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Jan 26, 2013

Pay It FOrwaRD

As an autism mommy, I'm grateful for the first example I had of someone on the autism spectrum, my nephew Ford.  Ford had Asperger's syndrome, which in my book means that Ford was actually interesting and fun.  Ford is the nephew I wrote about earlier, the one who passed away suddenly.  This weekend is the 6th anniversary of his death.  My sister is using this very hard thing and making it into something positive by making this anniversary an annual tribute to Ford called, "Pay It FOrwaRD."  

This is what my sister posted for the event: 

On the 27th of this month, it will be 6 years since our son Ford was suddenly called back to his Heavenly Father. Ford was sweet and kind. He loved scouts, star wars & outer space. He had a silly sense of humor. He was thoughtful and helped others feel God's love. My family and I would be honored if you would, wherever you are, on the weekend of the 25-27th of January, help us celebrate Ford's life and legacy. Please pray as a family, or by yourself to know how to do this. It can be in a big way, or in one or many small ways. We are asking you to make your corner of the world a little better. Look for ways you can help and share your love with those you know, or complete strangers. Please share this with your friends & help us to touch as many lives as possible as we "Pay it FOrwaRD."  

Besides finding ways to Pay it FOrwaRD, my family also tie-dyed our shirts for the event.  After all, tie dye was Ford's favorite color.  One of many things about him that makes me smile.

Lastly, my sister sent me this email a couple months ago.  It was a list of the reasons I love Ford that I wrote at his viewing:

I love Ford for so many reasons. Just thinking about him makes me smile. He always was so happy to see us & so sad to leave. 
He gave me lessons when I was pregnant on how to take care of babies.
He offered to teach Caiti to walk "in the grass, so it will be soft when she falls down."
The first time I talked to him on the phone, I got out my journal & wrote everything he said down because it was so cute, funny & totally unique.
I remember the first time I met him as a newborn. We were in church & he was being a little fussy, but every time the organ played, he would calm right down.
I remember at Lake Patoka his yellow and maroon T-shirt & shorts. He would go out & ride bikes & eat popsicles.
I love Ford for so many reasons. He was my first sweet, beautiful nephew. He taught me about perserverance, strength, being yourself & not apologizing for it. 
Most of all, I am greatful to Ford for preparing me for one of my most prized posessions, my sweet son Garrett. Ford was an example of taking what others viewed as a disability & showing how it could be a strength & enhancement. I love him for that example!
I hope you know that I have so much to say but not the words. 

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