Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday, Forrest!

was it just 11 years ago that we were celebrating the birth of our second son, forrest?   for the past week we have been celebrating his birthday!  he and his friends enjoyed a fun game of miniature golf last weekend, followed by burgers at home!  last night, for his "actual" birthday, forrest's gmama and gdaddy took us to golden corral (his choice) for his birthday supper!   we had a fun night!  

forrest has brought us much joy and laughter in his 11 years!  he is quite a funny kid; we never know what he is going to say!  he is very much a "people person," like me, and loves to play with friends.  he is good-natured, and is a terrific big brother!    wyatt ADORES forrest; forrest is so patient with him!  it would not surprise me if he went into the medical field because of his little brother, he would be a terrific pediatric therapist....or physician!  

we visited the potential (and likely) middle school for forrest this week over in pace.  it was very clean and QUIET..... shockingly quiet!!!    he was VERY happy with the school, which i am very thankful for!   and he expressed an interest in joining the band.... oh my!   in 6th grade you are either in band or p.e., so i guess he is going to explore band!  i was a band kid from 7th grade through graduation, and i loved it!   we will see how he likes it!   i think that it will help him to connect and make friends more quickly at his new school in a new town.

we are so thankful that God (and kym and my mama....who both take credit for forrest being born) blessed us with this precious boy, who is becoming a compassionate and caring young man.....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Dance Here.... First Transition Meeting DONE!!!!

first transition team meeting is DONE and went WAY BETTER than i had anticipated!!!!    our morning was a little rough getting there, but we rushed in right on time; ethan, wyatt and myself!   (tim is in pensacola and could not join us this time!).  i am SO GLAD that ethan was on spring break and was able to help me with wyatt!!!     we were able to call tim and put him on speaker phone so that he was able to participate in the meeting as well.  i also recorded the meeting on the ipad, in case i needed to remember exactly what was said..... someone earlier in the week had mentioned that they did that at their IEP meeting, and i thought that was a great idea!  

the three ladies representing the school district and head start were WONDERFUL!   they listened to my concerns and questions first, and were receptive to all that i had to say.   they thoroughly explained the transition process and what we should expect.  they explained one of the models, the blended model, that our school district uses; 10 typical kids and 10 kids with special needs are included in their 3/4 year old pre-kindergarten classes; with 2 teachers (1 ESE and 1 Voluntary Pre-K) and 1 paraprofessional.  this is the model that we would hope that wyatt would be placed in!

we also discussed the evaluation process involved that would determine wyatt's placement in school next year.  typically one of the district psychologists would assess wyatt's cognitive and intellectual abilities, and the district speech/language pathologist would assess his speech and language abilities.    we discussed the possibility of his current early intervention team performing his evaluation, and they were receptive to that idea.   tim and i, and some of his therapists, believe that wyatt would "perform" better for the therapists that he is familiar with, as most children would, when being assessed of his abilities!  

i left the meeting feeling VERY encouraged and hopeful for wyatt's placement in the public school system!  they will be contacting the appropriate representative in santa rosa county about wyatt, and the services available to him.   i felt like they wanted only the best for wyatt, and the desires that we have for him!  

and then the representative from santa rosa county called and talked to tim.   and she told him that they do not have "blended" or "inclusive" classes at the pre-k level.   apparently they do not serve "typical" kids in a pre-k setting at all.   they also do not have "part-time" classes, they want their children there all day every day.   and that they do not usually offer "drop-in" appointments for therapy services such as speech (if we should want to place him in private preschool or not place him in school at all at this point).    i was crushed..... so frustrated.... so sad.   i could not believe that the "#2" school district in the state does not offer inclusive pre-k classes.   they do offer a class specifically geared towards speech and language delays, with a class size of 12 with 2 teachers.    this might be an option for wyatt.....  just not what i had envisioned for him.  i talked to his SLP this afternoon and she said it really might be a great fit for him, as they focus so much on speech, which is his biggest delay.  

and so we wait until we can visit the school over in santa rosa county and see EXACTLY what their classroom model looks like.   and we pray about where we should live, where wyatt and forrest will receive the best education for each of them!    we appreciate your prayers for wisdom and discernment as we figure out where that is!!!  and we keep on doing what we do; going to therapies, playing, and enjoying each other.....  we are so blessed.....  and so ready to be living together as a family!!!!   living apart just stinks!  =)


our impromptu world down syndrome day picnic with big brother ethan!

tom's hotdogs and sonic drinks.... yummy!
yogurt is a finger food, right?

brothers playing hide and seek!

