Sworn In

Welcome to my 100th post! The following video shows my step-son, Joshua, being sworn into the Army. Please know that I am not wild about the military, for reasons I do not wish to divulge, but I am very proud of Josh! The father of my boys and my ex-husband was married once before me and had three children from that first marriage. I have mentioned Jacob, the oldest, in my post, Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss. Joshua is the second son, followed by Anna, and then my two boys, Jeremy and Zachary. As you watch this video, you will see Joshua and his mother, along with my oldest, Jeremy (the skinny kid in the background), and another woman whom I do not know.

I am proud of Josh for the obvious reasons, including, as you will see in the video, that he is among the only 1% who has volunteered to participate in the military. But I am also proud of Josh for another reason: he has Asperger’s Syndrome. To give you just a little background of what that entails, KenCrest describes it this way: “Asperger’s Syndrome is the mildest and highest functioning end of the Autism Spectrum. Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome experience problems in social interaction and often have restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities.These difficulties may include eye contact, facial expressions, and social gestures; poor peer relationships; lack of spontaneous sharing with others; lack of social or emotional give-and-take; preoccupation with certain interests and subjects; inflexible routines or rituals; repetitive movements.” Though there is no cure for Autism, as of yet, Josh has learned to overcome some of the social and emotional symptoms, and has become a better son, a better brother, and a better friend as a result. What a man he has grown into! Yea Joshua! Way to go!

Without further ado, please take a few minutes to view the video and share in this grand moment with me.

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38 responses to “Sworn In

  1. Congratulations on your 100th post!!!!!! Also congratulations to Joshua, You must be so proud. I loved watching the video and think that its great that you shared this special moment with everyone.

  2. I use the web connection. There are times certain features don’t work; the Like button for one. I usually type my post on my laptop and then transfer it to my phone and then copy and paste it to WP. Pain in the ass but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

    Wow, you really have overcome a lot! Good for you; I always say I am amazed at how well my son turned out despite me being his mother. My son was one of the worse; he has always done everything 110% when he did drugs he made, them, sold them AND did them. I was sure he’d be dead or in jail by the time he was 20. He dropped out of school at 16, I got evicted because of him, he brought a stolen car home, I was in an abusive relationship through most of it, he dad never did play a very big role in his life. His dad and I both have addiction issues that we both have over come now but at there was a period of time I was a really heavy drinker and hooked on Demerol, so the kid was born with the cards stacked against him plus (we just found out a couple of years ago) he is bi-polar.

    I started praying, I typed up a prayer and photocopied it and had it taped every where and it became my mantra. I prayed that God would guide kris to the right path and bring people into his life that would help him and to please have him feel my love no matter where he was or what he was doing and to please have he know that he deserves to be happy. I prayed God would keep him safe and healthy and to give me another chance as his mother.

    It wasn’t long and my son called and he was going to rehab, he’d gone to eat at Union Gospel Mission and before they feed you they make you listen to a sermon and something got though to him. I had tried to get him into rehab before but there was always a waiting list UGM got him in in 3 days. He flourished, got his GED, went to university to become a pastor etc. Etc. He’s had his slips, not just slips, he’s had major crashes but he’s back on track again and doing well.

    Try to not beat yourself up for your mistakes. I have apologized to Kris for mistakes I’ve made and suffered a lot of guilt for a long time. But I am human, I screwed up, it helped me to understand him and be nonjudgmental with his poor judgment.

    Things do happen for a reason.
    Good luck to you and your boys!
    God bless and keep all your sons safe!
    Carrie

