Thursday, December 27, 2012

In Honor Of...

There isn't proper verbage when a loved one passes.The pain is immense.I believe every individual experiences pain and death in a different way.The only truth is descriptors of pain:  it is ugly, intense, overwhelming.  In my opinion, when a parent loses a child, this is the worst type of pain.I have composed a list of songs, in the light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut.  My heart bleeds for every person that has lost a loved one.  It is my hope that you can "feel" one of the songs and somehow relate toyour specific pain and believe that your healing process will somehow begin.

Charllote And Jonathan

Billy Joel - Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)

Libera - Lullabye (Goodnight my Angel)

Ryan Dan - Tears of an Angel 

Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge over troubled water

Sarah McLaughlin - In the arms of an angel  

Sarah McLaughlin - I Will Remember You 

Avril Lavigne  - Keep Holding On 

Gordon True - Heaven Got Another Angel 

Linda Ronstadt - Goodbye my friend

Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men - One Sweet Day

Cindy Marro - Heaven Sent

Kathy Troccoli - Goodbye For Now

Amazing Grace

Mariah Carey - I’ll be there

Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven

Alexis Price - You can Let Go Now Daddy

LeeAnn Womack - I Hope you Dance  

The Band Perry - If I Die Young

Josh Groban  - On Eagle's Wings

Josh Groban - You raise me up

Andrea Bocelli & Sarah Brightman - Time To Say Goodbye

Bring Him Home:
Valjean Quartet -  Les Misérables in concert
Colm Wilkinson - Les Miserables 1987
Jamie Pugh - Singer - Britains Got Talent 2009

Lea Salonga - On My Own Les Misérables [720p]

I Dreamed A Dream:
Lea Salonga - Les Miserables

Andre Rieu Kimmy Skota - Ave Maria

Please Don't Go

Let There Be Peace On Earth:
BEST group

Lea Salonga - Fantine's Death (Les Mis 25)

Memory - Barbra Streisand

Andrea Bocelli&Laura Pausini Dare To Live

Sarah Brightman Don't Cry For Me Argentina

Prayer of St. Francis, Make Me A Channel of Your Peace sung by Angelina 

The Prayer:
Celine Dion & Josh Groban Live (HD 720p)

How great Thou art

Liam McNally - Danny Boy

Unsure if the following songlist would be appropriate above...
THE ROSE by Bette Midler
CHILD OF MINE by Carole King
  BEAITIFUL by Christina Aguilera

DANCE WITH MY FATHER - Luther Vandross
I'M YOUR ANGEL - R. Kelly with Celine Dion
ANGEL - Sarah McLachlan 
HALLELUJA - Jeff Buckley
AS I LAY ME DOWN - Sophie B. Hawkins
THE DAY YOU WENT AWAY - Wendy Matthews
I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU - Whitney Houston
CAN’T CRY HARD ENOUGH- Williams Brothers
YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE- Gerry and the Pacemakers
MY HEART WILL GO ON - Celine Dion 
 THE PRAYER Charlotte Church 

-dedicated to my mom and Aunt Rita (I love you)
-dedicated to each parent that lost a child in Connecticut

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Cards and a small Favor

Do you send Christmas cards?

I follow Aunt Peaches blog.
Her post: was so interesting.

She writes about the lost art of hand written Christmas Cards and she also asks a favor. through this blog: 

If you do send cards, what is your Christmas card handmade-ology "level":

MAKE MARTHA PROUD:  Do you hand make the card, envelope and hand write a personal message on each one?  Obvious that you hand sign your name(s) and to/return addresses... this is the handmade-ology that would make Martha proud!  Everything is hand-made (whether you be a seasoned crafter or have your child make each one with their own "preschool flavor".  This might include a personal few paragraphs written directly to that person - each message being somewhat unique.  If you haven't been published on Martha's website, send one of your ideas, I can assure you her staff will post it!  I so want to be this person!

DR PHIL FAMILY TIME:   Do you send one of those picture cards (your family, kids, pets,  or all of the above)?  This would include hand writing your name(s) and addresses.  Also included in this might be a family letter that you wrote about the wonderful things that your family members have accomplished in the past year.... this letter is then copied and put in the cards that you send.  I believe this is the very type of person that Family Fun Magazine would publish a special article on!  This person may watch Dr. Phil and be able to give the same advice that he does without fail each and every show!  I envy this person!

THRIFTY NIFTY: Are you somewhere on the scale of sending out a card where you purchased several boxes from the after Christmas sale last year?  These were most likely 50-90% off! You hand write your signatures and addresses and get them in the mail as fast as you can... time is of the essence!  You do it all - and then cook for the holidays too! You probably have a Christmas list a mile long - and never ever try to forget anyone!  It is the thought that counts!  The gifts you buy are smart!  Nothing wasteful only useful!  You get a bang for your buck!

