WORDS MEAN THINGS

WORDS MEAN THINGS. How we speak of other people or issues reveal our underlying, true opinion of them unless of course, we are lying through our teeth, because our actions speak louder than our words.

We take the greatest care of our new cell phone, our new car, or our new team jacket. We give our old cell phone to our young child to play with, drive our old car through the snow and salt of winter and put on our old clothes to work in the yard. The new is valuable, the old is junk.

Junk refers to all items that are of little or no worth. We abandon it without a thought and freely misuse it from its original purpose because of how little value we place on it.

In today’s modern lexicon, Junk has become the slang word for what was earlier referred to as our Private Parts. Previous generations knew it was not polite to talk about those areas of the body unless it was absolutely necessary. That has changed to where nearly all modern entertainment requires frequent mention and exposition of our private parts. Chastity until marriage and fidelity after marriage were the ideals held high by society, now the hookup society is lionized by magazines that sell millions of copies each month to readers who more than likely experienced the divorce of their parents or are living with the reality of multiple sexual partners.

Familiarity breeds contempt and so we have now reached the stage where our genitalia is so ill regarded that it has come to be known as JUNK. It is freely given to whoever presents a momentary opportunity for a transitory good feeling. Like a candy bar, the wrapper is removed, the product enjoyed, and then soon later, a new one is selected for an additional few moments of pleasure.

The problem though, like those poor souls known as hoarders who are buried alive in the accumulation of their stuff, their junk, those who freely give their bodies to many partners find themselves buried under the effects of their collection of encounters. Old encounters that have been left behind have a way of re-entering your life, often with negative impact.

The negative consequences are seen each day by teachers, social workers, law enforcement, mental health workers, medical staff, and other human service workers.

Junk, unless properly handled, pollutes the environment. Misusing our junk leaves a wake of struggle, sadness, and even anger in the children created by one-night stands. They are often treated poorly by the nonbiological partners currently in their parent’s life and learn to model behavior that will lead down the same destructive road as their parents.

Our sexuality is not a matter of little worth. By it, we can bring forth life. A man, a woman, and their children form a family which is the basic unit of all societies. They become one flesh, complimentary to each other, share themselves exclusively, with full thought given to the act, knowing the potential it has, and ready to face all that the future brings. Less than that is akin to texting while driving, it is not a question of what can go wrong but only when.

Each person is unique and precious. The entire person is of great worth. Nothing about them is junk. Let’s make sure our language reflects that. Words do have meaning and our actions tell others what we really truly mean and believe.

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Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne

Today in the Catholic Church is the Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, the Parents of the Virgin Mary.

Their names do not appear in the Bible but come from an outside source, the Gospel of James. An ancient tradition states, that Joachim and Anne were childless and devoutly prayed to God to allow them to have a child. If God granted their request, they promised to dedicate the child to God’s service.

God heard their prayer and the child born was Mary.

The tradition continues that when Mary was the tender age of three her parents requested that she be allowed to live in the Temple, there to be trained to serve God according to their pledge. The Temple Priests were so impressed with the young child’s abilities they agreed to their request.

One of the Priests serving in the Temple was Zechariah, the husband of Elizabeth. During the time of Mary’s living in the Temple, when she was twelve years old, Joachim died. Zechariah took steps to ensure that Mary would have a guardian and arranged for young men to come to the Temple. Among the men present was Mary’s cousin, Joseph.

The staffs of the young men were collected. The next day, the staff of Joseph had sprouted a lily, a sign that God chose him to be the protector of Mary.

These stories are not dogma but they are pious traditions that have been spoken of by holy men and women, several who are now Saints and even Doctors of the Church. The stories fill in the blank spaces of what we actually know and do not contradict or detract from any revealed Truth.

To read more, go to http://amzn.to/2vIyMTB

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Golden Silence

Catholic_tabernacleWhen you first meet a new friend, you spend much time talking to each other. You have a lot of questions. What’s your name? Where do you live? What do you like to do?

As time goes on you get to know the person well and the need for asking questions lessens. In fact, you can tell when your friend is troubled just by the expression on their face. You have reached a point in your relationship where the non-verbal speaks as loud as the verbal conversation.

Beyond this, you find friends and couples who have known each other for decades. They can finish each other’s sentences, know what the other is going to say before they say it and can spend hours next to each other in silence and the time is wonderful.

