Many of you hate it. Today I embrace it as I sit in the back of a car with my son Luke. He is happy with his autism always giving me a child in an adult’s body. We both sense an awareness of contentment as the radio softly nurtures us with a melody of love and joy.
In the front seat my youngest son discusses life with his dad. He pauses to look back at me smiling and gently puts his hand on my knee.
I put mine over his. He is home from classes for a short week. Summer will be over soon.
My heart is full in these moments. These are them tucked away in my memories. Nothing can steal this time. I feel filled up with all I need.
Traffic is all around, but I am not driving. All is well on my road.
I wish I had a tractor 2 weeks ago when I decided to drag my family out to the old Jenkins Cemetery in Caldwell county, Kentucky. Many of you may not know, but my most popular post was on finding a haunted cemetery. It has been a top 10 google search especially during halloween. Go check it out: The Haunting .
However, if you want to come on this adventure just keep reading.
Many of you have met Luke through my writing on this blog. Luke has been diagnosed with Autism. Today camping brought solace to his mind. He enjoyed a day of outdoors, sitting by the river, and relaxing. Here are words to describe what I believe he was experiencing as we all do by nature in my opinion and a few photos of the area he was camping in the Cascade Mountains specifically Mt. Index in the Central area of the Cascades:
Rushing waters flow to me
Showing yourself so gently
Making my life seem tenderly calm
Sitting near you to feel your majesty
I am always thankful to see Luke resting in God’s creation. It is times like these that help me realize how close we as humans are to nature itself.
For additional info. on Mt. Index: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Index
Awhile ago I shared a heartwarming story about my WWII VET step-dad Roy and his celebration of his 90th birthday ( http://wp.me/p2rYD1-o8 ). Roy grew up very poor and his parents divorced while he was a boy. Roy never knew when his real dad had passed away. One day he asked me if I could find this information out because of the release of the 1940 census. I was able to give Roy his father’s death date and burial location, but the biggest surprise was that we found out he had a half-brother, and a half-sister he did not know about. When you think you have heard it all life throws you a few new curve balls! We were fortunate to contact them both and plans were made for a reunion.
This reunion finally took place. Roy greeted his new found family today at his home with my mom. It was a joyous occasion . Seven family members came to meet Roy. Since this reunion occurred in Alabama , I was unable to attend, but I did receive a phone call from them thanking me for making their reunion possible. Below is a photo of Roy in the middle who is 90, George- 78, and June – 72. The second photo is Roy working with Governor George Wallace. The third photo is Roy during WW II and the fourth photo is Roy with my mother, sister, and her husband. Life never ceases to amaze me!
In a yearning desire to bring my happy and sentimental past to life again, my family traveled with me to my childhood world of Hawaii for my 50th birthday. Such nostalgia is easily brought back to my inner being as my sons experienced my old life. They too were “plunged” into instant gratification of a world they may have never known if not for my insistence to vacation there.
It is with wonder bringing dreams come true for me to be with my kids in Hawaii. Living in Hawaii for four years as a young person with my own parents was the epitome of pure joy. How can you describe something to someone else unless they experienced it themselves?
Immersing my life’s past to my children’s’ present time in Hawaii makes for a true experience now merged forever.
Showing a whole new world to them is like painting on canvas. The artist’s strokes begin with a lone girl enjoying the sand on the beach. As the artist’s rendition begins to evolve, two other figures are captured in the drawing. They are my own boys on each side of me laughing with love that comes through with each stroke of the artist’s handiwork.
This life can only get better as merging a past with its present brings on amazing memories into the future.
Actions speak louder than words. At least that is what my daddy used to say. He grew up dirt poor in rural Kentucky and farmed land with his own daddy. Parts of the land owned by my paternal ancestors stayed within our family for generations. In fact names also stayed in the family. Let me explain. My oldest son’s name is Luke William. My dad’s name was William Randall. My grandfather’s name was Willie. Willie’s daddy was William Farr. In fact the name William goes all the way back to William Whitnell who was a preacher. He was born in 1796 in North Carolina and fought as a young teenager in the War of 1812. His actions helped save our country and make it what it is today. The land he owned was his payment for his military service and is where this cemetery lies.
About two weeks ago, 10 men got together and cleaned our old family cemetery. It is with delight I saw cemetery stones I had never seen before. This blog post is dedicated to all you genealogy buffs out there. Keep on searching and at some point you just might find your gold mine. These people represent a part of me. Seeing these stones and this cemetery being cleaned up was one of the best gifts I could have ever imagined. There are so many folks I could thank for helping me to locate and clean this place up. I send you warm wishes with this blog! If you are interested in more photos you may go to my dedicated facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/DescendantsOfWhitnellJenkins
My journey over the past two years reminds me that life is full of variety. As I reflect on life’s travels, we know they can be emotional, tragic, comic, or perhaps a blend of them all. The unending thought in my mind is that the journey means nothing if we don’t share in it together. I realized for quite some time and after several folks in my life affirmed this with me that perhaps my writing could be of benefit to others. If it was not, I speculated it would be good for my family. The key is that we exist to provide an outlet to raise our shared consciousness. While you are reading , my hope is that you would take time to think over my experiences and come to a point in your life to delve deeper in your own.
One thought crossed my mind that what I write or have written about would remind you of yourself and relationships you have with your partner, children, friends, and any other person in your life. I am intentionally wanting to be thought-provoking even if at times it is bittersweet. Perhaps you may be even relieved you are reading about my life and not your own! Yes. That did cross my mind.
As a mother of a grown autistic son who is truly beautiful , I would not wish this life on another. Luke is the most amazing son a mother could ever ask for, but to watch his suffering at times is incalculable. Yesterday we took him to his best friend’s viewing and funeral who just so happened to be autistic too. Luke’s time saying goodbye to Isaiah was truly poetic as he knelt in the casket and whispered gently in his friend’s ear goodbye.
It was during the funeral that I thought Luke would not be able to hold it together, but he did. As we approached Isaiah’s mom, Luke spoke to his mom and said what little he knew to say, “Isaiah.” After a few seconds he than said to her, “Sad”. Isaiah’s mom quietly allowed Luke to speak and reminded him if Isaiah was here, he would want them to laugh. When she said that they both laughed loudly together. It was a moment of reprieve for a grieving mother and Isaiah’s best friend.
Today I thank Luke and Isaiah for showing the true meaning of friendship.