GET 'ER DONE:  Boxed cards from whenever - free return address labels - quick written signature or stamp - Christmas cards check!  Decorate tree done!  Enjoy Christmas - done!  Put decorations away on New Years day - done until this year!  Not sure but thinking this person is so busy they don't take time to smell the roses or to fully enjoy the season or (take deep breath not sure I should write this) to even enjoy their own family.  The love is there - but things are so busy the roller coaster won't stop.  This isn't me - I would rather not do those "traditions".

THE INDEPENDENT (NOT DEMOCRATIC, REPUBLICAN OR EVEN TEA PARTY):  Then there are those folks who are humanitarians.  Send out Christmas cards to people you may not know, volunteer at a soup kitchen on Christmas day or help out Meals on Wheels or some other charitable cause.  You don't follow any traditional rules but you make your own.  What may be one way last year will be completely different this year.  You are you.  Family or friends may not understand but it is okay.

Can you tell who I am? If not here is another hint.  I am asking if you have or can make a card and send it to someone, please will you.  The information is here: 
This is also the favor that "Aunt Peaches" asks in her blog post.  I am asking the same favor.

Now can you guess who I am?  I wish to be the MAKE MARTHA PROUD kind of person, but I am not.  Deep inside she is wanting to come out, but life coupled with who I am makes me the INDEPENDENT.


Due to time constraints and length of the post, I had to stop writing.

Today, I plan on starting our one card that will be sent out this year!  It will be a doozie - there will be a message from my son, one from myself and a handmade picture that my son will make, and perhaps a piece of jewelry that we will make together.  It is things like this that make me happy during the holiday season.

Even though I haven't sent cards since the Christmas of 12/95, there are people that still send us cards every year.  I open each one with delight and we all read them that evening together.  Then I decorate a special place in the house with our cards (each year something different).  I keep saying to myself that things will get easier and I will send home made cards out next year.  Looks like this year isn't the year yet.  Maybe next year.

Could you please send a card to her grandma? Please?

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving is one day away.  
How do you feel about this particular holiday?

For me, this time of year sometimes (ok, every year) begins a cycle of sadness.  I am not a thankless person, just sometimes I let myself go and wish for more during the holiday season.  I know things could be worse.  I say it 1000x over and over in my head.  Hopefully, this post shall serve as a reminder to myself that I will give reminder that I give thanks not only on Thanksgiving, but every  single day. 

When I call my mom on Thanksgiving morning, I used to hear her answer the phone "Gobble gobble" - now she may or may not answer "hello".  She is so sad since my brothers death.  She lost her will to live. I can hear her loss in her every word and it breaks my heart. I wouldn't be able to breathe let alone do what I do without her. I am thankful that she is alive.

I cook every year (except for a few times) and not including this year.  We are going away for two nights!

I regress.  Throughout the years when I have cooked, it is imperative to keep the house as smell free as possible.  Any cooking food smell makes my son extremely nauseated.  Once he starts to get sick, his system will not shut down.  He needs an injection in the emergency ward to stop.  I light some candles and open the windows and doors a crack for smell patrol.  

Also I must watch the burners and oven every time he walks into the kitchen.  (Safety is something he does not understand.  Danny will place his hand on the stove even if you said not to or post a visual if he needed something nearby. Even if he burnt himself, he would still do the same thing again and again - he simply does not understand.

As I hurry to get the bird in the oven, Danny usually gets bored  (when he has unscheduled time).  Dad then takes him on a long drive to nowhere (which is Danny's most favorite thing in the whole world).

When the turkey is done, we all gather and sit. Social story read daily to prepare Danny to sit at the table. He normally gets through Grace [which we say only on holidays (shame on me, I know)].  

During the early years when the boys were growing up, I would always stay with Danny or take him on a drive during holiday dinners.  It was important to me that the other boys would have as typical as possible eating time at the dinner table with a parent.  I was the parent that took care of Danny.  Dad took care of the other two.  Upon my return, they would be finished eating.  Since our boys have matured, dad will take turns and ask me to sit at the table to eat with the other two boys.  Sometimes I sit for a few minutes until I hear Danny getting into things he isn't supposed to be doing.  Then we switch. 

