Thursday, September 20, 2018

Elaine: The Epitome of a Courageous, Loving, and Good-Hearted Lady

Copyright © Kim Roberts

September 19, 2018. What’s the best way to face Grim Reaper? With good-hearted laughs, I would say. Today I stopped by to see Dan and Elaine on my way to work. I told her, when my time is up, I hoped I would have the courage to face the inevitable with faith, love, peace, and good laughs, as she had shown me. However, she had also proven to me that miracle did happen so perhaps I would miraculously live forever. Of course we all laughed at my remark.

As usual, I made her laugh with something from my garden. Today, I brought her fresh rosemary and a large pink lemon. As I took a photo of the lemon, Dan, and her, she cracked up, “I’ve posed for photos with many things but never with a lemon.”
Taken today 9/19/18 with Elaine holding a Pink Lemon from my garden
She commented on my outfit, which has a white top. I said I was going to jail, the San Quentin State Prison in San Rafael, so I had to dress appropriately. Three of us erupted into laughter and couldn’t stop. In fact, I was going to work in a parole hearing. So naturally, the prison has a dress code that I must follow. Over the years, by working at these hearings, I’ve learned so much about inmates’ criminal activities, not only before the prison terms, but also while serving time in prison. If there’s such thing as reincarnation from previous life, or lives, I must have been a cat before since my incredible curiosity has led me to many strange jobs that others would try to avoid. That said, I always have a kick at endless stories I have to share with people who wanted to hear, like Dan and Elaine. Entrepreneurial inmates who become drug dealers or business operators in prison are among these stories.

Last week, Dan took Elaine to the doctor. Her kidney function is now 4% or under and the primary care MD put her under hospice care. I cried upon the news. I had imagined that this delicate, petite lady would be so feeble and sickly when I saw her. It made me sick to my stomach to deduce from her physical and medical changes that she was suffering pain and discomfort. On the contrary, to my surprise, Elaine looked marvelous when I came to the door today. Dan opened the door as she tried to pull back Tomo, their dog. The moment we sat down, she gave me the usual graceful, sweet, engaging, and high-spirited look. If I did not make an effort to see her skinny legs or visualize how thin she was underneath her thick jacket, I would consider Elaine the same lady she was four decades ago. Her vitality has been intact and she looked peaceful. “I have no discomfort. My left leg hurts a little on the side. Other than that, I feel fine. Just can’t eat. Everybody keeps saying let’s go out but I can’t eat,” said Elaine with her usual smile.

Then Dan and she asked me about my book. “Why is this one different than previous versions?” asked Dan.

I explained the best way I could think of. “... If I can write something and someone says that’s me. And I agree. Then I know I have the skill to tell a story. A montage is not good unless it has a spirit, a soul, which penetrates through images and impacts others. Recently, a well-known editor who read my summary and said she saw how I have lived my life. I was very happy. She knew who I am. That’s my goal. What a humbling experience. Now I can work on the craft.”

Despite my difficulty of explaining, Elaine was very attentive. As I talked on about other miraculous phenomena that happened to me, she was amused, touched, and completely absorbed. She wanted to hear more. I promised her the following week.
I looked at her and wanted to tell her that she inspired me and gave me a straightforward storytelling idea. It didn’t matter how physically deteriorated she was, her spirit held everything together and it shines. That’s a force she called “God’s will.” A faithful Christian, Elaine always believes that the Lord would provide and take care of everything. But I saw the goodness, kindness, and patience in her that cannot be found in other Christians. She’s unique. She has a Christian brand of her own. As a born and raised Buddhist, I had been introduced to Christianity before. But others, who told me about God and Jesus, left me alone to explore. Elaine stayed and showed how that worked. I met her at a time I needed healing. Her gentle, caring demeanor, her praying power, her soothing and comforting words, and her relentless effort to help others and me remind me of Mother Teresa and other saints. During the years Dan and she gave up a good life and comfort in the U.S. to serve as missionaries in Argentina and in China, I read every monthly newsletter they sent. I often visualized her petit figure moving about talking to people, smiling, praying for or with them, or just socializing with them. Yet I admit, the faith she instilled in me is not a wholly religious faith. She showed me humanity, love, and faith in my principles and myself. With a genuine smile, she said she knew I have lived my life with a clear conscience. I humbly say that I hope I have.