To reach this stage of a relationship requires that you have truly spent time before with the other person as the center of your attention. Just being together,  hanging out, may not be enough if each of you is in your own little world oblivious of the person next to you. Yet today, all too often, that is exactly what happens as everyone is wired to their smartphone, iPod, etc. Or there is a video, a song, or some other event that has our attention.

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi or the Body and Blood of Christ. In some places, processions will occur with the Priest holding a Monstrance that contains the Host. The focus will be on Jesus. At Mass, always, the focus should be on Jesus. But is it?

Are we focused on Jesus or on the next hymn we are supposed to sing? Are we focused on Jesus or where we have to be after Mass? Do we recite the prayers concentrating on their meaning or have they become automatic responses without thought?

Do we find moments of silence unbearable?

To sit in a Church, in silence, and to allow ourselves to dwell on the True Presence in the tabernacle, to still our thoughts of our needs, our wants, our fears, and to try to hear Him who is truly present, is akin to the relationship of the couples who have lived together and grown together for decades.

It is not easy and will never become easy unless you put in the time. Mass attendance is of course vital. For Catholics, it is the required minimum. How long would a friendship last if each only did the minimum? Other forms of worship, like Benediction, are wonderful but there we are involved in a directed form of prayer that gives little opportunity for quiet reflection, the deep, wonderful silence that two close friends can share and even cherish.

Modern life is practically devoid of times of silence and many people say they need background noise, that it calms them. They are not comfortable with their own thoughts. Yet it was in the silence that Jeremiah heard the voice of God, not in the storm or the avalanche.

There is a God-shaped hole in our lives. He is calling out to us but can we hear Him above the background din? Try to find time to spend some quiet moments with Jesus in the tabernacle.It is a challenge! Many churches are locked for security but not all. Finding free moments is a challenge as well. But if you truly wish to spend eternity with Jesus then now is the time to begin. Even five minutes to start is a great beginning. He is there in the tabernacle waiting for you.

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Now is the Time for Saint Joseph

You don’t need to be a news junkie or a sociologist to know that families worldwide are hurting. Marriages do not last until death do us part, indeed many fail within a short three years. Only about half of the children living today will live with both of their biological parents until they reach age 18.

Absentee fathers, one or both parents in prison, drugs, gangs, and poverty brought on by all these factors plus high employment creates a nearly unstoppable force that shears apart that very fabric of the family.

War, disease and evil governments have torn apart families since time began but today, even families that dwell in rich countries with stable governments that are at peace with their neighbors, and who have access to modern medicine and ample opportunities for personal growth still fall apart at alarmingly high rates.

Many young adults come from families that experienced divorce and they have grown-up with the idea that forming a life-long commitment with one person is a fairy tale. The parts of the marriage vows that speak of in sickness, for poorer, and for worse are easily forgotten in a society where divorce no longer carries a stigma and has almost become a right of passage for adults.

True self-sacrificial love is a foreign concept to many people and no wonder. Much of the modern media preaches the Gospel of Self-Fulfillment at best while other examples glorify the abuse of others.

Certainly, there are individuals who are willing to sacrifice their very lives for others. You can find them among the Police, the Military, the Religious as well as within families and among select true friends. But sadly, many people decide staying is too hard, helping comes at too high a cost and only a fool would get involved.

To counteract this destructive force we need a role model to look up to, a person who exhibited courage even when they were faced with incredible hardship and danger. A person who stood their ground and is now in a position to help us as we struggle daily in this world where hardship and disappointment are all too common.

That person is Saint Joseph. He was born the descendant of royalty but that very fact placed his life in constant danger. He lived in enemy occupied land with a murdering madman, Herod, on the throne as Rome’s puppet. He became a refugee, fleeing to Egypt to save the life of his bride, Mary and her child, Jesus. He existed as a stranger in a strange land for years supporting his family with hard physical labor.

He lived a quiet life living obscurely so as to protect Mary and Jesus. He quaked at the pronouncement of a prophet who saw a sword would pierce his wife’s heart.  He accepted the fact that he was the least worthy of their family but in obedience served as Master of their Home. He felt the anguish parents feel when their child is lost. He knew fear, fatigue, and bewilderment. But each day he rose, trusted God and then did what was required, all out of love for Mary and Jesus.