    • Hi Carrie,

      Thank you so much for sharing so openly with me. I truly appreciate it. And I am happy to here that your son has found direction and success in his life. My boys are 19 and 14. The oldest, Jeremiah, has a job, but it gives him so little hours, he can’t afford to pay his rent and lives under the stress of being asked to leave on a daily basis. I had thought he had signed up for job corp, but I have recently found out that he has not. He says he will go to orientation tomorrow, but I can not be sure he will follow through. He, too, has struggled with drugs and alcohol, and though he has been going without, his last couple of phone calls to me have been gut wrenching. He is feeling very desperate, feels he cannot get a break, and has even subtly mentioned not wanting to live. He spent a year living on the street after running away form his father’s house and he does not want to return to that kind of life. I am graceously being allowed to live in a house with friends who pay all household expenses and keep me fed. My financial aid does not cover my phone bill and my few small credit cards for the 4 months that the aid is for, so I not only cannot ask them to take anoher person in, but I can’t afford to care for him if he did come. The women I live with are both in poor health and do not need the stress of an angry teenager trying to understaand and figure out his life. He will be 20 in July. My youngest, Zachary, was the most affected by our drug use. Case workers, lawyers, and one judge all lied to his face and so he trusts no one and has no respect for authority. He stopped going to school off and on from about 3rd to 6th grade because his reading and writing skills were much lower than the rest of the class and the shame was too much for him to bear. He managed to get expelled from three school districts and two alternative schools, and had gone through numerous tutors. When I was still in Oregon, my ex and I were constantly trying to remedy his situation. We were in contact with everyone from the classroom teacher to the superintendent to the school board. We tried to get him brought up on truency charges as a last resort, but the principle laughed at us and said he would be in his 20s before he got a court date and the police said they would keep an eye out for him, but he always remained in the house, so that did us no good. One day, Anna, the youngest of three children form their father’s first marriage, and her husband Mike, offered to take Zach in and get him squared away in school in Washington. That is what we did. Then I was accepted to Penn State and was planning my move. I told him he could come with me, but he wanted to remain in Washington with his brothers, sister, and their two other roommates. Zach has yet to be placed in school. His sister has moved in with her in-laws while her husband is in Afghinstan, Josh has gone off to the Army, and Jeremy, like I said, is struggling with paying his rent. Zachary has made up his mind that he will join job corp when he is 16 (14 months from now) and again, I do not have the money, nor am I in a position, to bring either of them out here. Even if I did, I am literally on my computer 10 hours a day doing class work we would be right back where we were before I moved here. Am I selfish? Maybe a little, but this is the first time in 40 years that I have started taking care of me. Am I a bad mother? Maybe, but I truly believe that the struggles they are having now are better than the ones they would have if I had not made a change. I try not to let guilt have control over my life, but how can I not feel guilty? It was my drug use, though I have been clean for over 6 and 1/2 years now, that created this huge mess in the first place, and all I can do now is the best that I can do. I am not sure right now what else to do. I probably shouldn’t put my business out there on front street, and should have written to you privately, but I have nothing to hide and the only way I can learn and grow is by exposure. Wouldn’t you agree? Thanks again, Carrie, for sharing, and now listening. =)

      -Cindy

    • Thank you, Sue! You are the second person now who has acknowledged my 100th post! Thank you so much! And thank you for your prayers for Josh. His heart is really in this and I am happy for him, but don’t want to have to face news that many others have had to face. Is that selfish?

      -Cindy

      • No that is not selfish at all Cindy, its being caring and concerned.. War is being waged and these are uncertain times when I am affraid, many young good men are used for fodder within the War Games of the Elite.. and I am so Glad that when my own Son wanted to join he was rejected on medical grounds. He was so disapointed, but in hindsight he now understands it was for the best.. And so he made another career for himself.
        All we can do Cindy is to send our thoughts out so that one day there will be no need for war, as we learn to live in harmony and peace.. but I see much chaos before that day arrives unfortunately Love and Blessings to you all.. ~Sue

        • Oh, Sue, I feel the same way. I have always viewed war as senseless. I understand that in the hearts and minds of the men and women who fight these wars, it is not and that they feel they are fighting for our country, our rights, and all of us, but the reality is that the innocent are fighting the innocent, and so many “bystanders” become casualties as a result. The top dopgs who are calling the shots and making the demands to kill and harm one another are never the ones who are in battle and are themselves, never in any danger. We don’t have to like each other, agree with each other, or even get along, but the act of war is NOT the answer. I am grateful for your fortune that your son remained safe at home. Any and all prayers, whatever your faith, for Josh, is very much needed and appreciated. Thank you for your support!