We then talked about hospice care and what to expect. I was sharing with them my knowledge and experience as a former hospice board member. As I listed all available hospice services, Elaine said she had not yet needed them. Dan, Elaine, and I had a good light-hearted chat about these things as if we were talking about someone else’s final stage in life, not hers. Finally, I told a story and we all laughed until I was in tears before leaving for work.
During my husband’s final stage, he was at home, in a room looking out to my little garden filled with mums as it was in October when he passed away. Two weeks before, the hospice social worker, Angie, visited him for the first time.  She was concerned that he might have a bad temper or perhaps negative reactions toward her as he had gone to a demented stage. I assured her she would be all right. I mentioned the week before, our friend Kevin Starr paid him a visit and talked on for over an hour about the club activities and just about anything. As a historian, Kevin could go on for hours. My husband would nod, comment, and smile as if he understood everything although we knew he did not. Feeling better, Angie went into his room. He perked up, gave her the most flattery compliment on her appearance and spoke with her as if she were his long lost friend. Angie was in tears when she came out. She was completely choked up. She said her role was to come in to make him feel at ease but he ended up comforting her as she became too emotional. She did not expect to meet someone with such bearing during his final stage.

During his military days my husband often talked about Martha Raye and her voluntary performances to entertain the troops. “She was completely drunk after dinner. I thought someone would have to carry her on stage. But the moment they called her turn, she got up and like a different person, she was lucid and completely in control of her performance. And the troops roared and cheered. I never knew how she did it,” he told others about Martha’s greatness. From that, I knew, like Martha Raye, he always rose to the occasion and he was a good performer during the last phase of his life.

On October 11, 2005, at four o’clock, my husband’s RN came upstairs to tell me he had stopped breathing. Immediately, Angie appeared at the front door. “How did you know, Angie?” I asked.

“Know what?” Angie asked. Then she cried, “Oh, no!”

Life is what one makes of it. Likewise, for some courageous people, death does not just happen accidentally.

Copyright © Kim Roberts
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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Labor Day 2018: The Purpose of My Writing and Elaine’s Art of Dying

Copyright © Kim Roberts

September 3, 2018. This is not a normal blog I would write on a major holiday. But it is indeed about labor—a labor of love. I’ve spent years writing a story. But I got nowhere with a ton of writing I have produced but with no real purpose. So I kept writing, writing, and writing. Then on August 10, 2018, Elaine, who is dying of kidney failure (stage 5, kidney function less than 5%), said, “I want to read your book.” I love her so much I would do anything she asks, anything but showing her a book. I must be kidding myself to call what I wrote a book. I need cutting, trimming, editing, and years of more work before it looks decent.

Nonetheless, her dying words have haunted me and prompted me to do something meaningful with my writing. I began to write a detailed chapter summary—not a germane summary to be included in a proposal package, but one that tells the whole story. My intention was to tell Elaine, who is at end-stage renal disease, my stories, one-by-one until her time is up. When I was a child aged seven or eight, I already read voraciously. Among my reading, I was mesmerized by the Arabian Nights. So this is my chance to apply the 1001-night-format to my stories.
On Friday August 31, 2018, I picked up Elaine and Dan and we went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. I have been amazed how well she has been holding herself. To cheer her up, I brought her something from my garden: a caviar finger lime, some cuts from my Kefir Thai lemon, or Chinese celery. I always cracked her up with my humble produce. She has shown signs of the renal disease with muscle ache and pain, weight loss, and fragility. But, the usual Elaine was still there, vibrant, gracious, warm, and loving. She still gently moved about with ease like a breeze over a wave of weeping willow branches. As we went out, she had to lean on a walking cane but continued to be very poise, stable, and independent.

At the China Garden restaurant, we began by ordering food. Elaine appeared confused about the lettuce wrap minced chicken I ordered. Concerned, Dan and I tried to explain to her until it dawned on us that she actually read the menu and we only assumed. The word “minced” on the menu was misspelled and it showed as “mined” chicken so she had no idea what it was. We had a good hearty laugh. Then I began telling both of them my story, first, with the premise, then the short version and the long version, and the details. On the table, there’re placemats with Chinese Zodiac symbols. Pointing at the tiger, I started my story at my birth. I was born in 1950 under the astrological sign of three tigers—of year, month, and hour of birth. Elaine giggled as she elbowed Dan, “Dan get her two spare placemats to take home.” Dan went to the corner and brought back some placemats and said, “Here’re three placemats for three tigers” We laughed and laughed until I was in tears.

