REALLY?

Hello all,

The way I see it is, are the most ‘popular’ or well-known issues of our lives worse because of what “experts” and “celebrities” say and how they feel about it? Can it be that for the sake of being with the “in crowd” (old expression) I sacrifice my own convictions, whether popular or not?

Does it really matter what this professional says about what I ought to do? Does it really matter about what ‘superstar someone’ says publicly. Am I to change how I feel or become intimidated about how I really feel, just to be counted with these people, people who don’t even know I exist? I DON’T THINK SO. If you had the good teachings of your parents that’s advice you can take.

The old widow woman down the street in your neighborhood, who still plants her flowers ever year, who has raised all of her children successfully, and has a lot of grandchildren who come by and love her is better able to give me advice for my life regarding the issues that come up, than anyone who doesn’t even know me.

That man who lost his family because of an addition and made up his mind he wasn’t going to live any longer captive to it, who went into rehab and with the support of professionals who knew what to do to help him, can better tell me about my struggles than well-known strangers in the news.

Trials and troubles are kindred in this world, they happen to everyone. No one is exempt. But I value the advise of those who have endured and come out the better for what they endured than the three words coming from notoriety: LIGHT, CAMERA, ACTION! That’s how I see it.

Rosa

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WE’RE CONNECTED TO OUR LOVED ONES

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This is the face of a young woman who is taking her last round of Chemotherapy, yesterday, Tuesday, January 24, 2017. I am grateful to God for all of His mercy. 

Guess what? I didn’t realize until yesterday how much my daughter’s illness had taken a toll on me, too. But when I knew that she wouldn’t have to be extremely sick for days on end; when I realized that she wouldn’t blow up any more (she got bigger from the 3 different chemo medicines they were giving her), when I knew that I wouldn’t have to hold back my own emotions when she would say to me, “Mom, I’m just sick, so sick,” after she took those treatments; when I saw that she smiled genuinely in this photo; when she called me and said, “Mom, in two weeks we are all going to Red Lobster, and I am going to eat and enjoy it,” (she didn’t enjoy eating for months because she said that all she could taste was the medicines they gave her). When I could see that she wouldn’t spend hours just lying in the bed trying to rest from those treatments; when I knew that eventually her hair would grow back; when I knew that my youngest daughter had changed tremendously during this ordeal and that she’d never be the same; she had grown up that much more; when I knew that she was planning for the future when she said to me, “Mom, I want to move to another state…” When I weighed all of these items, I realized that I was weak with relief. I really couldn’t do much yesterday except thank God. 

Friends, we’re connected to those we love and what happens to them affects us. You may say, “I know that.” But when you have to stand by and helplessly watch as the one you love suffers, whatever the issue, be it physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, or spiritually; you’ll see even more clearly that you suffer along with them. 

For the first time in months I am focusing on myself. But if I am to be honest, I still have one eye on her. She will still have rounds of tests to do and blood to be drawn from time to time, but on a whole I have to say WE have come a long, long way.  

 

Rosa

WHY I AM NOT SAYING “WHY”

 

when-life-gets-too-hard-to-stand

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 15

A NEW BEGINNING

Thank you all for traveling Jonathan’s Way with me. There’s so much more that I can share, but it’s not necessary right now. Suffice it to say that Jonathan is a true gift from God! He is such a unique individual and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As I write this post, he is next to me with his phone (His Aunt Jennifer gave it to him) and his ear buds in and laughing about something he is watching on YouTube. I had no idea that YouTube had things like contests for kids to guess which fries or nuggets or ice creams are the best. Traveling Jonathan’s way, I now know that.

The last video game I played before Facebook was Pac-Man on an old Nintendo. Jonathan introduced me to Pokemon Go! He laughs and laughs watching people on YouTube play it. I am just not interested in it at all. Right now he is watching bowling on it and commenting, “Seriously?”

He is reaching out for me now just touching my arm, nothing else, no requests. He feels at ease and comfortable with me. He feels safe. I am glad for that feeling he has. The world we live in isn’t safe all the time for our children.

WILL SOMEBODY TELL ME WHAT’S SO FUNNY ABOUT PASSING GAS! But I guess that’s Jonathan’s way.


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In September he begins middle school and the journey starts over. It’s a new beginning for him and for me and for all of our family, as we travel Jonathan’s way. One of the best bloggers I know is David Snape, and  when I asked him a few days ago what advice he had for me about Jonathan going into middle school, he simply said that he is going to learn a lot in these next five years. He also said that Jonathan would be alright. Thanks David. I appreciate you.

Hey guys, don’t be a stranger. I am a book editor, but I also love reading your blogs. If you have some tips or  even advice for me as I travel Jonathan’s way, feel free to share it!

Don’t forget, I’m here for you.

Rosa

 

JONATHAN’S WAY CHAPTER 13

JONATHAN’S HEIGHT AND SIZE

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I don’t know when I really began to notice that he was growing up very fast. But he did grow fast, to me. So, I expressed it to his pediatrician at the time. “Doctor, he is very tall for his age,” I said.  The doctor looked up from his notes at Jonathan’s year physical and replied, “And…”

 

I felt silly. He told me that there was nothing I could do about what inherited or genetic. If he’s tall, he’s tall. Well, that was when he was about 6 years old. In these pictures, he’ll 11 years old.  He had the distinction of being the tallest boy in his school. Why, when a real bona fide lumberjack came to the 4th grade classes and took pictures with them, my Jonathan was taller than the lumberjack!

