An Ode to Hadley…….Who makes life shine for me even on my worst days.
This is Autism awareness month. It helps me remember how far my granddaughter Hadley has come and how much of that is because of her parents. They got her cognitive therapy very early, helped her communicate with sign language and build verbal language on that, and they have given her every chance they could, even now at sixteen driving her across town to a peer Social Group. Her journey has involved all types of therapy, tutoring, meds, hard decisions, time, money, courage, perseverance and love. And every bit of it is visible now in her competence and kindness.
She and I talked today about Autism making language skills take longer to learn, but that she is persevering and getting better and better at reading and speaking and understanding language. We talked about how competent she is at visual learning. She watches people do mechanical and electronic things and seems to be able to do them immediately with confidence. She knows that I am not good at that sort of thing, and she often steps in to save me the struggle. We have a road sign Bingo game she played on the hour trip to my house as part of preparing her to learn to drive. She picks up on the visual signs and their meaning very quickly. She simply doesn’t give up.
Two days this week with Hadley:
Several days this week, I felt really good and managed to get a lot done toward getting our house ready to put on the market. Saturday was not one of my best days, but when my Tylenol kicked in, Hadley and I got the carport and entrance area blown off, hosed off, and spots scrubbed!! I just directed and helped
move stuff and unwind the hung-up hose. Hadley was awesome. I had blown and vacuumed the porch and washed furniture and toys on Friday, so I just poured soapy water on the porch floors and Hadley scrubbed with a push broom. Finally everything dried and we put the furniture back in place. What a difference her help makes! She loves clipping shrubs and I had planned to let her do some today. but I did a little a day or so ago and I’ve got what looks like some spots of poison ivy in among my psoriasis and heat rash!! So we will skip that! Later after dinner, Hadley, energized by tacos, was determined to earn more money. She went back outside to work on something for granddad for another hour. I headed to a hot bath. Couldn’t eat tacos, because I broke one whole side off my upper back tooth, the tooth that anchors my upper front teeth. Oh happy day!!
This morning, Sunday, I was paying for Friday and Saturday with aching muscles, allergies, sinus headache, inner ear dizziness and nausea, the cracked molar, poison ivy on my right inner arm, and a pinky nail torn to the quick…..just some of the joys of being seventy-six.
But in spite of all that, I was amazingly happy, because my heart rejoices in Hadley. She is so kind and helpful, extremely patient, and very self sufficient. She even accepted graciously that I couldn’t take her to the mall like I had promised. How many teenagers with hard earned money in their pocket would be gracious about delaying the gratification of shopping? Never-the-less a teenager who struggles with Autism. She has come so far, fixing her own meals, being careful to put down a mat when eating at my desk, and cleaning up after herself, often even spontaneously hugging me and telling me she loves me.
Thank you God and Tommy and Heather for the gift of Hadley.
clinging to sleep
refusing to rise
to the early beat
of the roofers
eyes half mast
while I grab
the quick brew
lots of likes
to jump start
to cull photos
from our albums
frees the mind
back to the
to blog them
call a friend
keeps her home
get her list
take a break
to sort more
years of smiles
write some bills
fix my hair
get the car
mail the bills
with a treat
1. They know when to move on.
2. They use their fear to motivate action.
3. They know failure is part of success.
4. They train their brains to see the good in everything.
5. They’re tenacious with their goals.
6. They start before they’re ready or confident.
7. They don’t take anything personally.
8. They believe in themselves.
9. They don’t try to fit in.
10. They allow themselves to be a beginner.
11. They don’t do things they don’t want to do.
12. They celebrate the success and happiness of others.
13. They don’t need a reason to help people.
14. They are unapologetic about their unique selves.
15. They accept what they can’t change.
from the Blog: Make Believe Boutique
Originally posted on Sirena Tales:
within my own foreign
erupting and awkward skin
to be seen
but as another
this time could I be loved?
on the inside
the shifting gaze
the quick tics
me from me
you from me,
I might be
of my dreams
I hope I live
This is for the wonderful students I volunteer to tutor in writing, and all adolescents. Shine on….
I used to think I had some sort of jinx about clothes, but I finally figured out that God just created me for comic relief.
I’ve already told about slipping and bumping down the stairs on my rear when attempting to make a grand entrance wearing a new sexy and sophisticated black cocktail dress for a college date.
Another time I was wearing a much bustier cousin’s hand me down debutant evening gown. It was strapless with a flowing soft chiffon skirt with a slight train. I felt like a princess. As I stepped forward to meet my date’s parents in the receiving line, he accidentally stood on the train. I almost made my own debut when I went forward and the dress did not.
In high school I was dating a very nice boy pretty steadily, but out of the blue, he asked another girl to a party at my best friend’s house. I was crushed. Particularly, since the other girl looked so much like me, we could have been sisters. Another boy invited me to the party, but he was a bit of a dork. So, mother took pity on me and let me spend more that we could afford on a wonderful dress for the party. I arrived at the party confident that my new dress would make me look prettier than the other girl.
