Echoes - Remembering Justin's Passions

Yesterday I was taken back in time - a time when my life was so much simpler. I was a young housewife with two small children. It was a pleasant time in my life. My children were wide-eyed smiling bright lights of hope, and my husband was actively working his once stint of sobriety.  My greatest worry was planning the weekend's events- would we take the children to a movie; would we go for a short weekend trip; or would we just have a simple weekend at home?

Kyle, my youngest kept me on my toes- always needing some mind/body stimulation. Then there was Justin, who could get lost for hours staring at maps, photos of architecture or spending his time recreating buildings he knew with his blocks. He would be perfectly content sitting in silence, lost in his world of shapes and space. Those buildings he recreated always had to be to scale -he would build them on the table while sitting on his knees, looking up at them- every detail had to be right.

From day one of Justin entering my life, I knew he was unique. Unique in ways others would be drawn to and love about him.  Beyond sweet and cheerful, he was born with some hurdles to jump, but even so, Justin's mind could understand some of the most complicated concepts.  He was able to dissect the layers of technology, science, and space even though he struggled to read the written word or put together a sentence. The labels may have said he had a learning disability, but I always knew the world was not equipped to understand his unique learning abilities - he did not fit into a cookie-cutter education system.

When it came time to search out gifts for Justin, I did not go to toy stores rather I'd search the internet, which was still pretty much in its infancy, for books on architecture - or souvenir stores for small statues of buildings.  I can remember one Christmas when he was just 5 years old I did all my Christmas shopping for him from the souvenir stores online from New York City, San Fransisco, and, of course, Chicago. His father took care of Justin's interest of space and the universe - he made him a scrapbook of stars, planets, and galaxies.

How many 5-year-old children do you know who could point out a Frank Lloyd Wright building? Justin could. He understood the lines in Wright's designs - he had a coloring book he studied before he could even spell most simple words, including his own name.

So, yes, yesterday I was reminded about that time in my life and my highly intelligent innocent soul of a firstborn, Justin. I was with Medium Diane Doyle and we were touring buildings in Richland Center, WI.  We went there to prepare for an upcoming August 4th event where she would be doing a show and giving readings as part of a fundraiser for the A.D. German Warehouse.  Buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

As we walked through those time-pieces all I kept thinking about was how much Justin would be enjoying the tour. How, most likely, we would have to force him to leave - ripping him away from staring at the bricks and the columns, taking in every detail - details only he and Wright would understand. Thank you Destiny for the full-circle moments of my life!

My life has been filled with many situations and stories to learn from, but when all is said and done, the ones I cherish most are how no matter what I have faced, God gave me two treasures, my sons. Both are so incredibly gifted, such talented human beings - their depth goes beyond the surface, both wise souls with so much to teach the world about reflection and growth.  They are my heartbeats.

I am one lucky woman.

For you, Justin!


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