My son Randon has recently been placed in long term care with respiratory problems we are no longer able to deal with at home. Most of you reading this know Randon and if you do you are blessed indeed. If you do not, meet him. When you become one of Randon’s friends you will take on a whole new perspective towards life.
Randon was born with a condition called Prader-Willi Syndrome. It involves a myriad of anomalies including an eating disorder causing insatiable appetite coupled with extremely low rate of metabolism, learning disabilities, and behavioral disorders. The words, anomalies, disorders and disabilities do not describe Randon. In the eyes of his family, he is one enormous blessing we can’t begin to comprehend. Our lives would have been so different without him compared to the things we’ve been able to experience with him through the 24 years of his life.
I want to post a new blog entry but with the recent developments in Randon’s health issues and the change in living arrangements, it’s really difficult to put my mind anywhere except with him. Therefore, this blog entry is about Randon and I want to share some things with you about him. You may or may not know these things – I don’t know at this moment what list I’m even going to come up with. I do know that he is special. If I mention something you didn’t know before, go see Randon and experience it. It will be well worth your time.
1.His vocabulary is extensive. He knows or at least uses more words than I do. (Probably not more than his dad, though)
2.He is a voracious reader, especially mysteries including Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and Hank the Cowdog. I was once told he would never be able to read.
3.I wish the people (don’t remember who now) that told me he would never read could come sit with him for a day. Randon can only read aloud. If he doesn’t read aloud he cannot comprehend what he’s reading. Sometimes he reads aloud to himself but most of the time he prefers to read to someone – most often his mom! I love it despite how annoying it can be at times. He not only reads his books – he SHARES them! His questions and commentary are so interesting!
4.Randon loves to write (Wonder where he got that?) Not stories so much, though he has done some of that, but diaries. He fills entire notebooks with diary entries. He is tremendously concerned about keeping his diaries private. He reads them to me sometimes but no one else. He uses codes (really!), he used to have me hide them from his brothers and he covers the page if anyone enters the room. When they are full he takes them to his Grandpa so that PaPa can burn them for him. The funny part about that is nobody could read them if they wanted to. His handwriting is such that even I can’t read most of the words. It may as well be in Chinese. But he can read every word!
5.The same people who told me he couldn’t read said he couldn’t write either.
6.He loves our pets. Every Sunday Pastor Todd gives Randon his sermon notes so that Randon can then preach the sermon to our dog, complete with songs, scripture readings and the flag salute. Sometimes our neighbors can catch these sermons if they happen to be outside. Embarrassing? Nah, we ENCOURAGE it!
7.He can make friends with anybody in just a minute or two. He is never afraid to speak to someone he doesn’t know and often stops to have a conversation with a complete stranger. The stranger, soon a new friend, never leaves without a smile.
8.He is intensely loyal. He will defend anyone he believes needs defending. Once, sitting beside a stranger at a K-State football game, he heard the stranger make a rude remark about the Wildcat team who happened to be losing at the moment. Randon turned to him and said simply, “I’m really proud of our team and the way they’re working so hard. I bet they can still win.” No comment from the stranger. He got up and left shortly thereafter, clearly frustrated by what he was seeing on the field. Guess what? The Wildcats kept fighting, came back, and won the game. ‘Mr. Vocally Critical’ missed the most exciting part.
9.He believes Santa Claus visits his house on Christmas eve to leave him presents in honor of celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus. No really – he believes it – and so do I.
10.He can quote complete scenes from movies he likes (even if he’s only seen them a few times), verbatim.
11.He loves music. He frequently listens to CDs but “listens” is the misnomer here. He only enjoys the music if he can sing along – loudly! The CD covers with lyrics printed in them are a necessity. The tune we can make up as we go along – even if it’s not quite the same as the one on the CD. Surprisingly enough considering his genes, he has a lovely voice!
12.He makes handmade gifts for Christmas every year not only for his immediate family but every grandparent, aunt, uncle and cousin on both sides of the family. Whew!
13.He loves any kind of food – even the gross stuff like brussel sprouts and liver. Two things he absolutely will not eat, however, are “hot” hot sauce and horseradish. Can’t say as I blame him there.
14.He has always wanted to go to New York City to see the Statue of Liberty.
15.He wants to meet Reba McEntire and believes she will give him all of her CDs if he asks nicely.
16.He has a girlfriend named Melissa.
17.He is way better than either of his brothers at the Nintendo games he likes, but continually asks for their help anyway. To him they are the experts. Once, in a race game, he figured out that if he went backwards at the starting line instead of forwards like the other guys, he could get to the point where he was “ahead” of the others as they came around the lap. He could then turn around again and go the other way to win the race.
18.His favorite drink is Diet Coke.
19.He remembers every dumb thing his mother ever did and tells anybody who will listen.
20.He loves being in the hospital – kind of like room-service!
21.His favorite TV show is a toss-up between Walker Texas Ranger and MacGyver. He has the DVDs of all the seasons of both. However, if he decides to watch them, he must start with Season 1, Episode 1 and progress forward from there. No starting in the middle! Same way with multi-part movies or book series. ALWAYS start at the beginning and no skipping anything in-between.
22.He loves to watch the food network. He calls it “Cooking Shows”. He wanted to know one time why I said “Crock Pot.” Sondra Lee thinks those things are called slow cookers. He told me he would like some scallions on his salad (green onions). Learned that one from Rachel Ray. Oh – and Thanksgiving turkey should always be marinated. Thank you Paula Deen.
23.He is a James Bond fanatic on car trips. But car trips only – not other times.
24.He is the most incredibly generous person I know. He would give anything he had to anyone he thought might want or need it.
25.His dream is to invent a time machine – who knows – he might just do it!
There you have it – and the list goes on. What can I say? I am one very blessed mom!