Sunday, October 7, 2007

We're On A Mission

I was talking to the marketing guy connected to Robin winning the 'Busy Mom' contest the other day. He had attended a seminar that said in today's world there is too much of: 'XYZ is the greatest, best, etc.' or 'Never seen before', blah, blah, blah. For something to be TRUELY unique it must really, actually, BE unique.

WE are unique.

Not to go tooting our horn here, but we have SIX Autistic children. And we have a strong marriage as well. Note I did not say perfect... and we make it through each day. We have a story and experiences to talk about that we feel can help others with their struggles. Whether you have Autistic children or not.

I've joked with my wife that I'd be a great political candidate with what I've been through in MY life. I can relate to a LOT of people... "I feel your pain". ; )

My parents were divorced when I was young. I've had 3 stepfathers. I've lived as a child on a military base. I've lived in regular neighborhoods. I've been abused, physically, emotional and sexually. I've been poor, middle class and yet looking for being rich. I have lived in or visited every state in the US except: HI, AR, ME, VT, NH, CT or MA. I've travelled across the country by myself in cars, buses, trains and planes. I was in the USAF for over 12 years and got to live in and visit a number of countries in Europe.

I can speak a little bit of Russian, Spanish and a bit more of German. I've been married and divorced and married again. I'm the Father of 9 children (5 girls, 4 boys) and step-father to one. I am the oldest of 9 siblings, most are half brothers and sisters. I have relatives I get along with and some I don't. I have ancestors that were here in the early 1700's and some that got to the US in the late 1800's. My ancestry is English, Irish, Dutch, Prussian and French. I or my ancestors have been military members during the Cold war, Vietnam, Korea, WWII, Civil war and the Revolutionary war.

In the military I've earned two medals for marksmanship, received leadership awards , marched men, lead men, been frozen at minus 50 degrees and have worn full chemical gear and gas mask for hours in 90 plus degree heat. Repaired nuclear warheads, helped install nuclear missiles on B-52 bombers and have seen the 'standing on it's tail' take off of an SR-71 spy plane. I also cut a lot of grass and weeds. Painted walls and floors. Drove step vans, tugs, 2 1/2 ton trucks, pickups, and about everything else with wheels. I knew a man who was a political refugee from an African dictatorship. I could go on but that is about all I can think of off the top of my head.

So, why is any of this in any way important to you? I believe I can relate to nearly anyone, anywhere or anytime. My title above says we are on a mission.

What mission is that? Glad you asked.


We are both great conversationalists. If I or we can help just one person feel better, deal with a situation better or just make it through another day, we've done something good. Robin and I enjoy watching the sermons of Joel Osteen of the Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. He gives hope to the hopeless, lifts up those in despair and restores faith in people. If we can do our own little bit in the Autism world. We feel it is our 'calling', our 'mission' and our personal Ministry.

What can I help you with today?



shannonj said...

I have one son with autism (age 12) and he rocks my world--so 6 kids on the spectrum makes you two my heroes!..And to have the energy to reach out and encourage and support others is commendable.

I would like to invite you to think about joining a new online community that I have founded
for parents like ourselves. You can see my personal page at

I am hoping to grow it into a vibrant and living community that can encourage and support
each other in ways that only we know how. is new and evolving, so any
feedback would be appreciated.

Check it out and see if you can find support and/or be support in this journey so many of us

Shannon Johnson
Editor in Chief

Irene said...

You guys AMAZE me! I've just spent a few moments weeping for a friend and her husband who are coping with the (strong) notion their son has autism. Just remembering those first few days of diagnosis for brings hard memories. We didn't even know what autism was those long 5 years ago. It was a LOT to sift through and process.

I don't have any ideas for your mission at this point but I think you're off to a great start just by sharing your story and daily struggles.

Our new church here in DE is looking into starting a ministry for families with special needs children so that everyone can attend church. We had that back home and it was pivotal in our church participation and spiritual growth. Something to think about....

Casdok said...

Good on you! And such a worth while mission to!

Shiloah B. said...

What a noble cause you have undertaken! I surfed into your site today in search of some much needed inspiration and the feeling that I'm not alone in my problems with my four year old.