HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL!

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To all of you I want to say a heart-felt Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 

So, I must confess that this year has had its share of challenges for our family and relatives, too. But I also have to say that we  have made it this far into the year, and we’re looking at the end of 2016 and glimpsing the beginning of 2017. It stands to reason that God has brought us each and every day of this trying year to this very day. 

I think that if He carries us further, we’ll be able to weather the storms that may be ahead of us; and bask in the times of refreshing that lie ahead, as well. 

So from my family to your family, God bless you and have a wonderful holiday season. Make sure to hug someone and genuinely smile. 

Don’t be bullied by this politically correct atmosphere, please. Christmas is a time of family, friends, laughter, crying and more.

Always remember, too that….

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Rosa

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY PART 3

This past week of intense Chemotherapy has left Johanna, in her own words: ‘SICK.’ She has been heaving every day. When she gets up she up-chucks, during the day she is throwing up. At night she can’t even take the medicine to help her stop heaving because she can’t get anything in or keep it down. It’s been a long week for her.

Johanna has an angelic voice. She writes music and sings it. She wrote a song some years ago and she sang it in church once, too. Here are the lyrics. I hope you are encouraged and inspired by them as you go throughout your day.

 

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LIFE WILL BE BETTER

Verse 1

So you’ve got problems, I’ve got some, too.

Feels like the whole world is against you

Like there is no one who knows what you’re going through

Well, I’ve been there and I can tell you.

Chorus

When you learn to trust in Jesus

When you give Him your all

When you show your faith won’t waver

Then life will be better. Then life will be better.

Verse 2

Feels like there’s no hope. I’ve felt that too.

Pain is your present, your future, too.

Just want a day when your heart’s not in two.

Well, I’ve been there, and I can tell you…

Chorus

 

Verse 3

Cried through some long nights, I’ve cried some, too.

Praying for the moment when dreams will come true

Life ain’t so easy. It’s harder on you

So just do as I tell you to do.

Special Chorus

Life ain’t the best and you’re just living

Things can’t get worse but then it is

How can you see the forest for the trees

Well, I know just what you mean

Chorus

But it’s when you learn to trust in Jesus

It’s when you give Him your all

When you show your faith won’t waver

Then life will be better. Then life will be better

(Written by Johanna Parker, who lovingly gave me permission to reprint it.)

More tomorrow.

Rosa

 

MEET MY FAMILY – MOM’S SIDE – A MILESTONE NO ONE ELSE HAS MET!

It’s been a roller coaster of emotions with my daughter being sick with cancer, but it is a great relaxation to blog about someone in our family who reached a  milestone that no one else on Mom’s or Dad’s side of the family has ever met. My sister Brenda and her husband Ronald celebrated 50 years of marriage last year September 25, 2015. Their children surprised them with a 50th Wedding Anniversary banquet. It was just beautiful. And just this past Sunday they celebrated 51 years of marriage! Let’s all stand up and applaud. She was 19 years old and he was 24 when they married.  She just turned 70 and he’ll be 75 in December.

No one else in our entire family has ever reached that milestone, due to death of a spouse or divorce of a spouse. My grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and siblings.  Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert Ronald Evans have the distinction of being married 51 years this past Sunday, September 25, 2016. That record gives one hope in this non-committed society where anything like a shoe size is cause for divorce. It’s an honor to know anyone who has weathered the storm and came out wiser for it.

If you remember, my sister Brenda was named after one of my dad’s sisters, and she has the distinction of being the oldest of all the grandchildren on my Mom’s side, too.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY RONALD AND BRENDA.

GOD GRANT YOU MORE YEARS TOGETHER!

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Cutting Anniversary cake

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Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert and Brenda Evans Golden Anniversary Banquet

 

 

WHY I AM NOT SAYING “WHY”

 

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Hi All,

It has been a whirlwind of activity and emotions with my daughter being sick. I have been examining my own reactions and thoughts about her condition:

I wondered why I wasn’t screaming, yelling and crying uncontrollably. It’s because first and foremost, “it’s not about me,” it’s about my daughter and her welfare and getting better. I don’t have time to indulge myself. Yes, at the beginning I cried for about 10 minutes. Then I stopped.  She needs me.

