I know that he prayed for his grandson. I was a stay at home mom and I had the time to do the most. But ‘Goompa’ Jonathan’s name for his granddad was his world. When Goompa would come through the front door, Jonathan would laugh joyfully and begin to dance! He would actually do a ‘Jonathan dance’ when Goompa came home from work. We loved it.
I think Goompa’s quiet reserve helped me more than I can say. His exterior calmness helped me to focus and learn about Autism and seek the help I needed to help our grandson. Goompa would take him for walks and let him pick up a small rock each day. When they got back to the apartment, he’d let Jonathan drop the rock down the drain outside before coming inside. He and Jonathan would stand on the porch and just hang out. Every night for almost 3 whole years he would read Curious George and the Pizza to him. He was consistent about taking him for a walk and talking with him. Stanley would sit on the sofa on the weekends and get the storybook and have one of Jonathan’s action figures, in a make-believe voice read his favorite book to him. (Once he and Jonathan were sitting on the sofa and an action figure of the Incredible Hulk was reading to them). When my husband saw that I was stressed and impatient with Jonathan, he’d make sure I had some money and would tell me to go to a movie or go buy something, just so that I could get out of the house. A support system is needed when dealing with special needs challenges. Please be a little supportive when you can.
Goompa and Jonathan still have that special bond. He loves his Goompa.