This pure self-sacrificial love is what is needed in our families today. Fidelity to our vows, humility to recognize our failings and courage to face each challenge while always being alert to the promptings of  God.

Now, as the family is under demonic assault, is the Time for Saint Joseph. Ask for his protection and help. He is powerful in his intercession.St_Joseph,_portrayed_as_a_young_man (1) - Hospital Universitario Austral, Pilar Partido. Author Gabriel Sozzi

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Productive Obscurity

No matter the occupation, most workers have one thing in common; they spend their workdays in obThe Youth of Our Lord John Herbertscurity.  The plumber, the trash hauler, the cable installer and the short-order cook, are rarely the subject of news headlines. To be sure when our sewer is backed up, when the internet and television stop working, when the trash piles up or we are ravenously hungry, then we are keenly aware of their contributions. But otherwise, their day to day efforts do not rate notice as opposed to the professional athlete, Hollywood celebrity or even a powerful politician whose every move is considered noteworthy.

Today, May 1st is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. Joseph spent his days in his workshop quietly doing the work of a Tekton (often translated as a Carpenter). A Tekton worked in any hard material, wood, stone or metal. Tradition (small “t”) speaks of his skill as a craftsman, a skill he handed on to his (foster)son Jesus.

But beyond being a skilled craftsman, Joseph’s life was, for the most part, lived in obscurity. He was among the working poor, that class of people whose live their lives unnoticed by the rich and powerful. But there was a reason for this obscurity, an important, vital purpose whose success had eternal ramifications for all of all us.

Joseph’s plainness provided the perfect camouflage for God’s Plan of Salvation. A virgin shall give birth to the Messiah!

Mary’s pregnancy would have drawn notice, and people have always liked to talk. Herod sought to kill the King of Kings and word would have eventually got back to him. But Joseph took her into his home, they were after all espoused, this concealed the Divine Incarnation from prying eyes. They fled to Egypt but even upon their return years later, Joseph’s simple work life concealed the God-Man from His enemies, both the mortal and the demonic.

The obscurity afforded by honest hard work kept Jesus hidden until it was time for Him to reveal Himself. It provided for the necessities of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and helped foster the Father’s Plan.

The quiet dignity of simple work proved to be the most powerful solution to the machinations of the mightiest powers of Earth and Hell. This truth we should keep in mind as we too go about our labors. If we offer our efforts up to God, we too may play a part in bringing about some small part of God’s Plan.

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Excerpt from The Diaries of Joseph and Mary

Life at Nazareth

The years have passed quickly. Jesus is a man in age and in body. His hands now look like The Youth of Our Lord John Herbertmine, brown, calloused from the work. His arms are strong and his fingers sure as they shape wood and stone.

I find I grow weary now early in the afternoon. My knees are often stiff making it difficult to kneel or climb as the job requires. Jesus knows. He works the difficult spots so I have the easier task.

He helps me and Mary. Alone in our home, we pray together and He says things about God that are most profound. He understands in an intimate way the Scriptures. How did I not see what He sees so plainly? As a child, I taught him but for years now He has taught us.

I ask questions. Mary for her part does not. Instead, she listens and ponders what He says. I often see her in contemplation as she works in the kitchen or with needle and thread. Her hands crafting dinner or a cloth yet her mind sees more resplendent images. Her face at these times is so serene. She can get so lost that she does not hear me when I first call her name.

I am content. I have a wonderful wife. My heart leaps for joy each time I am near her. As I fall asleep at night I thank God for the blessing that is Mary. My heart and soul are so full of love for her and from her. I think of Jesus and how I have watched Him grow into a man. In my mind, I remember times when we played and laughed together.

We have been blessed. We have been blessed with sufficient means to eat as we need and have other material goods as we needed yet not so much that they burdened us. Jesus and Mary with me in our home. I feel a joy such that my heart will burst forth from my chest. No man has ever been so richly blessed.

Joseph

Life at Nazareth

My two men. They rise early and help me prepare our meal. Jesus brings wood and Joseph tends the fire. They leave for the shop or to run an errand for work.

Joseph is so protective of me he refuses to travel for work such that I am alone. He tells Jesus to stay with me if he must leave overnight.