I wondered why I didn’t say, “Why me or why my daughter?” It’s because I know that pain and heartache and sickness and disease inhabits this entire world. It’s because others that I love and know are suffering, too. I watch them and how they quietly do what is necessary to endure and get better. I think that it’s unfair to say why me when sickness comes to all of us. By me saying why me, I suggest that it’s alright for others to go through but not me or mine.

I wondered why I was exhausted and would fall into the bed sleeping heavily. It’s because, as a mom, I am anxious for my daughter. It’s because if I could, I would take the pain for her, but I can’t. I can, however, be there for her and do all I can do to make her trial of illness a little better. I can do that for sure.

I wondered why I am not out of my mind with worry. It’s because in that state of mind I cannot be of service to her. I can’t even pray for her like that. If nothing else I can be a support for her and comfort as much as I can. Worrying my hair out keeps  me from doing that. She means more to me than my biting my nails down to the quick. I don’t have the right to do that. I have to be there for her.

Ultimately, I have a grip because the God whom I serve has already taken care of this situation.

Rosa

JONATHAN’S WAY CHAPTER 9

Ages 3 to 6/The Turbulent Years

I love sharing the pictures of Jonathan’s early childhood. They look so cute and sweet. He seems like all is well. It wasn’t.

At church

4 years old at Church on Easter Sunday

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The time came when I dreaded the mornings because even with the song I sang to him daily, there was turmoil trying to get him ready for school daily. From the time he got out of the bed until the time he got downstairs outside waiting on the bus there was all kinds of conflicts. I tried everything I knew to work through it. Little to none of it worked. In fact, at times I had to call the school bus depot and let them know not to come and pick him up. I would get him to school myself.

There were days I cried along Jonathan’s Way, because I felt all alone traveling his way. I knew from the look in his face that he really didn’t know what was wrong with him either. It was that look more than anything that helped me to keep a good grip on my emotions each and every day. It was only once he got on the school bus or I got him to class that I cried, just to release the tension in me.

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We attend church regularly.  When Jonathan was  2-1/2 years old, I was sitting in service with him next to me. I didn’t have any problems with him at church as far as bad behavior. But one day I noticed he was afraid. So, I picked him up and held him in my arms. I tried to put him down once and he clung to me tighter. I started having a hard time breathing, his arms were tightening around my neck and his head was buried in the side of my neck as if he were hiding from something. I finally got his arms from around my neck and sat him on the pew next to me. He jumped off the pew and crawled under it. I kept telling him to get up and tried to pull him from under the pew. It was almost an impossible feat. I finally did get him up and took him by the hand and drug him out of the sanctuary into the hallway and finally into the church nursery. It would be 3-1/2 years later before he sat in the sanctuary again. He was 2-1/2  years old when I took him out of the sanctuary. He was 6 years old when he returned to it or should I say when we returned to it.

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I went through a lot of emotions in that 3 1/2 year period. I found out that he was afraid of the ceiling fans in the church sanctuary. It was so bad that my  husband and I had to bring him in the church from the back door and take him straight to the nursery.  I thought his pediatrician or his neurologist could give me some medicine and take away that fear. Both of them looked at me at separate appointments and said, “Mom, you just have to wait him out. He has to process it and there is no set time for that.” It proved to be a lonely time for me traveling Jonathan’s way during those years. I felt stuck and that I’d never be able to attend service regularly again. On the Sundays when we had our Communion services they had to bring my sacraments into the nursery for me to partake. My husband, a minister at our church, was always up in the pulpit with the pastor and other associate ministers while I was stuck in the nursery with Jonathan and other kids, babysitting, playing with, reading to, and talking to all the little munchkins. I confess that I was angry with him, too. I cried a lot during that time, wondering when it would all end.

More tomorrow.