Elaine knows a lot about me. I lived in her home for several months in 1976. Although she’s only fifteen years my senior, she always introduced me to others as her “adopted daughter.” She was so trusting that she immediately wrote me a blank check in case I needed money. I was crazy enough to keep it un-cashed in my wallet to remind me of her humanity and that restored my faith in American kindness. I called her my “healer” because of the amazing healing power she possesses. I love her but there’re things about me that I haven’t told others or her. So I began with certain details of my story that Dan and Elaine did not know. She was in awe and was completely absorbed in every tiny detail. She was intrigued, moved, amused, and occasionally, deeply touched.  When I ended the first increment, I promised to see them again the following week and I would tell more. Her eyes lit up. “Yes, I can’t wait. Amazing stories. I want more,” said Elaine. With that expression, I found the purpose of my writing. All it takes is one person to give me meaning and purpose to write.

Before we left the restaurant, she said, “Kim, I don’t know how to die. I was supposed to die a long time ago when my kidney function was under 5%. But there are so many people praying for me. So I am still here.”  I answered, “You’re here because it means to be.” Everything that happened, happened for a reason. There’s a purpose for everything, with or without human’s intervention or plan. When I first moved in with the Jues, Elaine had a canvas on which she roughly sketched and applied some colors but never finished. She gave it to me as a reused canvas. Instead of painting over her sketch, I decided to finish it with my imagination what she was trying to do. When she came home that day, she looked at the painting and acted as if she had seen a ghost. She took the painting, pulled me to her car and drove me to her friend Sandy’s house. Inside, she put my painting up next to another floral painting on the wall. I cried. She attempted to copy that painting and never finished it. Without seeing the original, I had finished it for her as it was meant to be.
Elaine and I have a kindred spirit. We love art but never had time to hone our skill and become professionals. But in our hearts and souls, we do things in an artful way without being aware of it. In 2006, my late sister Nhu Chieu died and left two bags of gold in Vietnam, a very corrupt socialist country. I masterminded a plan and robbed the gold. During our run from the scene and with the gold money, I told my bodyguard/driver about the art of robbing gold.  I said, “… Like in a rhythmic dance, you don’t think how your feet should move. You let your body go, float, fly, and traverse. You let the spirit sing and dance to a harmonious stream of a positive Zen flow. And that’s what I call arts: the art of gardening, of cooking, of robbing gold, of living life.” Elaine just taught me a new art: “the art of dying.”

She also inspired me to find a purpose for my love of writing. If I could make someone like her enjoy my stories and feel connected with me, I have been rewarded. And if some reader, like her, could find meaning in my art of living my life, I have succeeded.

Copyright © Kim Roberts

Sunday, July 22, 2018

My Love and Admiration for Elaine: A Little Lady with a Big Heart, Part I

© Kim Roberts

Once in a lifetime you run into a very unique person, who magically touches your heart in a special way, like a scented flower once touched it would leave you with a fragrance that lasts forever. That happened to me when I met Elaine in 1976. That tiny and modest lady, weighed between 80 lbs. and 90 lbs., has the biggest heart I’ve ever known. Literally speaking, if I could gather all the hearts in most parts of the world, not one could hold a candle to her loving, caring, and giving heart.

This comes up now because her husband, Dan, called me this afternoon telling me that Elaine’s kidneys are failing rapidly beyond the point of being treated with dialysis (with GFR way below 10 ml/min). I have spent the rest of my afternoon crying. For me, this is too much to bear. Yet I also know that Elaine is at peace with her condition however grave it is. She will be smiling and as charming as ever as we will meet for lunch and catch-up. She and Dan had taken a trip to give my donation to a charity of their choice. And they decided to give the money to a Muslim family in need. So I am anxious to hear their story. Both Dan and Elaine are devout Baptists.