" this salt pot from the civil war is so cool... "
 "i really want to get in it!   help a brother out!!"
and of course, he did....who could resist?

pure joy!!!!

a beautiful day!

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

today is world down syndrome day!   we will be taking freshly baked muffins to share with wyatt's family service coordinator and the team who will be part of wyatt's first TRANSITION TEAM MEETING!!!   to say that this is a stressful time is an understatement!   this is the first step in transitioning out of the early intervention program into the public school system.  we have been so very blessed by the early intervention program, i do not look forward to transitioning!!!  but it is time to start the process, so here we go!  we covet your prayers as this process begins! 

three years ago we had never even heard of world down syndrome day, and today we actually celebrate it!   we certainly had no idea how much that little extra chromosome would change our lives!  we know that God has great plans for our little man, and that wyatt's Down syndrome was NOT a surprise to our Mighty God!  

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.   
I praise you because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. "   
Psalm 139:13-14 

"For I know the plans I have for Wyatt,"
declares the Lord,
"plans to prosper him and not to harm him,
plans to give him a HOPE and a FUTURE!!!"
Jeremiah 29:11

click here for a really awesome video that my friend made for world down syndrome day!  you just might see wyatt a *few* well as some of his friends!    blessings.....

Monday, March 19, 2012

Google Logo for World Down Syndrome Day!

it's almost time for world down syndrome day....march 21st!   this google logo was created by a man named mark jones, and there is an email movement to persuade google to use this!  please email google at requesting this artwork be featured on 3/21 for world down syndrome day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

My Eyes "Leaked" A Little... The Lion King!

wow!  just returned from a few days at "the happiest place on earth".....walt disney world!   since our oldest son was 9 months old, my mom has taken me and the boys to wdw every year or so..... so we ventured down on sunday to experience spring break with a few thousand of our closest friends!   i have NEVER EVER seen the parks more crowded!   we were so thankful to have the guest access card that disney provides through guest relations for people with disabilities.  otherwise, i don't think we would have been able to accomplished half of what we experienced in the time we had! 

the very last thing that we decided to "squeeze" into our schedule, on our last day in the parks, was the "festival of the lion king" show at animal kingdom!  we had just gotten to see mickey up close and personal, and the lion king show was just about to start, so away we went!   we were seated and the show started very quickly.  now, i have seen this show many times, and i know that it is pretty "loud and wild", so i was very nervous about taking wyatt to see it, with all his "sensory" issues.....  i spied where the nearest exit was, and was prepared to make a speedy departure if need be! 

now i love the movie, "the lion king" was the first movie we ever took our oldest son, ethan (18) to see in a theater, and he loved it!   so we know all the songs and story line by heart, you know?    "circle of life" and "can you feel the love tonight?" bring tears to my eyes every time!   "i just can't wait to be king" and "hakuna matata" are just FUN!    so as they sang those magical songs that have so many memories attached to them, and my eyes leaked a little!   

and there was NO NEED TO EXIT..... wyatt LOVED it!!!! from the first song to the last, he was amazed!!!! the look on his face was was truly a MAGICAL experience for him!!!!  to see wyatt "dancing" along, clapping, and just enjoying the whole show, certainly caused my eyes to LEAK A LOT!!!!   we were right beside timon and pumba, and wyatt was COMLETELY ENTHRALLED WITH THEM!!!   it was so very cute!  and when timon finally spotted wyatt and started waving at him.... wyatt was so very happy!!!!  

it was truly a magical way to end our time at disney.... to remember how ethan loved that movie as a toddler, and forrest has loved it through the years, and to see wyatt enjoying it as well!  a timeless story and music!!!   and to think, we almost didn't even go see the show, because i was afraid that wyatt would not be able to "handle"  it!  ..... so glad we did, and yep, my eyes did leak a little......

Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Friend Geri.....An Interview with Jimmy's Mama!

one of my dear online friends is geri, mother to jimmy (and other children as well!)....  jimmy is a older than most of my friend's children, so geri is a lot further along in this journey of life with Down syndrome than many of us!   she is a blessing and a true encourager to me!    i asked her a few questions a while back, and this is what she shared with me!  enjoy!

Penny:  Did you have a prenatal diagnosis that Jimmy had Ds? If not, how were you told that he had Ds?
Geri:  We did not know that Jimmy was even a boy, much less that he had Down Syndrome. This was 1981 the test that are available now were not available then! The few tests that they did were all fine. I was told the day after he was born that he may have a glandular problem and they had done some tests and had sent blood to be checked. The Doctor casually ask me if I had heard of Down Syndrome. I just shook my head yes, while he said he did not believe that was what he had. I found out when Jimmy was eight days old and I took him to Dr Robert Abney, a pediatrician that was also a cardiologist, that he did have DS.

Penny:  What were your feelings when you were told that he had Ds?
Geri:  I prayed the night before and I knew he had DS, I ask God to please show me the way to do what he wanted me to do. I knew there was a reason why he gave me Jimmy and I was honored as well as a little scared.
Penny:  When Jimmy was born with Ds, did you have a strong support system, either family, friends, church family, etc.?
Geri:  My family was very positive, especially my sister Bab's. She was always there for him and me. There were some family members that refused to believe it at first. They all came around quickly realizing that it was not a bad thing to have DS. I called the health department and asked for any information that they had to be sent to me. I quickly learned what a blessing Jimmy is.

jimmy and his girlfriend heather!
Penny:  What services were available to you when Jimmy was little? we are so blessed with Early Intervention now, i'm just curious as to what types of services you received, if any?
Geri:  He had an AV-Canal repair of his heart at 5 1/2 months. He was sick and in and out of the hospital until he was four. He was still sick a lot but not so sick that he had to be put in the hospital. Hudspeth Center, a state mental health facility, would send therapist to our house every few months to see how he was doing and tell me ways to help him with feeding, etc. When Jimmy was 2 1/2 an Early Intervention program was started at Hudspeth Center. I took Jimmy five days a week (unless he was sick) for speech, physical and play therapies. The director of the program would call me when a new parent and baby would be coming in to meet with him about bringing their child to the program, so Jimmy and I could be there, they could see him and how positive I was and I was the lucky one that got to hold the babies. I loved seeing the new babies and I am still very good friends with some of them. He went to Early Intervention until he was almost seven and started to public school.  His kindergarten teacher was great, but his teacher 1st - 4th was WONDERFUL! She worked us so hard. Homework every night. WORK WORK WORK! It paid off though he can read and write. Math comprehension is not so good, but tell him your phone number and he will call you forever. He is very good at remembering birthdays and anniversaries also. Jimmy is very thoughtful!! He had a great teacher in Jr High, but I have to say high school was not so great. I had to fight with teachers quite a bit. I guess the hardest thing about having a child with DS is other people's ignorance. I was ignorant to what DS really is before I had Jimmy myself. 

Penny:  Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Geri:  When Jimmy was about four and was SOOOOO sick with pneumonia he had to take medicine that made him try to climb out of his skin. For over a week he did not sleep but for a few minutes at a time, so I did not sleep. Finally I ask Dr Abney if we could skip a dose of this medicine so he could sleep. We skipped the 6pm dose and when the nurse came in at 10pm to give him the medicine I had rocked him to sleep and could not let her do it. I had cried and prayed for that four hours and told God, if this is the way he has to live, I have to let him go. The next morning I was waiting for him to die. The Dr said he may have to go in his lungs and get the fluid out with a huge needle. It was not good at all. One of his teachers from Hudspeth Ctr. came to see us. She said, "Not my Jimmy boy!" She got him up and gave him jello (he had not eaten in days) He came back to life! At five that evening when the Dr. came in Jimmy was running around the room playing, he was so amazed that all he could do was shake his head. He just shook his head several times after that too. I knew that God was showing me he was the one in control.  

jimmy and geri....sweet!
Penny:  What has been the biggest blessing of having a child with Ds? 
Geri:  The biggest blessing has probably been seeing the way Jimmy has changed people. I have watched time after time how people would act almost scared of him at first and then he would show them what love really is. We still see people that he went to school with and they stop him and are always so happy to see him. Several people that we did not know have told us what he meant to them. That always makes me smile. I knew that there was a group of kids from Jr High thru High school that looked out for him, but didn't know all of them.