Jesus is a perfect Son. Only once in his life has he caused me concern. The time he got lost from us and we found him in the Temple. Since then he has been loving, obedient, caring and supportive of me and Joseph.

His actions give me no cause for concern but His words give me much to pray about. He knows. He understands. The Scriptures to Him are alive and deep. Every passage has so many layers to dwell on and He guides us to understand them.

My two men. They take care of me and serve me. I for my part try to serve them. We all serve each other and grow more in love as a family by doing so. Life is so normal and beautiful in so many ways and yet it is blessed with a supernatural abundance of what work and money cannot provide. And we have been given it freely. Jesus my Son!

Mary

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Stories from the Early Church on the Birth of Mary

September 8th. is the day we celebrate the birth of Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. The readings and the gospel for that day speak appropriately of the Messiah however they also speak of what preceded Jesus’ birth and how God is truly the Lord of History.

Mary by herself is only another human, as is her husband Joseph. But Mary and Joseph are forever joined to Jesus. To study Joseph you must study Mary, and to study Mary you must speak of Jesus. They are the Holy Family. It is because of their close relationship to Jesus that we speak of Joseph and Mary and Mary always says, “Do whatever He (Jesus) tells you to do.” Joseph, though silent of words, always stands ready to serve God the Father by giving his all to Jesus and Mary.

It is dogma that Joseph and Mary always lived a chaste life as husband and wife. Some believe that Joseph was previously married and that his first wife died. They point to the scripture passage where the brothers and sisters of Jesus are mentioned as proof. But other theologians of high regard from the Early Church adamantly insisted that Joseph only ever had one wife and that was Mary.

Jacob was the father of Joseph. Joachim and Anne were the parents of Mary. Joseph’s mother’s name is lost in time. We do know that Jacob was related to Anne, and thus Joseph and Mary are related, both of them descending from the House of David.

Tradition, with a small ‘”t”, relates how Joseph decided to take a vow of celibacy while he was young man so he could totally serve God in any capacity he was called to. This vow he kept a secret from all.

Joachim and Anne, Mary’s parents, lived twenty years together as husband and wife without the gift of a child. Tradition, again small “t”, tells how on a visit to the Temple they each vowed to God that if He favored them with a child, they would dedicate the child to God.

Being childless was considered a curse by the culture of the day. One story speaks how Jacob was chastised by a Temple Priest for even presenting himself in the Temple when he was so obviously a sinner and under God’s wrath. Despite the pronouncement of the Priest, God heard the fervent prayers of Joachim and Anne and she became pregnant with Mary.

Some believe that Joseph used his skills as a Tekton, often translated as Carpenter, in the expansion and adornment of the Temple that Herod ordered. Herod undertook this project as a political move to gain the approval of the Jews. If Joseph did indeed work on the Temple, he would have lived in Jerusalem. If that is so, then Joachim and Anne would certainly have visited him when they traveled to Jerusalem for the various feasts. Joseph would have been aware of the sadness the holy couple felt at the barrenness of their marriage. As such, he also would have joined in their delight when Anne finally conceived.

The first reading for September 8 says,

Whose origin is from of old, from ancient times. Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time when she who is to give birth has borne…

While the second reading states,

We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son …

It is estimated by some of the Early Church Fathers that Joseph was in his twenties to thirties when he married Mary, she being fourteen years old at the time. This is in conflict with many of the images depicting Joseph as a man of advanced years, but it makes sense when you consider how arduous the work was that Joseph did to support Jesus and Mary, not to mention their trek to Egypt to escape Herod’s plot to kill Jesus.

If this is correct, then we see God at work in calling Joseph to remain celibate and also the delay in the conception of Mary.

Joachim and Anne fulfilled their promise to God by sending Mary to live in the Temple at the age of three. Small “t” tradition states that while she lived in the Temple, Mary felt called to make a vow of celibacy herself, a decision contrary to her culture. By the time she was fourteen, her father had died and she was now in need of a guardian as was her mother. According to Jewish law, it fell to a relative to marry her. Enter Joseph, an unmarried male relative with the skills of a craftsman to earn a living.

To select an appropriate husband, the small “t” tradition says, Joseph was summoned to the Temple along with other eligible bachelors. They were instructed to leave their staffs with the Priest. The next day it was discovered that a lily had sprouted from Joseph’s staff indicating that he was God’s choice.