Once I mentioned I am a Buddhist and for the longest time, I was and still am wholeheartedly a Christian. I’ve never said why because I don’t think I need to prove anything to anyone. But today, I feel this is the right time to say how a special someone could convert me into Christianity in a subtle way and I willingly welcomed the change. Yet Buddhism has always been in my blood so how can I not be a Buddhist?
Taken in 2017,  41 years after I met Elaine. A transformation from a ragged refugee 
to a confident and self-assured individual today. 
I have been through hell and back. I know what it's like to be a lucky refugee
1975 was the worst year of my life. The Vietnam War ended but I had to face a myriad of other wars. Living through two wars from the moment I was born was bad. Running away from everything I ever accumulated in over 20 years was terrible. Taking a risky escape route to get out of Vietnam in a boat was a formidable task. Living through deplorable conditions at refugee camps was heart wrenching. Escaping another abusive family connection broke me more than anything else. Beginning a new life in a new country at point zero was worse than a mission impossible. That said, I was so broken that nothing could give me solace. Yet when others thought I needed financial help to get by, I insisted that it was a misconception although my living conditions indicated otherwise.

When I first met Dan and Elaine, she put me at ease with her empathic look and gentle, friendly smile. Her smile was and still is magic. Both Dan and her are third generation of Chinese immigrants. Elaine’s grandparents came to America at the peak of American prejudice and discrimination against the Chinese immigrants. Her grandfather, a Baptist minister, found the church in SF China town. Her father was a MD and so were her brothers. Dan owned an engineering firm at the time. Most of them went to UCB. Discreetly, Dan and Elaine asked their church to sponsor me. I was delighted to meet such kind and caring people. Then, weeks later, she asked me why I did not tell her church what kind of help I needed. She meant material assistance. I told her that no one and no money could give me what I badly needed. Perhaps I was an idiot. Perhaps I was confused. Or perhaps I was idealistic by saying so. Whatever the case, I knew what I wanted. I was so broken that the only measures to improve my conditions were time, care, and a peaceful and loving environment for me to heal. SF was not a city for me to get better but I knew no other place to live.
My photo with Elaine on 7/23/18. 
Serenely, she moved around the house with poise and her usual humor.
Usually an act of giving is a gift that the receiver would know immediately. But that’s not how Elaine operated. The day she invited me to visit their home in Castro Valley, it was a treat. I was mesmerized by the rolling hills, the lake, and a home with a row of roses in front and a garden, somewhat neglected, in the back overlooking the hill behind with a magnolia tree and a swimming pool. I smelled a pleasant scent of nature in the breeze—a unique aroma of roses, grass, and fresh air. After observing my reactions, she said in a calm and normal tone of voice, “I have talked to my husband and our two teenaged children about having you here with us. They all agree. I have art materials in the garage I can offer you for your painting.” I thought I just met an angel on earth, without wings but nonetheless, with a magical power to make my heart flutter and my spirit soar.

It was in May 1976. Summer came and with the seeds Elaine got for me, I planted flowers all around the swimming pool. She even bought me some bok-choy seeds from Canada. Having left Sadec for ten years while living in soul scorching crowded Saigon, I was dying to live in a place with trees, flowers, and vegetation. Nothing would be as comforting to me as a garden. As I anticipated that I needed healing time, almost everyday, I went through episodes of emotional attacks. Eyes swollen and face red with rashes, I let out the pain through tears. Elaine would be kneeling by my bedside with me as we prayed. In a few months, the healing power of prayers began to take effect and allowing my injured soul to calm down and be more at peace. I also went to church with the family and again read the bible cover to cover. I had never been so receptive towards Christianity.

If I were to describe what it is to be a Buddhist, I would have a difficult time explaining. I was brought up in my parents’ Buddhism. That means their practice of ancestral worshipping and beliefs in spirits and reincarnation. But my father was also a follower of Confucianism. Then I enjoyed reading Taoism and followed Lao Tzu’s teaching. During my teen years, I became close to my Buddhist nun sister Nhu Anh. Her Buddhism was more philosophical and she focused on the techniques of dealing with reality and solving problems rather than escaping from suffering. She practiced meditation religiously and taught me such concepts as loving compassion, eightfold path, Karma, Nirvana, and so on. However, the strongest Buddhist influence on me was in my prayers. When I was 3 or 4, ghosts and darkness frightened me. Then Father said, “You’re scared because you think they are stronger than you and can harm you. If you believe you’re stronger than whatever that fears you, there’s no fear. If you can look at that subject matter, acknowledge it but feel indifferent, you have controlled it.” Unlike Christianity, there’s no blind faith required in Buddhism. But I developed my own blind faith and believed I had limitless power to control my surroundings and my destiny through my relentless prayers by reading a tiny Buddhist prayer booklet in Sanskrit, a language I could not understand. And it worked until I came to America with a prayer booklet in my pocket.