I read an online article regarding children on the spectrum growing taller and weighing more than other children without their challenges:

"Preliminary analysis shows that younger children with ASDs tend to be taller, and older children with ASD tend to be heavier, than their unaffected siblings."    

https://iancommunity.org/cs/ian_research_reports/weight_and_height_minireport.  -Online Reference

There is always something to smile about where Jonathan is concerned:

  • My husband and I along with Jonathan were at the voting booth one year, and a volunteer, noticing his height, spoke to him and asked how old he was. Jonathan said he was 8 years old. The volunteer, an older gentlemen, looked at me and said, “It just means he’s healthy.”
  • He was sparing with his Sensei when he was about 8 years old. He got a good punch in and he actually staggered his Sensei. After class he told my husband and me that if Jonathan ever really comes to life about Karate, he’s gonna be formidable.

For the time being, I will enjoy my big boy and continue to teach him so that he will be able to survive in this world. He is not aggressive, nor is he timid. He is Jonathan and as he begins to process his surroundings I anticipate and expect for him to master his environment with courage and strength.

More tomorrow.

Rosa

JONATHAN’S WAY CHAPTER 11

I’M NOT A TIMID PERSON NOR AM I A TIMID MOM

Lest while reading this series you may think that I am a soft and timid person, I want to dispel that notion right now. My husband and I raised six children and had three others in our home that we kept for a considerable amount of time, influencing them for their full potential. We also had two dogs.

When I say that I cried a lot, I did. But after wiping my tears I continued to work and nurture Jonathan so that he can survive in a world that really doesn’t love children and would rather them be a statistic for a report than a person of strength and an asset to their community and society. I am not intimidated by the world’s skewered idea of parenting. Case and point:

I was on my way down to wash clothes. I had two laundry baskets full of dirty clothes, plus the detergent and softener, and a change purse full of quarters. Jonathan was about 5 years old, I think. I said, Jonathan get that laundry basket and take it downstairs. His reply was, “Mom, it’s too heavvvvv” (heavy). I repeated, “I said pick up that laundry basket and take it downstairs.” He said, “It’s too heavvvvv.”  Now for the record, it was ‘heavvv’, but my Jonathan is unusually strong, and he was big for his age. He is also a member of our family and in our home we always taught that everyone work together so that one person wouldn’t have to do everything. That kind of systems breeds anger, resentment, and strife.

Well, Mr. It’s too heavvv found out that Mom wasn’t concerned about it being heavvv. I reached for my little wooden backscratcher, and before I could even get it in  my hand, he had the very heavvv basket, opened the apartment door and was down the stairs before I could even pick  up my own load of clothes. I laughed a lot while I stumbled down the stairs. 

dirty laundry in a basket, white background

The moral of the story: I refuse to let my grandson be a liability, even with all of his challenges. I raise him as if he has no additional challenges other than what is common to all children growing up. I know he has them, but I don’t brandish them to him or anyone else. I also refuse to handicap or disable him. More tomorrow.

I’ve told all my children this: Your shoulders have to be big enough for someone else to lean on.

Rosa

JONATHAN’S WAY CHAPTER 10

at work with daddy
At work with daddy
At Zoo on class trip
At Zoo on class trip

Jonathan’s Dad

Suffice it to say that Stanley Jr, Jonathan’s dad, had him by his then girlfriend. Stanley Jr. confessed that in the beginning he was afraid of his infant son. I didn’t know what to think about that at the time. But I must clarify that along with Jonathan growing up, his dad has had to grow up, too.

It seemed to me that at first he wasn’t trying to grow up. But just like his son, he had to learn how to cope with life and the issues that come with it. While he was learning about what it means to be a dad, I sent him along Jonathan’s way to almost all the field trips, which was great for me.

Eleven years later I can say that his dad has grown and matured and is continuing to make progress. Jonathan loves his dad. By the way, they have both slimmed down over the years.

Rosa

JONATHAN’S WAY CHAPTER 4

Goompa and Jonathan
Goompa and Jonathan

 

 

That special bond
That special bond

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.

Rosa

YOU CAN DO IT! HANG IN THERE!

There is nothing like clichés; words or phrases that are so common they tend to lose their effectiveness completely.  Well, that usually  happens when that phrase has been worn out by a lot of people or a few people. Whatever the reason, it is possible to get calloused to phrases that once had meaning.  Here’s one from the dentist: “Brush twice a day and floss daily.”  We really get tired of that and make excuses for not following his or her advice until we are in the hot seat again and there is this HUGE needle  headed for your mouth!

syringe going into mouth

Then you think, “I should have flossed and brushed twice a day.”  Well, here are two cliché phrases that cannot lose their powerful message or effectiveness for you: YOU CAN DO IT! HANG IN THERE!  If these phrases lose their effect on you, we’ll never be privileged to read your great work.  Even more, you’ll never realize that dream of your first or second published book.  So please, you can do it.  Just hang in there. Writer’s block will dissipate.  The kids will go to bed or summer camp. You’ll get that two-week vacation, life will give you a break from its heartaches and disappointments. It’s then that I want you to get to writing, pecking and typing. Whenever you feel like it can’t be done, think about that big needle headed for your mouth and the regret you may feel.  Hey, I’m waiting to get that manuscript.  YOU CAN DO IT! HANG IN THERE!

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Rosa

WORDS IN PRINT CARRY A LOT OF WEIGHT

Please remember that throughout man’s history words have carried weight and changed the world around us.  Never feel that your literary work doesn’t matter.  Below are words from people who sacrified and gave their all; words that enhanced this great nation and turned it in a positive direction.  Read words of eternity,and be encouraged.  I am here for you.

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The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

~Mahatma Gandhi

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

~Mother Teresa

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

~Nelson Mandela

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Preamble of the Constitution of the United States

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

13th Amendment

Section 1

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Section 2

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

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Let there be light