So we can now put the chain of events together. Mary’s birth is momentous. The Angels in heaven must have rejoiced as they knew this was part of the Plan of Salvation. But it is tied to Joseph’s earlier decision to remain celibate and also to the period of childlessness of Joachim and Anne. With his selection by the Sign of the Flowering Staff, Joseph’s can keep his vow as the chaste husband of Mary and Mary is also permitted to remain celibate with Joseph as her husband.

God’s timing and methods are always perfect although for us they may be difficult to understand.

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Hateful Unions

There you sit at the head of the table, with your lovely wife of fifty-five years. Around the table are your eight children, your 12 grandchildren, and a few special friends. They are there to celebrate your anniversary.

Through the door of the restaurant burst a cohort of armed men, all wearing uniforms of the federal government’s Special Cadre for Undiscriminatory Marriage, also known as S.C.U.M. Your public display of faithful love for your spouse is now classified as a hate crime because it encourages others to participate in practices that are discriminatory to non-binary people.

Is this a parody skit on a late night talk show? No. It is, however, a possible glimpse of the future if the progressives of the American Bar Association succeed in their efforts.

As reported in the Washington Times and covered by EWTN’s World News Nightly, the American Bar Association has adopted Model Rule 8.4.

What’s that, you ask, and why should I care?

Model Rule 8.4 defines as unethical behavior any speech or membership in any organization, including churches, which hold to a traditional view of marriage, sexuality. gender and other related issues. A lawyer who is found to be engaged in unethical behavior stands to lose their license to practice law.

The American Bar Association does not control the practice of lawyers, that power lies with the State Bar Judiciary. The problem is, most states use the American Bar Association decisions as a template for their particular state’s rules.

A lawyer can, therefore, lose their license because they are a member of a Church, Mosque or Synagogue that upholds the teaching of marriage as the union between one Man and one Woman.

The leaders of the A.B.A. understand the impact this change will have, in fact, it is their intent to force lawyers to change their personal beliefs and get in line with the new normal.

Our Federal and State legislative bodies are overrun with lawyers. How long until Model Rule 8.4 morphs into a new Federal Law that declares believing or participating in traditional marriage is a hate crime?

Traditional marriage and the family are under a vicious, unrelenting attack. The assailants will not cease their onslaught until all worship at the altar of their LGBTQ manifesto. We have seen Bakers and Florists who have lost their livelihood. Now lawyers are in the gun sights. Everything held as true from a traditional Judeo-Christian perspective is considered worthy of prosecution.

Lawyers who hold traditional views will, without a doubt, bring to bear all the legal cunning they can muster to defend their livelihood. But those of us, non-lawyers, should also make it clear to our legislators that we are aware of this undermining of our rights. You stop an infection at the earliest stage possible. You do not wait until the patient is at death’s door. Traditional marriage and the nuclear family will soon be on life-support if this juggernaut of political correctness is not stopped.

Please, check out the facts and then share with your family and friends.

Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/aug/17/how-the-lawyers-plan-to-stifle-speech-and-faith/

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Violence is the Answer

What has recently happened in Dallas is a tragedy for the families of the officers killed, a shocking event for the families of the wounded and most importantly of all, a clarion call for pure unvarnished truth to be spoken.

As if their reactions were pre-written, a chorus of voices arose demanding that more restrictions be placed on guns. Others pleaded for calm and begged that we find a way to come together as a nation to prevent more senseless death.

To the first group, I say the obvious, a person intent on killing will find a weapon to kill with be it a gun, a vehicle, a bomb or a knife. Inanimate objects are not our problem.

To the second I say you have a nice message, but it needs to be clearly defined.

The answer to Dallas and to all the other violence has been right before our eyes for ages. It is a cornerstone of most of the world’s religions and practically ignored by men and women worldwide.  It is often called the Golden Rule and is usually stated as Do Unto Others As You Would Have Others Do Unto You.

The answer to Dallas is we all must live our lives according to the dictates of love.

Stay with me, this is not some hippy-dippy, sweet-sappy collection of feel-good sayings.

To start with, if we truly are going to live our life according to the dictates of love we must immediately begin to do violence unto ourselves.

We must grasp our anger and choke it until it is dead. We must ensnare our egos and grind them into oblivion. We must arrest our me-first attitudes and lock them away in some dark and forgotten spot never to see the light of day again.