When Elaine prayed for me, or with me, I felt empowered. Magically, there was a surge of energy and strength to gradually detach me from all the causes of lingering pain and suffering. I could see me as a victim of circumstances and realized who the culprits were without getting angry, upset, or fearful. During the healing process, I thought of my father and what he said about taking control of the situation instead of allowing it to control me. A Buddhist practice is not different from a Christian practice when one goes through trials and searches for results the way I did. Strong faith in either religion works equally well. I am not clear if a strong faith in a religious leader, Buddha or Jesus, or in the doctrine itself yields better results. Perhaps it is in the faith in oneself or the wisdom to find the right path. Or perhaps things would work out fine because logically, everything would evolve in harmony with nature if we let them be. After I was admitted to Cal State in January 1977 and stayed at the dormitory, I returned for dinner. Dan had cooked some fat, juicy bok-choy. As I asked where he got them he said, “It’s the bok-choy you grew.” I realized then my puny bok-choy I started and left unattended had evolved and became better vegetable than I had anticipated.

Nowadays, when I think of millions of refugees and displaced persons in the world, I feel I am the luckiest one. I was afforded the opportunity to have my freedom, the right to stand up as a human being, and the necessary time to heal the wounds of war and misfortune. But I couldn’t do so effectively without someone like Elaine who restores my faith in humanity. And, philosophically, sometimes the striking beauty of a rose can briefly please the eyes of the beholder but a plain and unattractive vegetable such as a bok-choy provides a sustaining power beyond any expectation.

P.S.: I am going to hate myself in the morning when I reread this blog. I always rush to posting everything I write then regret. Sigh!

© Kim Roberts

Monday, June 25, 2018

Sofie: The Miraculous Transformation of a Child With Down Syndrome

Copyright © Kim Roberts

Life is what you make of it. Miracle of life does not just happen—it takes hope, inspiration, motivation, and hard work to overcome challenges and to perform a miraculous transformation of a child’s life. Happiness is a state of mind. There is no better happiness than one that comes from a strong and determined heart to win against obstacles and conquer the impossible.

I had a surgery on June 11, 2018, two weeks ago. Due to my heart’s conditions, my recovery process is slow and tedious. However, for me, being well means nothing unless I can be productive. It is in productivity, I find the right stimulation to get well and lift my spirit. With my surgeon’s approval, I went back to work as soon as I could for 1 or 2 hours per day. The joy of using the gift I have to help others makes me strong enough to fight against my still persistent discomfort. My biggest pleasure among various assignments I have is seeing my client Sofie, a child born with Down syndrome.
Sofie and me on June 20, 2018
On Wednesday, June 20, the moment I arrived, Sofie gave me a “high five,” blew me a kiss, and winked at me repeatedly. She is 2 ½ years old and she can stand tall, walk straight, with head held high. She showed off by saying to me in a clear voice, “One, two, free” while counting her fingers. Her Dad, Ton, said she just learned new vocabulary from TV shows. As I clapped my hands, she did some sign language to indicate she could do more. Later she went to the radio, turned on the music and began to shake her body to the rhythm. She demonstrated perfect physical conditions of a normal child who has the ability to act, react, and interact. And her capability in climbing and walking through obstacles was amazing. That day, she could walk through a raised ladder on the floor with her head up instead of resting her chin on her chest as she did two months earlier. With my language ability to communicate with her parents and my background in social work, namely, Protective Services for Children, I could see the improvement although I was not hired to analyze and do assessments.
A rose from the public Rose Garden taken 6/25/18
It was a treat to see Sofie after my surgery. I still remember January 2016 when I was hired by The Early Learning Institute to be in a team working along with a physical therapist and an early learning therapist. The goal, as stated by the nicest Director I’d ever met, was making a difference in the way a Down syndrome baby develops. Her parents, who arrived in the U.S. in 2015 with three other children, had lived in Japan for over ten years. They treated me as a Social Worker, if not a friend, as they needed so much information and referrals for practically everything. And they received so much mail that they, including two teenaged daughters, could not read as they had been in Japan so long. Being born as a baby with Down syndrome, Sofie received an immediate open-heart surgery at UCSF hospital to repair a hole in her heart valve. She could barely move, left alone rolling over. For a long time, she spread her legs as a T and had awkward neck bending back at a 45 degree. Her frequent impassive blank looks, as if she wasn’t there, concerned her parents most. Her mouth always opened with an oversized tongue sticking out as she drooled heavily. It was a difficult case of child development and a typical case of a child with Down syndrome.
Sofie on her rocking horse
I had no intention of continuing my work on her case because of the driving distance but I did not have a heart to leave her parents. They showed so much love and concerns for Sofie that they began to feel desperate. Other therapists began leaving and new ones were coming in every few weeks. Sofie’s parents were attached to me as I gave them a sense of consistency and trust. My contract called for 1 ½ to 2 hours per week and Sofie’s parents literally had a ton of questions for me each week I was there.

