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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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The Joshua Tree. (Part One)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

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A father plants a tree in honor of his son, Joshua, who has severe special needs. This is their story.

Image (c) 2011, by Karla Dorman.

My son, Joshua Daniel, is my heart, my soul, my very life.  I would do anything to ensure that he is kept happy, comfortable, and well taken care of.

Joshua is seven years old.  He has my copper-colored hair and intense sky-blue eyes, not to mention, my millions of freckles.  He looks like me in miniature.

 He is beautiful.

He is also handicapped.

At seven, Joshua is the size of a three year old and weighs maybe 30 pounds (on a good day).  He is incredibly tiny.  He has severe brain damage that has resulted in cerebral palsy (diagnosed at age 13 months); he cannot walk, talk, eat, sit up, or even go to the bathroom on his own (he wears diapers), but he can see and hear, and he can make noises, which are his way of communicating.  His noises and facial expressions are great indicators as to how he is feeling or what he wants.

It is very hard at times, but again, I would do anything to help him have a good life.  I am his father, after all, and Joshua is my son.  

The other day, I went to the nursery near our place and got a tree (a cherry maple) and planted it in our yard.  I dedicated the tree to Joshua; I have named it "The Joshua Tree".  That way, if something were to happen to him (God forbid), I can have a permanent reminder of my boy and remember the good (and not so good) times we shared together.

My wife, Amelia, is thrilled with the idea.  She helps me with Joshua; I don't know what I would do without her.  In addition, we have a daughter, Loretta Lynn, who is nine, who is as healthy as her brother is handicapped.  Loretta helps somewhat too, but she has her own life to live: school, friends, sports (soccer) keep her busy and well-grounded.  I am very proud of Loretta; I know it can't be easy having a brother like Joshua around.  I just wish Amelia or I could spend more time with Loretta.  This is why my mother-in-law Gracie (Amelia's mother) stays with us quite frequently, in order to give Loretta a much needed break.

When we told Grace about Joshua's tree, her reaction was the same as ous: estatic.  She can't wait to come see it when she comes over next time.  I am sure she will be spending lots of time taking care of it and nurturing it; Grace has always had a good hand when it comes to plants or trees.  After all, Grace worked at a nursery for years until she retired last year.

Well, I hate to run, but Joshua has just awakened; I hear him crying in the next room.  I will write in here again; until later, this is Andrew Tate saying so long and God bless!  

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 10/29/2012
You can surely weave a hearbreaking but beautifully told story Karen, keep these coming
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Paul Berube 9/26/2012
Yes, heartbreaking but beautifully told, Karen.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 9/26/2012
HEARTBREAKING, Karen, yet so well written.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

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