JONATHAN’S WAY – HIGH SCHOOL!

Hi All,

It’s been more than a year since I last shared with you about Jonathan, my grandson and his challenges growing up on the spectrum.  A lot has happened since those days.

First of all my virtual online business has grown by leaps and bounds, literally. I am thankful and grateful for that. In 3 months, God willing, my husband and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage.  Jonathan’s dad got married to a lovely woman.  His three doting Aunts have never stopped doting on him, either. 

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Johanna, Jennifer, Erika

The last time I let you know that Jonathan  was going into middle school.  Well, in September this year, he will be going into high school.  He turned 14 this past January. But that ain’t all. He was always a tall boy for his age.  Now he stands 6’1″ tall and wears a size 13-1/2″ wide shoe. HELP! He has grown up as a teen and the girls like him.  HELP!

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With daddy at school concert

Not only that, his aunts have taught him how to drive and we are preparing for him to get a permit.  He drives good, too.  His grades are all above average and he seems to like science.  He can’t stand Social Studies.  No matter, I am grateful for how far he’s come.  One place that helped him go even farther is the Boys and Girls Club in our area. He is loved by the people there, and he has learned to play basketball.  He tried out for the school basketball team last year, but didn’t make it.  I think he couldn’t take the exercises they were forced to do for a week.  I am proud of him!

One thing he did for the very first time was done on Martin Luther King Jr, holiday on January 21, 2019.  He stood up in front of a couple of hundred people and gave a short speech on education. He was nervous and prayed a lot before the big day came. But he did a wonderful job. He made mama proud.  #mademamaproud

Jonathan giving speech on MLK Holiday January 21, 2019

Jonathan giving speech at MLK Holiday breakfast on January 21, 2019

So, here we go again. It’s Jonathan’s way and there’s never a dull moment.  I’ll keep you posted!

Rosa

 

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY PART 2

It’s very interesting to watch twins grow up. In a nutshell Jennifer the older twin is an African Violet. Johanna the younger twin is a shrinking violet. Truth. But where Johanna shies away from the public eye, she makes up in love for her family. She is one of those people who love to be around her family and that’s enough for her. High school  not withstanding, Johanna made very few waves. That’s just not her personality. When something happened or she became more of an extrovert, it was because I insisted on it or she was with her sisters. 

Her  mindset for many years was that of a young child. What I mean by that is she argued vehemently with a 6-year old and she was 14. You would have thought that they were two grown women arguing. It was so funny. She saw nothing wrong with arguing with her 6-year old cousin. So, she was baby-like in those matters. Another aspect of Johanna is that more than any of the other children, she knows her daddy well. She can understand what’s in his mind. She’s been able to do that since she was about 6 years old herself. Johanna had a simple wisdom then and she has a much more mature wisdom now. She hangs onto every word that daddy says:

Johanna: Mom, my ponytail came out at school today (she was about 10 years old) and the other kids laughed at me.

Me: Oh that’s not nice. I am so sorry.

Johanna: That’s alright Mom, because Dad says that when people laugh at you and make fun of you they will be laughed at, too.

Nuf said.

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Daddy and daughter just before surgery in August, 2016

She and her dad have always been close, but this illness has made them compadres. My husband takes her to all her appointments, the pharmacy, clinic for chemo, surgeries she had to endure. He cooks her breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he calls her “princess” at times, too. He takes her food to her most of the time because she is often weak and sickly these days. She was crying once and I wasn’t home, but on the phone with her. She stopped and said, “Mom, I have to hang up. I need to go and get a hug from my dad.” I am grateful for their closeness during this journey back to health. It’s a true blessing.

More tomorrow.

Rosa

MEET MY FAMILY – UNCLE JESSE

I love history and the children of historic figures, whether well-known historic figures of rarely know historic figures. One woman, whom I loved and knew since my oldest child was just six months old, and who passed away 16 years ago at the age of 86 or 87 knew Civil War scout and freedom fighter Harriet Tubman when Ms. Tubman was an old woman. When I heard that, I began panting and my heart started beating faster. When she told me that I exclaimed, “You knew Harriet Tubman? WOW. ”

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Harriet Tubman late in life

Family and friends are important. I want you to meet a member of my family. He was a historic figure, too. My dad’s brother. His name was Jesse James Payne. You can Google my uncle’s name and find out a lot more about him. You see he was lynched on October 11, 1945 in Madison, Florida.

Uncle Jesse my dad's brotherab

Uncle Jesse James Payne

I never knew Uncle Jesse personally. He along with my dad and his other siblings lived in Florida before the turn of the 20th century and early into it. As records were not kept well for anyone during those times, I suggest to you that my Uncle Jesse was born between 1915 and 1918. When he died he was between 20 and 30 years old. This is the only picture we have of him, too. I’m glad otherwise, like many other of his sisters and brothers we wouldn’t know anything about him.

He is a famous historical figure from those times because the Florida governor had to address the lynching of my uncle and of three other high-profile black men that year. Tourism was good in Florida. They didn’t want anything to happen to those revenues.

Out of 11 to 13 children that my grandparents had, I only knew of five of them, one being my dad. And I only had contact with three of them; one being my dad. I’m not angry, just sad that I never got a chance to meet Uncle Jesse, his wife or my cousin, his only child that I know of.

In this picture he looks a little like Dr. King, don’t you think. He has a noble face. More tomorrow.

Online reference:

http://florida.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.5744/florida/9780813061047.001.0001/upso-9780813061047-chapter-006

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