Penny:  What would you tell parents who have just received a diagnosis of Ds for their baby?
Geri:  I guess the best advice I could give new parents is just enjoy and love your baby, but be ready to fight for them along the way! (Isn't that what we do for all of our children though?)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


today is "spread the word to end the word" day; the day that we ask everyone to take the pledge to STOP USING THE WORD RETARDED!!!!   guest blogger ashley, big sister to laura (one of wyatt's valentines) shares her thoughts on this subject in a recent blogpost from princess diaries:  notes from a daughter of the King!    enjoy.....and wyatt asks you to TAKE THE PLEDGE.....for HIM, LAURA, and their friends!!!!!!!!  

Ashley Quinn

It's a word I hear all too often. This word comes up casually in a conversation between friends. My heart drops suddenly when I hear this word. This word gives me strong feelings of anger and sadness whenever I hear it. This word makes me want to grab my baby sister, and hide her away from this cruel world we live in.

What's that word you may be wondering? The word is "retard" (or as I refer to it as "The R Word").

I think alot of people don't truly know what this word means. For some reason, people think it is a word to use lightly, and that it is okay make fun of people who are associated with this word. They feel the need to call their friends "retarded" when they are acting stupid.

Retard means "to be delayed".
Retarded refers to someone who is "delayed".

My baby sister has Down syndrome. Her name is Laura, and she's 2 1/2 years old. ( I have a blog for her that you can find HERE.)

Down syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21) occurs when a baby is conceived with one extra copy of the 21st chromosome. An "average" person has 46 chromosomes: 23 from their mom and 23 from their dad. People with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes.
Down syndrome causes people to be delayed in their speech, motor skills, etc. People with Down syndrome have distinct features that sometimes include creased palms, spaced toes (also referred to as "sandal toe"), curved pinky fingers, absent nasal bones, etc.
People with Down syndrome have a higher chance of:
-Being born with a heart defect.
- Getting childhood Leukemia.
- Getting early Alzheimer's.
and some other things as well.

In the medical world, individuals with Down syndrome used to be referred to as "retarded".
When people these days use that word, they are referring to someone or something that they think is stupid. When you use the "R" word, you are insulting my baby sister and every other individual with special needs even if "you don't mean it that way". If you call someone or something that you think is stupid "retarded" then people who are supposedly really "retarded" are stupid? No, absolutely not!
People try to excuse using that word by saying, "Oh, well, I don't think of Laura as retarded.", etc. Well, that's good because I know she's not retarded! Even if you don't mean it "that way", it hurts all the same. I try to be gentle with people when it comes to the "R" word because I know that most people don't mean it in "that way" or towards Laura or individuals with special needs. When I hear someone say the "R" word, I ask them not to use it and tell them why it hurts me. I educate them. It would be cruel to be mean to someone who didn't even realize the word was hurtful in the first place.
I admit.....I used to use the "R" word back before I knew Laura had Down syndrome. I am so ashamed that I did. It makes me sad to think of all the people I probably hurt by saying it. Now that I know how hurtful it is, it is my job to educate people on it.
Some people still choose to use the "R" word even after I educate them on it, and that hurts. Once you have been educated, you have no excuse anymore.

March 7th is "Spread The Word To End The Word". We, in the special needs community, are spreading the word about the "R" word to end the use of the word. This is something that is so very important to me. Will you please help me spread the word to end the word?

I would appreciate it. The special needs community would appreciate it. Most of all, Laura would appreciate it. Because it's not "just a word". It hurts. So come on.....

