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Posts from the ‘Inspirational’ Category


95-year-old Air Force veteran shows little boy how to be brave

We’re a ball of nerves watching this 95-year-old Air Force veteran inch his way to the edge of the diving board.

His wife of 72 years is also a veteran:

Click link


Congratulations Meemaw!

It was a great day this last weekend. My grandson decided I would get to see his special place when we went fishing. I have one grandson and 4 granddaughters, all of which I enjoy equally. I went with the grandchildren to this spot fishing and yes the children were there too, after all I guess I needed the kids to get the grandkids. Not all of them this day but 4 of the 5 and 2 of my 3 so as far as percentages went in my book that was pretty good.

It was not too far of a hike back to the river and no one told me about the rocks you had to shimmy down to get DOWN to the river? So as I shimmied down the rocks, did I mention DOWN? I was very nervous about this part, I have a bit of a clumsy streak, and I held breath hoping I would make it to the bottom without need of a medivac lift out. My grandson was already at the bottom, first one there waiting for me to arrive. He said, “Congratulations Meemaw”. I had never heard him say anything like this before. It made me smile so big. He was obviously pleased I had come to his beach area on the river, he loves that spot, and he had talked about it to me many times. He went there the previous year and I had not been able to go due to my health. This time, not the case. Here I was available for him and off we went. He showed me around his private little beach (not really private). He stopped though as we got to the area that he was used to because things just didn’t look the same. I could see this right away because I had seen many pictures from the previous time and had memorized the lay of the land on the beach just not the trail to get to the beach area. There had been recent heavy rains that had caused flood damage widespread in our area and it had really tore up the beach and still the waters had not receded enough to uncover his favored rocks.  There were still some trees down on the beach and lots of dead branches and roots still in the ground in sand. Trash laying around and clutter.

why does everything look different

(Mom ‘aka’ Auntie explains why the water is higher and clutter and trees are down to children around her)

By this time the rest of the crew had arrived with us and we all assured him we could pick up and clear it up some to make it more comfortable and that it was only because of the water that it looked different. It would go back eventually to the water level he was used to when the river returned to normal and although the beach would not look the same due to the trees the rocks would be there again. We picked up the trash and put it in bags we had and put chairs out to sit on and he took a while to calm down and settle but he did settle in after a bit. It took me a while to settle in as well due to knowing he was agitated and I cannot settle if the children aren’t settled and the grandchildren are restless. When things are disorganized and children are unhappy I am distressed and agitated, not to mention sand is an issue for me, one I was overcoming for my grandson and didn’t mention to him. This sand is soft which was good.

I sat and watched my grandson as he dealt with a myriad of issues that day. His Autism is moderate to severe (mine is moderate) and he has Amniotic Band Syndrome, which resulted in his right hand not having fingers when he was born. Couple that with Autism and he does not want a prosthetic, or does but can’t handle the texture of one or the feeling of having it on.  Add into that, he lost his grandfather just a few months ago. They were very close and he used to come here with him, they would go on nature walks whenever they would go fishing together or hiking together or anywhere outdoors together and find snails or turtles or things like that. His grandfather and he were both very much into going on walks in the woods together and they bonded close and when he passed away it broke his heart and he has not been the same since then which has broken my heart.  When my grandson was little he never would touch a tree, or grass or a plant. It took him years to be able to do it, so this was truly a huge loss to him – he does not let people in easily and he does not try new things easily. But he is so brave and so loyal and so loving.

He handled the area not looking the same pretty well, then he handled the fact that there was a snake near the area and that got announced by his father. He and I do not like those snakes very much. Both of us were very agitated for a while. He got over that faster than I did. I paced much longer than he did. {Laughing out loud at myself while I’m typing}. He is forming a new bond with his other grandfather which I am glad he is doing. His other grandfather is not used to being in touch with his emotions very much and is learning to do this as a person and then with his grandchildren. I think this is terrific and he is doing a great job. He spent time with his grandson digging in the sand and playing with him which made him happy and he was laughing and I have no clue what they were talking about when they said something about the “foot” but yeah they dug something out. All I know is he was smiling and that was terrific. The others were in the water playing and he was watching them and looking at it like he was thinking about it. I was looking at it like no way am I doing that, the last time I did that I fell on a snake and two time in a row, NO WAY AGAIN, NO THANK YOU, NOT GONNA GET IN THERE NOPE.  But my grandson, he had different plans.

Next thing I know here he goes, he gets his mom and she looks at me and smiles and says ok Mom its time he wants to. I get my camera out and start the pictures going. Had to get it on the camera. I wanted to see him do it, how amazing it was to behold as he went out into the water, right out into the river with his mom. No he didn’t just jump right in. That would be a neurotypical child likely like the oldest who got right in. He cautiously with his Mothers help got in slowly one toe at a time, then one foot, then one leg and then one toe at a time and the next foot and the next leg and then on from there, and eventually he was in, and he was walking slowly headed for a rock where his sister and cousin were sitting, he was going to go there and sit with them and his mom. And I am sitting in a chair on the sand with my camera, watching my 7 year old grandson able to go in a river and do this thing and overcome his issues, what an amazing boy he is, and sure enough there he was, he made it to that rock. I told myself if he did I would go there too.

Made it to the Rock

Meemaw, ” and afore-mentioned famous mother, and Bravest Grandson on ROCK …. TOGETHER!!!!!!