“Will her head stop bending backward?” “Will her tongue stay that large?” “Will her drooling ever stop?” “Will she exhibit her blank looks forever?” “Will her legs ever be kept closed together as a normal baby?” “Will she…?” “Will her…” Those are questions they frequently had. I began to learn from the therapists and find the answers for them. But I always reminded them that love would change everything if only they could believe in the magic of love. As time went by, the baby grew stronger and could be taken outside the home. Then her parents had to deal with different concerns. Coming from Vietnam where handicaps and disables are ostracized and ridiculed, their idiotic Vietnamese neighbors treated Sofie as an outcast with her exhibition of Down syndrome. I worked delicately to teach Sofia’s parents love, acceptance, and courage to ignore the snickering. In time, they reluctantly took Sofie to the mall. After a while, they no longer felt sensitive toward the way others reacted to Sofie.

It has been 2 ½ years. And Sofie is 2 ½ years old. The progress Sofie has made, with her parents’ and siblings’ participation and aid, is slow but incredibly impressive. She has been physically and mentally transformed month by month. Gradually, I became attached to Sofie. Sofie fascinated me more than any other client I have had. Every week, I couldn’t wait to see her and find out what else is new with her. The Director, who visited her every six months, has been pleased with her progress and the other two therapists also acknowledged the positive changes. Two months ago Sofie still showed a lack of focus and an inability to coordinate her faculty. Then suddenly she exhibited a marvelous sense of wonder as everything seemed new and fascinating to her. She would not stop saying, “wow,” “wow,” or asking, “what?” Sofie could now sit for more than 20 minutes to play party as she would pour drinks for herself and another and make a toast before drinking. Magically, she seems to have turned into a normal child with a normal physique and intelligence. And she even shows so much wit and charm as she would pretend to fall on the floor only to make everyone laugh.
Ballena Isle Rose Garden taken 6/25/18
On Friday, I saw a play, “The Miracle Worker,” the story of Annie Sullivan who transformed Helen Keller, a blind-deaf incorrigible child into a famous lady of letters. I was in tears. What a joy and a blessing to work with disable children and witness such transformation. Today, I witnessed another beautiful transformation as I went by the little mini-rose garden in Ballena Bay Isle. In a previous blog, in “Home Is Where The Heart Is,” I mentioned that in the late 1980s, Beau Rivage Restaurant, situating a long block from my house, was on fire and was destroyed. From the ashes, some volunteers planted a few rose bushes. Over time, the area was transformed into a beautiful rose garden. Now with more donations of nice chairs and tables, the garden has become a lovely mini-park for the public to enjoy. What a change! It happened because some people wanted to do something to fix a bad situation. I often say, “Time changes everything.” However, there’s no “Time” and Time does not bring about changes, people do. People make the days, months, and years to be accounted for by performing deeds.

I am blessed to have a freelance job that allows me to do what I love to do. The Director of Early Learning Institute has such a vision in directing this program. Different therapists Sofie has had also have done good jobs in supporting and training her. This is not an official account of Sofie’s medical or progress reports. This is what I do, what I observe, and how devoted I am to my work. My work makes me happy. Still, there is much more that goes behind the scene. Sofie has shown her unique character in her determination to explore, learn, and be herself. That would not have happened without her parents’ tremendous love and effort in molding, encouraging, and supporting her every step of the way. Her progress has proven that humans can perform miracles in a child’s development, wellbeing, and happiness. Perhaps Sofie’s transformation once again reassures me that children are precious and nothing is impossible.
The Ballena Isle Rose Garden

END.   Copyright © Kim Roberts