Let's spread the word to end the word!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Forever Friends....

flower girls!
happy birthday to my dear friend amy!   what a blessing to have a lifelong friend of about 40 years!   we met on a dirt pile while our family's home was being built and became fast friends!   our parents even built a wooden bridge over the creek between our homes so that we had easy (and safe) access back and forth!  our parents are still best friends to this day as well!

u.s.s. alabama with our families and my nephew!

i have so many memories of our times together.....

big hair was in!

we were flower girls in my sister pam's wedding!  we played with barbie dolls for hours and hours!  we had sleepovers ALL.THE.TIME!  her parents were my second parents, and vice versa!   our families vacationed together a lot.... the great smoky mountains, georgia, alabama....many trips together!  we were in the band together; same instruments (saxophone and oboe), and we were both drum majors in our marching bands!  in high school we even travelled to europe together as members of the all south band!    we "cruised the strip together" here in our hometown of panama city (beach)!  we roomed together in college one year.... and we were maids and matrons of honor in each other's weddings!  

a little older, but don't we look great!!!!  

unfortunately, our families went in vastly different directions for many years (amy and dan travelled the world in the air force)..... and we only kept up with each other sporadically....

tarpon springs, florida.... a wonderful day together!

but the Lord has allowed us to reconnect within the past couple of years and we have reestablished our close friendship!   "friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the Lord of them......"  

i am blessed with my forever friend, amy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

God "Winked" at Me!

if you have been reading my blog for a while, you might remember when i have mentioned what i call "God winks" in the past!  well, He did it again!    to set the stage, i must back up a little...when wyatt was born, and we received his diagnosis of Down syndrome, one of the things i remember most vividly was how badly i wanted wyatt to be able to speak clearly and communicate effectively.  i'm sure i've blogged about this a lot actually, but our family is really BIG on communication.  tim and i both talk A LOT, and it's just something you may not realize is that important to you until you are not sure that it is a possibility for one of your children.   so that continues to be a HUGE concern for me. 
when i am around "typical" children, i am really reminded about wyatt's delays in communication.  when we saw ben, wyatt's "brother from another mother" (who i wrote about in my last post) last weekend, he AMAZED us with his vocabulary!!!!    he could very clearly repeat just about anything he heard....tim, penny, garbage truck, etc.!  WOW!!!   we were quite shocked with his ability to speak!!!   with as many children as i have met with Ds since we began our journey, he ranks right up there as having the best vocabulary i have heard in children with Ds, even older children!    we are THRILLED that he speaks so wonderfully, but i must admit that it made me a little sad that wyatt does not speak anyway nearly as well as ben!    no.where.close!!!    (i know that each child develops at his/her own pace, they progress quickly in one area while another lags behind, etc!!!)   but I WANT WYATT TO TALK!!!!   

i sat in on as many sessions about communication that i could while at the conference and came back with questions and ideas for wyatt's speech therapist.   i knew that "apraxia" might be part of wyatt's diagnosis, and she confirmed that when i asked her about it.   UGH!!!  ONE.MORE.THING for him to overcome!!!!   according to the american speech-language-hearing association, "Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words."  so now we are trying to figure out the best ways to help wyatt learn to talk with this in mind. 

and so last thursday evening i was cleaning the kitchen while wyatt was finishing his ice cream after supper, and he was jabbering away as he often does.   i was cleaning and feeling quite sad about his inability to talk, and how hard it is for him, and i noticed that his jabbering had escalated.   so i casually asked him "are you all done with your ice cream?  ready to get down?"  and he very clearly said "ALL DONE!"    yay wyatt!!!!   yay GOD!!!    that was wonderful, and we celebrated and i praised him.....    and THEN, later on, while he was taking his bath, i again noticed that his jabbering was escalating, and he was standing up like he wanted to get out of the tub.  so i asked him, "are you finished?  are you ready to get out of the tub?"  and he responded AS.CLEAR.AS.DAY "I GET OUT!"     WOO HOO!!!   HAPPY DANCE HERE!!!!     THANK YOU FOR THAT "GOD WINK!" LORD!  

princess lily
as i shared that "GOD WINK" with my Ds online community and our other friends, everyone rejoiced with me about wyatt's words!   then on sunday, my good friend cathy texted me that she had received a "GOD WINK" as well!   her daughter lily, one of wyatt's valentines (wyatt's royal valentine....princess lily), is also delayed in her speech.   in church that day, as they all gathered at the altar for the pastor to say the benediction, after he said "amen," LILY VERY CLEARLY REPEATED "AMEN" after him!   cathy said she looked up and saw half a dozen faces grinning at her, sharing the joy of their "GOD WINK" moment!!!!   as cathy said in her blog, "Thank you, sweet Father, for calming this troubled momma's heart in a way only You could.  What a beautiful God wink....."    