I don’t know which of us was more stunned when we saw each other…….both of us wearing the exact same dress. It struck me as funny. I think I made some comment like, “Which twin has the Toni?” But she not only didn’t laugh, she struggled all evening to always be in a different room. Humor won however. My boyfriend asked me to officially go steady the next week.
The clothes jinx tradition continued into my early forties. My husband had started a new business in what turned out to be a recession, so money was tight. I was applying for a much needed civil service job as an Associate Director of Religious Education for the Chaplains’ Division on a nearby Army Post. I had recently been given several very smart hand me down dresses by my wealthy sister-in-law. I chose a tailored A-Line dark blue dress with a high neck and a zipper down the front. I combined it with a camel colored jacket and matching neck scarf. I felt very chic.
I had to go through several interviews, first with the civilian Post Director of Religious Education, then the head Chaplain for the post, and finally the head Chaplain of my denomination. I made it through the first two feeling pretty comfortable. I could tell that the last Chaplain had some reservations about laity having the kind of credentials required for the job. I would be working directly for him, but in a secure Civil Service position. I did my best Southern Lady imitation trying to come over as non-threatening. It seemed to go well and I was told to go get some lunch and come back in an hour after all three of my potential bosses had conferred. As I went out the office door into the January cold, I felt a freezing blast on my chest that took my breath away. I looked down and realized that the zipper that ran from my neck to my waist had pulled apart totally exposing my bra and upper torso. I hastily pulled my jacket closed and ran for my car. In the nearest McDonald’s, I scrounged in my purse and found one safety pin. My jacket had only two low buttons, so I used my safety pin at bra level and arranged my scarf to cover the rest of the gap. By the time I managed to get decent, it was time to return and learn my fate. Nervous and self-conscious, sneaking peeks at my chest, I struggled to sound delighted that I had been accepted for the job and restrain the overwhelming urge to bolt out the door.
I never knew when the zipper had come apart or whether anyone else had noticed, but later when I got to know the very Italian Chaplain, I always wondered if flashing him got me the job.
Well, according to Paul, everything works for good for those that love the Lord. :)
Gorgeous photo and several challenging quotes. Particularly like the Ganga White reflection.
Originally posted on Make Believe Boutique:
We usually try to explain the mysterious.
It would be better to cultivate wonder and reflection.
within this mesmerizing trance of cold and color and hope, we reconsider our roots, our rainbows, our risks….this sensory convergence measures our unified knowing, our dynamic visions, our open hearts….
When I was fifteen years old I wrote: ‘I want to live so that my life reflects the God I know.’ How we live our lives is the story we choose to tell for our children’s children to remember, reflects what we know of the Beloved, the Mystery, of that which is sacred. How you do what you do offers stories of hope or despair, of compassion or judgement, of presence or absence……Oriah Mountain Dreamer
What if our religion was each other?
If our practice was our life?
If prayer was our words?
What if the…
View original 41 more words
She’s bone thin
with an edge of her slip
hanging below her skirt.
Wearing white socks
she’s not exactly
a fashion statement.
She seems frozen,
for washed out
Choosing at last,
she reads carefully,
looks at the photo
and sadly puts it back.
With a soft sigh
she seems to collapse
inward with her
arms crossed tightly,
holding herself together.
She stands dejected
to her surroundings,
blinking away a tear.
She takes a deep breath
and begins again,
spends thirty minutes
with all the blondes
and once nervously,
eyeing a red-head.
I bite my lip
and resist shouting,
“YES! Go for it!”
Then, running a hand
through her faded hair
she turns and slowly
My memories collide with one another
higgley-piggley log jams
in my mind
Complexity clutters my understanding
and confusions of cobwebs
cling to my bold
Creativity thickens and congeals
dwindling into small
fallow pools clotted with
Idols of old truths and securities
slam against a wall
of Thomas doubt and
Softly, a voice within warns me,
“Narrow gate ahead.
You must not be afraid
to let go.”
Now, in this present moment,
I must trust my inner Spirit
to transform even this
Her woman’s deep compassion
to turn my empty heart-
my desert- fertile with
I’ve taken a lot of classes that included processes for decision making. Several things have stuck with me in spite of my unreliable memory.
Perhaps the most important one is that we each have natural tools/gifts, but they are only part of what is needed for an effective problem solving process. Effective problem solving not only needs a team approach, it requires recognition of the equal importance of diverse gifts.
First, it needs a vision of the long term goal, not just the quick fix.
Second, it needs brainstorming that includes all possibilities, even seemingly “pie in the sky” ones.
Third, each possibility will have a down side. So, list and evaluate the down sides. Eliminate the ones with downsides that you feel you cannot live with.
Fourth, look at the practical problems needing solving for each possibility and generate reasonable solutions.
Fifth, Now re-evaluate, in terms of (a) personal values, (b) downsides, (c) actual resources, those possibilities that ended up having reasonable solutions for problems. Then make your choice, or if a group decision is needed, come to consensus.
Note: For believers in Jesus Christ as the perfect human expression of God’s love for all, this process would involve both communal and personal prayer for guidance at the beginning, at any conflict points or questionable areas, and at the final decision making point, and would include evaluations throughout in the light of the values fleshed out in the life and death of Jesus.