          -Cindy

        • Prayer needs no Religion Cindy.. Prayer needs only love behind it to send it to its destination.. Thoughts sent out with love and intent do add light to this World Cindy and the more who can pray and add that Light of Thought to our world the less Wars there will need to be.. For we then become as One within the Consciousness of Unconditional Love..
          Wishing you too a wonderful rest of the week.. xx Sue xx

  3. This was great to watch and thank you for posting this! It is wonderful that he is overcoming his challenges. It is obvious you are very proud of him, and although I don’t know him, I am too. It’s no ordinary young man that can join the military let alone battle and win over something he did not ask for.

  4. Just wanted to say I think it’s great that you are supportive of him, aside from your personal feelings about the military. I have my own reasons to feel as you do, but it’s really nice to know you are offering him love and encouragement anyway 🙂

  5. Cindy, My daughters husband has Asperger’s Syndrome. He has had a lot of struggles to overcome growing up, but he pushed himself a little like Josh and he has been an amazing person too. It is wonderful to see someone who has so many obstacles in front of them to keep going and succeed.

  6. One Mind,

    I was unable to watch the video because I do my blogging from my Blackberry and it won’t let me watch Adobe Flash BUT that said , “Way to go Joshua!!! “The whole family must be very proud. Its great that everyone, ex’s etc can get together to cheer him on! We always hear about the “bad” youth but there are many young people doing amazing wonderful things, it”s especially heart warming to hear about one who has over come obstacles and grows into a man to be proud of.

    • Hi Carrie,

      Yes, I am proud of him. Sadly, beginning with the abuse I endured from their father and then moving on to a psychologically abusive relationshipp with a woamn I stayed with for 13 years, during which we spent 7 years doing drugs and facing the legal system, losing the boys to child services (for 3 years!) and then all the learning, adjusting, and growing of getting clean, my 2 boys are among those considered “bad” though they are getting better. They live together in Wahington with a couple other roommates and I still feel like I am sludging through wet concrete trying to help them while helping myself. Jeremy is 19 and Zachary is only 14. One of my biggest obstacles right now, along with the rest of the country, is finances, but a few more years of school and getting established in my career will allow me to be better at helping them heal and hopefully have a better life than I gave them. So, yes, moments like this one with Josh give me hope and make me happy!

      I have a blackberry too and have added the WordPress app, but I am not able from the app to read others’ blogs and to respond to comments. Do you use the app or go through the web connection?

      -Cindy

  7. This made me cry. My niece has Aspergers, and she is in the throws of pre-pubescent hell, with so little support, being bullied, etc. I so hope for the day she can turn her perceived weaknesses into strengths.

    YAY JOSH! 1%. That is just unbelievable.

    Thank you for sharing!
    The Cockroach

    • Nothing makes me angrier than kids being bullied! I have read a lot of articles in regards to teens finding outlets through blogging. Maybe you could suggest that to her and if she does, let me know and I will follow and comment often, giving her support from where I am at and from my own life experiences, including my memories with Josh. Love and confidence and acceptance are all keys to strength and growth. Thank you for reading and watching.

      -Cindy

        • Are you able to communicate with her? Does she live close to you or far away? Maybe she could keep a journal and you could start a blog for her until she is allowed online again. Just a thought. I really wish I could help in some way, and if ever I can, let me know, ok? Puberty can make things so much worse than they are and is when she needs the most support and as consistently as possible. My heart goes out to her! Keep me posted, if you will, and take care!

          -Cindy

        • We live far away. i sent her a big box of paper and pens and supplies, stamps, etc to start writing letters…but she hasn’t…and I know it might take time. Maybe I will send her a journal. 🙂 Thank you.xoxoox

        • Have you written to her? That may prompt her to write back. When I was twelve, my Aunt Nancy and I wrote back and forth for quite a while. I remember writing her letters that were 15-20 pages long, and I so loved it when she wrote back! Your niece will be in my prayers.

          -Cindy

        • It is very obvious how much you care. Don’t get discouraged. Your consistency will stick with her in one way or another. Sometimes just knowing you are there is enough. =)

  8. Thanks for sharing your wonderful boy with us! 🙂 I can see how and why you are so proud. Great job, mom. 🙂

    • Your welcome. Thank you for reading and watching. However, I cannot take any credit. I was only a part of his childhood for a few short years. He has done a lot of this on his own. I am very happy for him!

      -Cindy

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