Friday, October 7, 2011

the sweet love story that became me. . .

Once upon a time. . .

. . . a pretty auburn-haired girl and a skinny short guy met in high school.  One day after they graduated, they ran into each other at the drive-in.  Over a burger their eyes met, and a little spark ignited.  After a while, they fell in love.  The auburn-haired girl's father didn't much like the skinny kid, even though he had grown a few inches by then.  So the girl and the boy snuck away one day, drove a few hours so they were just over the state line, and got married in Indiana since they were underage at home in Michigan.  There were no bridesmaids, or groomsmen. . . in fact finding a witness was a little tricky.  There was no photographer to record the event for eternity.  There was no honeymoon, since the girl and the boy had to get back home because the girl's parents thought she was at a friend's for an overnighter.   When they got back home they had to live apart for a few days, until the girl worked up her courage to tell her parents that she was married, and that she and the boy were one.

That was 60 years ago today.  My mom and dad started their sweet life together in Angola, Indiana on October 7, 1951.   They had nearly 44 (mostly) blissful years together before Dad left to go back to Heaven.  They adored each other.  He was tender and thoughtful to her. . . and she was devoted beyond measure to him.  Mom misses him. . . more than words can say. 

So happy anniversary, my wonderful parents. 

Thanks for showing me what marriage should be.


j o a n   &   k e n   c l a y t o n

o c t o b e r   7 ,   1 9 5 1

Monday, October 3, 2011

f i r s t b o r n s o n

My first-born turned 22 yesterday.  At 11:30 am.  But - if I'd had my way he would have been born the day before.  'Cause that would have meant a lot less labor. . . 23 1/2 hours was just a tad much. 

He's a good kid.  (Oops, make that young man).  He's a young man who's had a hard time of life.  And I'm so very proud of how he's taken the lemons that life has thrown at him and made them into lemonade. 

Somehow he's made it though a lot, this kid of mine.  Autism, for one.  (Make that Asperger's Syndrome, means kind of the same thing).  We didn't know about the autism at first, though.  You'd think his fascination with sprinklers would have tipped us off.  And lights.  And later - tornados.  But when he was three the word "autism" hadn't even entered our vocabulary.  When he was five it did.  And we've lived with that word ever since.

Michael with his Grandpa Clayton, about age 3.
Michael is smart.  Taught himself to read at two and a half.  No kidding!  When he was young he loved to read non-fiction.  One of his books was titled Brain Surgery for Beginners.  We had books about space, nature, medicine, inventions.  He wanted to know how everything worked.  He played Magic School Bus computer games, and a bunch more that I can't remember the names of. 

And he remembered everything he read and learned on the computer. 

Today, Michael is still smart.  Loves to spout facts.  Loves fancy cars.  Plays golf.  Has a thing for video and computer games.  Likes cheese.  A lot.  Cares deeply for many wonderful people who have helped him along the way, especially his teachers at the Jordan Resource Center (now River's Edge School) in Jordan District.  Works at Harmon's (7th East) washing dishes in the deli.  And those dishes sparkle!  He can make a tub sparkle, too.  Want to borrow him?

Michael is  thoughtful, funny, helpful, and interesting. 

He appreciates family. 

Is good with the pets.

Is fascinated with fireworks.

And, still alive after nearly dying of a lung abscess a few years ago.

Good thing, 'cause I don't know what I'd do without him. 

So - happy birthday, my firstborn son.

I love you. . .