Rosa

JONATHAN’S WAY CHAPTER 8

WHEN JONATHAN COMES HOME FROM SCHOOL

Preschool Jonathan

Preschool Jonathan

Home from School

Grandma stands in the window of the front door of her apartment complex.
A sunless sky and darkening clouds meet her. Grandma buttons up her coat and
stuffs her hands in the pockets and leans on the window. Jonathan’s bus will pull up
any minute now. He has been in school since he was 2 ½ years old. School has been
so good for him. Jonathan’s teachers are excellent and best of all they understand
how to reach him. They give Grandma progress reports and daily notes to inform
her of what went on during classes so she can keep it going. They give her tips on
communicating with him. Their suggestions work and have been beneficial to
Grandma and her little grandson, Jonathan.
The bus pulls up in front of the apartment complex. The doors to the bus
open. The bus driver unbuckles Jonathan’s safety belt and the four-year old darts
off the bus. The sound of the engine at rest makes Jonathan nervous and he runs
away from it, fleeing to his ever constant retreat – Grandma.
“Bye bus,” Jonathan waves. Grandma joins him in his wave, both watching the
bus drive away. The bus stops at the end of the driveway to wait for traffic to
pass. Jonathan waits, too. He has to see the bus leave before he can begin his walk
down the long walk way to the front door of the apartment complex. It’s his way.
The bus begins to pull out onto the road. Jonathan waves again at the small
yellow bus taking Grandma’s hand with the other.
“Bye bus.”
With that, Jonathan and Grandma walk down the sidewalk towards the front
door. Grandma opens the door and walks in but it’s Jonathan who has to be the one
to close it behind them.
Permission lovingly given to share this excerpt from Jonathan’s Way by Lynnette Roman
Rosa

JONATHAN’S WAY CHAPTER 6

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JONATHAN

Waiting on school bus

Waiting on school bus

When Morning Comes

The sun pours into Grandma’s bedroom. Its warmth falls on her and the small frame of her grandson, Jonathan, resting soundly on his small bed positioned beside their bedroom wall. Grandma and grandpa keep a watchful eye over the young boy through the night. Grandma sits on the edge of her bed and the sound of her loving voice begins to wake him.

“Wake up, sleepy head,” she calls to the sleepy boy.

Jonathan rubs his eyes but does not get up, only buries his head in the pillow. He’s still very sleepy. Grandma smiles. Patience is a virtue when handling sleepy Jonathan. A song comes to Grandma’s mind. A song she sings every morning to the four-year old. She takes her place on the edge of her bed and begins to sing a morning song to wake Jonathan up. She knows that he will join her in song.

“Wake up, wake up you sleepy head. It’s time to go to school. Wake up, wake up you sleepy head it’s time to learn the golden rule. When the school bell rings…”

“Ding, dong…” Jonathan sings sleepily rolling on his side towards his grandma.

“Then we all will be on our way, so wake up, wake up you sleepy head, its time to go to school…”

“Today,” Jonathan sings opening his large big brown eyes.

After a good stretch and yawn he smiles at his grandmother and climbs out of bed. He walks on his tip toes into her arms and rest his head on her shoulder being rocked as he does every morning. A busy day is ahead for him and it begins with a hug and kiss from Grandma.

“Good morning, Jonathan,” Grandma says to the little one.

“Good morning, Mama.”

Grandma smiles inwardly. Only a year ago he wasn’t able to say that.

-Children with Autism benefit from routine in many ways. As a matter of fact, they expect routine. Jonathan, expects to hear his grandmother’s voice in the morning. He knows it is morning when she begins to sing the ‘morning song’. Consistency is not only a major part of Jonathan’s morning but his life. Any small change in his environment or daily routine will result in an upset Jonathan.

-Children with Autism tend to speak later than other children. They often refer to themselves by name instead of “I” or “me”.


Permission to use this excerpt from ‘Jonathan’s Way’ given freely by author Lynnette Roman – Jonathan’s Aunt JoJo.

Rosa