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Column: Dotting My Teas – “Imajunari Frend”

By: Marlene Oxender

Not only do children say the funniest things, their way of sounding out a word and coming to a conclusion on how to spell it can be humorous. Their choices often make more sense than the correct spelling and end up as great reading material.

My grandson Deano recently wrote a short story about spending time at his grandparents’ house while his cousins from “Sinsinaty” were also visiting. His latest work in progress is entitled “Dean and The Cosons Creeatid by Dean.”

His little story made me wish I had written about my own childhood – while I was still a child. When we make a trip to our grandparents’ home, we know we’re going to have fun. Scheduled fun.

If my younger brother Stevie, who has Down syndrome, is going to be present when my grandchildren

visit, they know he’ll give them reasons to laugh.

He has a long-standing habit of sharing his thoughts out loud when he is alone in a room. He even answers questions the rest of us can’t hear. Sometimes he breaks out in song, and the lyrics can make your day.

A few weeks ago, he was sitting in a chair for an afternoon nap. He apparently began dreaming about cookies. I heard him say, “Cookies. Yeah. Chocolate.” I grabbed my camera in hopes he would say it again, but it was a missed opportunity.

When Stevie is around children who start to play the way children do, he often decides there’s too much jumping and bouncing going on. He’ll tell them to “Setel down.”

Although they know Uncle Stevie can be a disciplinarian, they also know he takes an interest in their lives.

He asks how school is going and if they’re in sports. He’s always happy to receive a copy of the latest photos from family and friends.

If the moon and stars are out, without question he will point to the skies above. Those in his presence will hear his “Wow!” There’s no getting away from talking about what’s up there in the skies.

Stevie’s childhood education was a good one. He can read his local newspaper and keep up on sports

and topics that interest him.

There are quite a few people who’ve helped him along the way with reading and writing. Lately, the only word he’s needed to write is his own name – in the form of an autograph on the front cover of the book I wrote about him.

When Stevie runs into friends from long ago, there are hugs and pats upon the back. There are smiles.

Sometimes I have to ask how they know each other, and it’s a great opportunity for Stevie and friends to

reminisce – between hugs.

If those who’ve made a difference in our life were stars in the sky, we’d see a beautiful glittering network shining above us.

We’d see how they brought light into our life and inspired us along the way. How they made us laugh. How they lit the path beneath our feet.

We’d see how many angels were in our midst. How many friends we claimed as our own. Those who

helped us with our spelling.

Those who were a part of our life when they needed to be. And we were a part of their life – on a path we didn’t even know we were on.

Though we can’t remember every laugh we’ve shared with them, there are a few we’ll never forget. We may not remember every act of kindness, but we’re still benefiting from their help.

We don’t remember every loving word, yet we know they were spoken. And we’d never forget the sound of their voice.

When we meet up with a friend and our conversation includes “remember when” moments, we know we’ve made a difference in each other’s lives.

We know our friends are shining stars who’ll forever be a part of the most impressive, twinkling skies we could ever “imajun.”


Marlene Oxender is a writer, speaker, and author. She writes about growing up in the small town of Edgerton, her ten siblings, the memorabilia in her parents’ estate, and her younger brother, Stevie Kimpel, who was born with Down syndrome. Her two recently published books, Picket Fences and Stevie, are available on Amazon.


The post Column: Dotting My Teas – “Imajunari Frend” first appeared on The Village Reporter.

Source: The Village Reporter

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