"...wE mUst bE thE chAnGe wE wiSh tO sEE iN thE wOrld..." K.G.


...and the sun came out and dried up all the pain...

it has been an emotional week for me as you can see by my last few posts. last week were several family birthdays... it seems like i have been on an emotional roller coaster for longer than those 2 weeks. today was a different kind of day. my 18 year old son Alex is graduating from high school next month. for the last 6 years, he has been in a program through school, called "Team Mates." it is a mentor ship for underprivileged kids. i looked into it when he was younger, as i knew he really needed a positive male role model in his life, since his father chose not to be. i wanted my son Christopher to also be in this program but he did not want to. unfortunately, i did not know of the program for my 2 oldest kids. over the years, Ben, who is the CEO of a huge construction corporation here in Omaha, has been his mentor. each child gets their own. they have provided many fun and educational outings and opportunities for the kids, that they would not have otherwise been able to partake in. Warren Buffet is on the board of directors as are many high profile business people. Alex has a couple of pictures taken with Warren from one of the lunches he came to. Alex has been very well loved in the Team Mates program, because he has been very expressive of his appreciation and enjoyment of everything they provide. it is a non profit organization. they took the kids on many kinds of educational field trips, luncheons, and camps. Alex has been asked to be a spokesperson often for recruiting new mentors, or just to show the current mentors how valuable their time spent on kids like these has been. he plans to become a mentor himself, and give back to the community. well, to make a long story short, today was his graduation from the Team Mates program, and was held at the Henry Doorly zoo here in Omaha. it was a huge affair with kids from all over the city who are in Team Mates. free admission, scavenger hunt, lunch, awards, diplomas and door prizes. we settled in the out door stage area arranged for this. Alex and the other 8 seniors graduating from both high school and this program, sat up on the stage. there must have been over 400 kids who are in the program, there. a short summary of each senior student was presented, and medals, diploma's and other awards were given. they called out ticket numbers for the door prizes. they gave away ipods, Nintendo, sports packages, zoo memberships, cameras... etc. during each number chosen, every kid would pipe up I WON! I WON! and came to claim their prize. they got to the very last one, which was the big mama of prizes for this event..... a new laptop computer! guess who won that! ALEX did!!!!! you should of seen his face on stage when they called his numbers. at first he wasn't too sure they called out his ticket, but then when he realized they did he jumped up and down yelling i got it... i got it! i was balling like a baby anyway through this ceremony, as they had very touching speakers, kids who'd graduated years ago and were now in the military or successfully had gone to college.... and gave thanks to their mentors and this program for helping them believe in themselves enough to be successful. some of those kids came from such tragic family situations, odds are they would of been on the street dealing drugs if not for this program. i was just a big baby crying nearly all the way through it. but when Alex won the computer, i couldn't hold it in any longer. i had always wanted to get him either a first car, or at least a computer to do his homework on, since he starts college in the fall. but i am not able to financially do either. specially with being out of work for over 3 months. during the ceremony, i asked god to give that prize to whom ever needs it the most. i never thought it would be my son. god had his hand on my son today and gave him a good start to the next phase of his life. that's how i look at it. Alex even cried on stage when everyone hugged him. he has such a tender heart. i love him SO MUCH and am SO happy for him. Diane helped him get it all set up. it came with Windows Vista. it's really nice! it feels good to write something happy for a change, but you know, i write whatever i am feeling in the moment. the dark side sometimes draws me in and i just have to go with the flow and address my feelings about painful things. i have always been a very passionate, emotional person. so what can i say. another program Alex has been in through our school system is called the Explorer's program. again, for disadvantaged kids, they have different professions kids can choose to educate themselves about, then shadow someone to see if they would like to be that when they grow up. over the years, Alex has been in the criminal justice program, learning all about the police department. he wanted desperately to be a policeman when he grew up. after 3 years of that program he realized he would not be eligible due to his hearing impairment [he wears bilateral hearing aides]. then he tried out the meteorology program and storm chased tornadoes 2 summers with experts from Offutt Air Force base here in Omaha. he learned alot about weather. he has always had a huge fear of tornadoes and this helped him understand better. they took the kids to a high clearance secured weather station on the air force base here, where they know EVERYTHING that's going to occur. he really liked that. and they had many fun trips to water parks, amusement parks etc.... he has been a lucky kid when it comes to that kind of stuff. and everywhere he goes, everyone falls in love with him, and his sense of humor. i am so proud of him. he plans on becoming an elementary school teacher and hopes to teach at the elementary school all 4 of my kids attended. Christopher, my youngest who is now 17, is my musical kid. he LOVES music. he wants to play in the Omaha Orchestra after college. right now he is in the Omaha Youth Orchestra. he has been in marching band, jazz band, and advanced band. he learned how to play the alto sax on a borrowed sax in school in 7th grade and was placed right into 8th grade band, as he was so talented. i have to tell you this story, because i will always be in awe of how things work out. he needed a saxophone and i couldn't afford to even rent one for him. they didn't have any extras at school. he was SO upset and i felt so bad that i couldn't afford to buy him one. i prayed about it and asked God to help my young son. 2 weeks later just before his b-day, 4 years ago, Diane and my sister were shopping at good will. at the drop off sight, they noticed a case just laying on the dock. when they opened it, there was this beautiful 1939 saxophone, in great condition! when they explained about Christopher to the worker, she said, just take it for him. that is how he got his own saxophone!!!! what a proud moment that was when he opened it on his b-day. he could NOT believe it. when i told him how it happened, he was so very touched. since then, he has fallen in love with the bassoon. while still playing sax, he taught himself how to play the bassoon. the music instructor was so impressed he let him switch to bassoon. and he has flourished even more. he has a solo coming up to perform on Saturday at the district's competition. he has talent and is doing what he loves,
i know he will go far.
geeeeeez have i really rambled this much?
wow, my thoughts were flowing nicely through to my fingers.
if i look at how much i have been blessed with in my lifetime, how much has been given to my children who have grown up with the bare minimums.... i have NO doubt God has his hand on us. i could tell you so many stories of miracles that have happened to the kids and i.....

another time.....



kimber p said...

I love reading your posts, they're such wake up calls to my heart. :)

Busy Bee Suz said...

I am so happy for Alex, for all of his accomplisments. You are a smart Mom for getting him into that program. He has done so good...and he will give back, I just love that part.
You mentioned about how you have struggled with giving your kids what they want/need. I hate that, but I know you also have not had it easy.
I did not get what I wanted/needed most of the time as a kid. I am very fortunate now that we are able to take care of our needs...and for me, I appreciate IT SO MUCH because I know what it means to NEED.
It is a valuable life lesson....I am trying very hard to instill this in my kids also

ChiTown Girl said...

OK, first, thanks for my helping me get my daily cry out of the way. That was absolutely one of your most touching posts. Maybe because it dealt specifically with your kids. It really tugged at my heartstrings.

I'm so proud of your boys! I agree, God truly had a hand in Alex winning that computer. What a God-send! He will be able to start college with such a wonderful tool!

I didn't realize how musical your Christopher is! As a fellow band geek, I'm truly impressed! The bassoon is certainly not an easy instrument.

It made smile (ok, bawl first, then smile!) to read this post today. I can feel your love and pride for your children beaming at me through the screen!

C said...

awww you guys are so sweet. thank you.