yes, Father God, thank you for these "GOD WINKS," and for reminding us that YOU CARE ABOUT THE THINGS THAT WE CARE ABOUT!!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wyatt and Ben...."Brothers from Other Mothers!"

proud mamas and daddies with our precious boys! 
i cannot find the pic from the first time we met yet, but
trust me, we look much more relaxed in this one!!!
it's amazing how 2 1/2 years will change your perspective!
last weekend when we went to the florida Down syndrome conference, we were able to spend some time with our friends, joe, chari and ben!   ben and wyatt were born 5 days apart, and we met when the boys were about 4 and 5 weeks old at the same conference in 2009!   we've seen each other a couple of times through the years, but haven't been able to spend much time together....they live in south florida, and we live in northwest florida!   

it was so very fun to see the boys together this time! they had a terrific time playing during one of the sessions, and i thought you might enjoy these cute pics!

we've come a long way in the past 2 1/2 years!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Byron!!!

today's post features guest bloggers; laura, sharon and charlotte.....the smith girls; their blog is "a sister thing...."   they are the older sisters of byron, an adult who has Down syndrome here in our community.  this is the story of his birth 39 years ago today!   byron was named the florida special olympics athlete of the year in 2010, and was our local buddy walk ambassador for this past fall!  byron is a busy fellow with a family who loves him very much!   enjoy!

Happy Birthday Byron!  
Have a Wonderful Day Celebrating You!!!

“He’s just different”…these are some of the words these three sisters recall hearing as our dad gathered us together to share the details of the newest arrival to our family. Byron was born on March 1, 1973 and was the ninth child in our family. For us, making room for another brother or sister was not unusual, in fact it was a pretty usual event. Our parents always knew they wanted a large family and they accomplished their goal! But, this delivery was different—and because our mom was still in the hospital, it fell to our dad to explain this special delivery.

Daddy gathered his children together to share how the birth of this new brother was “different” than the ones before him. This brother was born with something called Down Syndrome. We’d never really heard of something like this before. Daddy continued…he explained that this brother was going to look different. This brother was probably going to have physical characteristics different from the rest of us. Byron would have stubby-webbed fingers, a short neck, and a flat bridge to his nose. We quickly decided this appearance thing wasn’t a problem at all. No one outside our family would ever have to know he was “different”—we would just dress him in sunglasses, turtlenecks and gloves and no one would be the wiser! The bubble soon burst when Daddy reminded us that we lived in Florida and the heat would make this “disguise” impossible!

He went on to share that he and mom weren’t sure what Byron would be capable of—the doctors weren’t very encouraging. The doctors had warned there was no promise Byron would ever be able to walk or talk, they weren’t sure if he would ever have the mental capacity to have opinions or make decisions They weren’t sure how a baby like Byron would fit in with eight “normal” brothers and sisters. The doctors recommended it would probably be best for their “normal” children if this new baby not go home. They suggested several “very good” institutions with resources to handle a baby like Byron…the doctors further explained, “he’s just different.”

To that point, Daddy told us he and mom had a plan. Good—we needed a plan. They decided they were going to raise Byron just as they had raised us. Our job was to treat this brother just as we treated our other siblings. Perfect—we knew just what to do!

Byron and our mom soon came home from the hospital and we all discovered Byron was different, but different in only positive ways. This baby was a bit slower to learn, but he did learn. He walked, he talked, he made decisions and he had opinions! Not many people could get away with telling Daddy no—Byron had the honor of being one of the few. When Byron held his ground and told Daddy “no-sir”—Daddy would chuckle and say, “I love it—that’s my son, the son who would never have an opinion!”

Byron’s easy-going temperament and zest for life has been a guiding light for all of us! His “differences” have made our family different. As a family, we are closer because of him, we are more loving because of him, we are more patient because of him, we are more understanding because of him, and we are more appreciative because of him. Our lives are enriched because of him.
Byron’s influence on our family has been profound—we strive each day to be more like him. Daddy was right—he’s just different!