So I got up and prepared myself mentally and emotionally for what was coming. I knew I was going to hate what I felt on my legs when I sank down into the river. I had water shoes on, but I knew I would feel things on my legs. It would really be bad for a bit, but I could do it, I could get through it, I knew I could, if he could do it, that brave, loyal and loving boy, then I could do it too. So with help from my family I got into that river, I hated everything I felt on my legs, trying very hard not to think about anything that might be down there swimming or biting or thinking about biting and I stopped and waited and then kept on going while I looked at my grandson and smiled at him each time I thought I wanted to go back. When I got to that rock, I told him, “you are my inspiration, you are the reason I could do this. Thank you for giving me that reason. You are brave and I love you, thank you for bringing me to your beach and your rock”.



Grandson!  most patient mom and daughter in law of the year and life


Humility Exists In The Space Between Arrogance And Self Hatred


Carrying on the Tradition

The first memories I have of books are from preschool at four years old attending a school in a suburb of Northern Virginia. The class would sit on the floor, while the teacher would read books which I can’t remember any of the titles of, but what I do remember is the atmosphere and emotion of the classroom when books were read. It was a bit dark; sunlight would filter in through tall narrow windows. There were colorful drawings on the walls and the teacher always sat in a child sized chair at the end of the long table right in front of the window. She was older with greying hair, wore glasses and always had on a dress. When she read the books my focus which seemed to be more on the craft time, would automatically switch to her as she began to read a story. I remember feeling like everything else stopped when she read and there was only that moment and that story.

The next year I started kindergarten, the school was set up on a nice large lush grassy plot of land with lots of tall green trees and a wonderful playground.  My teacher was a bit younger this year than the one I had in preschool but still had grey hair and glasses. Quiet time, this was my favorite time of the class because quiet time meant book time. The teacher would pull out her rocking chair and center it in front of our group and sit down. I remember feeling the anticipation of which book she might pick that day and would find myself scooting as close as I could get to the front of the class. Unlike when I was in preschool, this time I do remember The Velveteen Rabbit, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket, and Where the Sidewalk Ends, although there were many others read, those were the ones I remember best and were my favorite. She was every bit as good at reading those books as the teacher was the year before.

My interest in books did not dwindle as I grew and learned to read books for myself; I found that reading was something I enjoyed.  Gone with the Wind and Black Beauty are two of my favorite books I remember reading as a pre-teen several times through each.  As I blossomed into my teenage years I began to read approximately 3 books a week. All I remember is sitting in my room at my desk, my headphones on, listening to music. When I hear a song that stirs my nostalgia the fond memory I have will be of sitting in my room at my desk reading a book while that song played. Now I read anything from youth books to science fiction, horror, drama, fantasy fiction, comics, news, blogs, and the occasional romance novel.

I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite author or book. Some of the books that come to mind are Enders Game and Enders Shadow by Orson Scott Card, The Dragonlance Trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and the Wheel of Time Series by Brandon Sanderson.  All of those I read non-stop (literally) until I finished them. It is not often I find a book that captures me so entirely, which is probably good since it would dominate most of my time and I would not be able to get much done! I am not as bad as I used to be, lately it seems I clean and organize way more than I read (wish it was the other way around).

When I want to relax I usually get into a good book which seems to have helped my stress level reduce and as a side benefit has also helped increase my vocabulary. Typically I will read an hour or more a day when time allows, lately it has been less. Now that I can have my books with me anywhere I go by having my kindle application on my cell phone and tablet it has become much easier to read. Reading on the kindle verses in a regular book at my age, now that my eyesight has dwindled; is more convenient because I can enlarge the font and still be able to read the words easily without having to put on my glasses. In addition, it is nice to be able to hold the phone with one hand and flip pages with just the twitch of a thumb instead of requiring both hands to hold a heavy book up and get strain on the neck and wrists as I try to get it into a position which does not cause discomfort. Not to mention I can now listen to them if I want to instead on my tablet, my phone, my TV, in my car on my Bluetooth noise cancelling wireless headset which I use for my computer, phone and car.

Technology does have its benefits, however one thing I do miss is having all those books I read accumulate and be placed on a bookshelf to save; there is nothing like looking at all the books I read on a shelf and the feeling of accomplishment and pride. When I would look at each book I could remember the story within each one, the character names and the personalities of each. It was as if the color of the cover and the title on the outside somehow gave the book itself a life of its own for me.  Now I have to settle for looking at the number of books I have in my kindle library and reaching for that same feeling of accomplishment and pride, it doesn’t quite work as well, especially since Kindle changed how they do things.

Many years ago I became a grandmother and now have five beautiful grandchildren which I have bought many books for. It seems in these days many young parents don’t have time to read to children. The invention of books where you can record your voice reading the pages and it plays when the child turns each page was absolutely wonderful! How ingenious! Needless to say that was the present I bought for each of them on their first birthday for the first three, however technology outpaced the next two grandchildren. With tablets and E-readers becoming so inexpensive each of my grandchildren have their own I-Pads by age of 18 months old (I will neither admit to buying nor not buying these or approving or not approving of this). They are all adept at using this particular piece of equipment, however they do not seem to use it to read a book (not surprising).

So when the grandchildren come over to the house and they want a book read to them at bedtime, I am very happy because there is still nothing that can compare to the interaction of holding my grandchild on my lap or having them snuggled up next to me both of us tucked up in a fuzzy blanket and reading them a book with an animated voice as I introduce them to the wonders of a real book, with real pages as they listen enraptured while the story unfolds and once again the tradition of reading a good book is carried on.

For useful information related to child development and parenting you can follow the link below. Remember they are always changing and growing, all children are different and you know your child best. We were told my grandson had Pervasive Developmental Disability by age 1, by Age 2 he was diagnosed with Severe Autism Spectrum Disorder, by Age 7 he is reading on a High School level. Accomplish what you want to.


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