Only by doing violence unto ourselves can we be victorious and achieve the life we all dream of.

Love is a Choice! We must choose to be patient when we feel anger. We must choose to act kindly when we want to denigrate another. We must force ourselves to be repulsed when evil is inflicted on another.

As an athlete pushes through the pain of training we must persevere in our choices to follow the path of LOVE!

No matter what we have been taught growing up, no matter what our instant reflex reaction is in any situation, we must use our free will to force ourselves to act in love!

To everyone reading this, I promise you, if you decide to enter on this path, it will be the most arduous and painful journey you have ever experienced. There will be moments of high elation interspersed with periods of pain all joined by long fatiguing intervals of struggle. This will continue until you take your last breath.

But I also promise you, if you walk this path and teach and encourage your brother, your sister, your spouse, your parent, your children, your friends to do the same, that together we will accomplish the impossible.  We will not eliminate hatred and evil from this world but we will make hatred and evil very uncomfortable. Our victories within ourselves will spread and create an environment where those who are tempted to choose the other path will hesitate and question why they want to hate and not love. And over time we can make this world the best it can be this side of heaven.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous. Love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude. Love does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. LOVE NEVER FAILS!

                                                                                                1 Corinthians 13 verses 4 -8

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Sitrep

Our sons have autism and other challenges. The experts wrote them off. The experts were wrong!

It has been a long road. Nineteen years ago our son Kenneth was changed overnight (literally) from the sweet loving child he was into something uncontrollable. The experts – medical, psychological, educational, etc. were worse than useless in our search for answers. After three years of struggle, Sue and I discovered the word Autism. Stephen was also affected but in a different way. Joseph nearly died at age one due to a three-hour grand mal seizure brought on by a fever. The drugs they gave him to stop the seizure depressed his respirations so much he was life-flighted to a major medical center for care. Devon was almost missed in our efforts to care for Ken, Stephen, and Joe but he too was struggling in some ways and we discovered he

Ready to train!

Ready to train!

was also legally blind in one eye. More visits to experts who only said that we should accept that our four youngest children would NEVER be able to care for themselves and would REQUIRE assistance their entire life.

I have never been one to accept pronouncements from experts as if they were carved in stone unless the expert can demonstrate their ability to walk on water and change water into wine. So Sue and I got up each day and did our best.

We eventually homeschooled our kids, all eight. Ken, Stephen, Joseph, and Devon all became altar servers at church, participated in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, played Miracle League Baseball (not Ken he hates baseball), did Judo and Hapkido. They all received the Sacrament of Confirmation,

Ken asked to go to public high school when he hit 10th grade. With trepidation, we agreed because we could tap into their connections for vocational training. We had to constantly urge the school to challenge Ken to stretch his limits. Stephen, Joe, and Devon also entered public school, and for them too, we pushed the system to push them.

This past week, Ken and Stephen received their Red stripe in Hapkido and Joseph and Devon got their Yellow belt. Ken works about 25 hours a week at Kentucky Fried Chicken and has done so for about a year now. He is doing really good. Stephen is looking for work and now Joe and Devon as well. Devon and Joe also babysit their 2-year-old niece each afternoon so her dad can go to work until mom, my daughter, gets home from work. So much for not being able to do anything.

The journey’s not over and hopefully God will grant me enough years of life to get my sons to the point where they no longer need my or their mom’s help.

The experts were expert ONLY in an academic field. They were not experts on our children. I was and so was Sue. We refused to give up on our kids when we constantly were told to do just that.

To any parent facing similar ordeals, please, Do Not Give Up. The journey is incredibly scary and hard. But I promise you, no one knows the future for your son or daughter. It is better that their reach exceeds their grasp than to set the bar so low that success is truly meaningless to them.

If you know one challenged person – YOU KNOW ONE CHALLENGED PERSON. The biggest obstacle people with mental and physical challenges face are the so-called normal people, especially the experts, who believe they can predict the future and assume incompetence and failure in the disabled. They need to get out of the way.

I do not know how much further my children will go but I will be both alongside them encouraging them and behind them nudging them to go further. One day maybe they will be in front of me as old age slows me down and I will be able to look to them for help. Who knows? Not me.

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