I haven’t written a blog in a while & that’s because the surf has been calm on the Berry side of the sea for a change. Over the last few weeks, Jack took a turn for the better with the help of your prayers & the support of his caregiver. She knows what makes Jack tick, when he is open for ticking. She has convinced him into brushing his teeth everyday with a game. They race each other to see who wins. She has also gotten him to bathe nearly every other day. Jack would not bathe nor brush his teeth for weeks at a time. I was considering contacting Campbell’s soup to buy a vat of tomato juice to soak him in because he stunk so bad since that is a remedy to get rid of the spray of a skunk, if it works on skunk stink, it has to work on B.O. It is so refreshing to see Jack with clean teeth & nice, freshly washed hair. It reminds me of when he was a young boy & was so clean & pretty. I always thought Coleman & Jack were pretty boys & of course Ava a pretty girl, there’s just something about clean children. Jack’s little curls really shine after a bath & it makes him even more handsome. There has not been much activity from the chatrooms, partly because he got kicked out of of them or one-not really sure. The suspension on them lasts around two weeks or so, so I am terrified of the possibility of him engaging with that again. This is how he communicates with the individuals that promise him marriage & then demand gift cards to make the marriage happen. His caregiver has really been preaching to him about this. She has blessed us tremendously with her love & care for Jack, as well as her faith.
Over the course of the last few weeks, Jack has become interested in hunting Pokémon’s. For the illiterate like myself, it’s a app/game where you go to certain areas in town & collect points for finding a Pokémon or a Pokémon character. These characters are often found at populated areas such as churches, schools, the post office & such. Jack even bought a bracelet that is synced with his phone & the bracelet lights up when a Pokémon is nearing. Way over my head, but it beats him being in chatrooms & throwing our money away to total strangers. Several nights a week, I have to drive Jack around town hunting for these things. There are only about 10 places in our small little town that has them & we are less than a mile from any of them. It’s nice because we can ride with the windows down & listen to music. Since Jack shares a lot of my music interests, it can be fun. We jammed out to Achy Breaky Heart just the other night. Billy Ray would of been proud. On the downside, I’m pretty sure the police will be investigating our what looks like creeping skills soon. I have to stop on a dime often times since Jack isn’t good with directions & it’s most often in front of someone’s house. If I don’t stay there until all the points are collected, I get in trouble! So if you see a silver Yukon creeping around playing Achy Breaky Heart around 9:30pm, don’t call the police, it’s just us!
I’ve always said Ellerbe is a great place to live & don’t think I would like living anywhere else. As we were hunting tonight, I needed gas. When I went in to pay, I was surrounded by the smell of boiled peanuts. I’ve never been able to resist hot boiled peanuts! We sell boiled peanuts at our business, but I rarely have time to eat them. So I purchased a cup for me to eat while Jack was searching for Pokémon’s. I didn’t think Jack would be interested in eating them because he doesn’t like to work for food, there is too much involved to get the goods, plus, it’s not Chiba. Oddly enough, he wanted some (don’t all kids want whatever you’re eating?). As we sat in my car hunting Pokes, eating boiled peanuts & tossing our shells out the window, I realized that was a special bonding moment for Jack & me. I grew up eating boiled peanuts, he never tasted one until tonight & liked them. We might have more in common than what I thought. I’m thankful for Carroll’s Pantry (the gas station that sold me the peanuts) for giving us that moment, a good memory made & thankful for the clerk that asked about Jack. Often times, my mind is flooded with bad memories when it comes to Jack, but not tonight. Small town living is amazing & I would not change it for the world.
This is really a busy time of year for us with our business. It’s so chaotic, that I don’t get the time I need to cook or pay bills & be organized like I crave to be. I snapped a picture of my sad supper the other night, it was a rotisserie chicken (several days old) & spring onions.
Then as I sat down to pay a few bills, I remembered that I had not bathed yet, so I only got two tackled. My life is quickly becoming nothing but a piece of paper!
As I type this, Coleman is in the air on his way to Norway & Sweden for a study abroad opportunity. I was outside this evening & could faintly hear the squeals from a child in the neighborhood, it made me sad to think how quickly time passed. It really seems like yesterday when the three kids & I spent our days & evenings outside (that is when seizures didn’t get the best of Jack). The kids rode their bikes, we jumped on the trampoline, danced outside, flew kites, drew on the road with chalk. Now as the years have passed, I’m left with memories of better & worse times. Better times because Jack’s environment was more controlled & he could be controlled, worse because of the multitude of seizures Jack had in those days. He literally had 100’s of seizures a day. Today, he averages one a month, what a difference. For years I prayed that his seizures would be lessened, my prayers were heard & answered. As I was riding to Mama & Daddy’s one evening, I was lead to snap a picture of a sunset. In this picture, you can clearly see the rays of the sun, but you can not see the sun.
It got me to thinking about faith. The poignancy of that moment for me was, you can see God’s works, but you can not physically see God. Even when we are at our lowest of lows, God is there, trust when I say that I have been there. Although it took 14 years for Jack’s seizures to significantly decrease, God answered that prayer for our family. Though Jack’s life & ours has taken a very sharp curve & it’s still uncertain whether or not Jack will be able to remain at home or a residential facility, that sunset picture helps remind me to lean on God & be fervent in prayer & asking for guidance & praising our Savior for his many blessings.