I have a fear the other two will have a hatred (yes, hatred) for me when they are older. However, I have always explained to both that fair isn't equal. Fair means getting what you need. In our case, they were able to be independent with many things in life because they had to for survival.  They saw what Danny needed and went through a stage when they did hate him. I never told them not to feel that emotion. I could only tell them that hate was a strong word and to please use "don't like" or "dislike" vs. "hate". They were and are good kids. That stage didn't last very long at all. I feel Blessed because they could have turned out completely different than they did. Both of my boys are honest, hard workers, and love their brother as much as they can. They are genuine, mannerly, drug-free, and both are college students. 

I am thankful for my sons - all of them. I am thankful for my husband. 

Some days I feel like I do it all alone (he works long hard hours because he is self-employed).  I am sure there are days when he feels the same way. Some days I feel as though he takes me for granted and I 'know' I do that to him. We don't fight. There are things that couples fight over that we don't even have any energy t0 think about. I can't explain it, but it feels as though we are on a different level than most couples. Life in general isn't about anything we would fight over - money or lack thereof is the only issue that will always be a thorn in our life. However, things could be worse!

Living life while taking care of someone that needs 24/7 is hard to explain in written words.  Those that have taken care of elderly parents living with Altzheimers may understand.  However, that time is normally shorter (5 - 7 years).  We are at 18+ years and my boy has ran my body out of energy!!! He has a longgggg way to go too!

I am thankful for a lot:  mostly people - my family, friends including cyber, those daily hero's (the people that smile at you, the ones that accept a coupon that may be expired, the person that understands my order at McDonalds drive thru window even though Danny has the music turned up way too loud, etc.). 

I'm not sad because of the things our family does to survive.  We are different and that is ok.  I'm sad because on holidays I wish that Danny would realize that it is a holiday - or perhaps sit at the table 5 more minutes so we can be together.  Maybe one small miracle just for that day - understanding the safety bit?  Just one tiny temporary small step forward.  Who knows?  Maybe one little teeny tiny miracle this year... 

 Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving to you all!  
May all your dreams and wishes come true!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Our handmade bracelets and Happy Tuesday!

 Our newest handmade bracelets made with polymer.  We appreciate all feedback (both positive and negative).  They will hit our etsy store in a few days.  There are a few more goodies awaiting pictures!!!

Steampunk In Style

Power Suit

Peacock Me Pretty

Pink Zebra

Enchanted Forest

Coffee Rich

Burgundy Blitz

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

 It is almost Thanksgiving.  Gobble gobble.  Are you cooking?  What are your plans?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Take the challenge!!!!

Please take the challenge!

Stay tuned for our (Dannylions Pieces for Autism)  newest creations on our facebook and etsy (7 days after they post on facebook).

I'm taking the challenge ... will you?

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Box of Crayons

When my son was six, some boys were making fun of him as we were leaving his karate class and walking towards the van.  He had tears in his eyes and asked me why he was so different?
He asked, "Mommy what is wrong with me?"

The first thing that came to my head was something I read from "All I really needed to know I learned in Kindergarten".  I simply cannot tell my story alone. There are others that are so eloquently written and deserve to be shared prior to mine.

A Box of Crayons
While walking in a toy store the day before today, 
I overheard a crayon box with many things to say.

“I don’t like red!” said yellow. And green said, “Nor do I!” 
And no one here likes orange, But no one knows quite why.

“We are a box of crayons That don’t really get along,” 
Said blue to all the others “Something here is wrong!”

Well, I bought that box of crayons And took it home with me 
And laid out all the crayons So the crayons could all see.

They watched me as I colored with red and blue and green
 and black and white and orange and every color in between.
They watched as green became the grass and blue became the sky. 
The yellow sun was shining bright on white clouds drifting by.

Colors changing as they touched, Becoming something new. 
They watched me as I colored. They watched till I was through.

And when I’d finally finished, I began to walk away. 
And as I did the crayon box Had something more to say...

“I do like red!” said the yellow and green said, “So do I!”
 “And blue you are terrific so high up in the sky.”
“We are a box of crayons each of us unique, 
but when we get together the picture is complete.”

Poem inspired by The Crayon Box that Talked, a story by Shane Derolf and Michael Letzig

Wouldn’t it be terrible? Wouldn’t it be sad? If just one single color was the color that we had? If everything was purple? Or red? Or blue? Or green? If yellow, pink, or orange was all that could be seen? Can you just imagine how dull our world would be if just one single color was all we got to see?

Small Wonders: Life and the Crayon box
...It sure would be convenient if things were black and white, if every decision and circumstance we come upon could be boiled down to a simple choice between A and B, with the obvious answer being made clear.
We do get those decisions on occasion — Slurpee over Icee, red zinfandel over white, Patron tequila over Jose Cuervo. But I'd say the majority of our choices and relationships are not black and white. Fate, chance and experience throw red, blue and burnt sienna at us too.
The world is a mosaic of struggles. Our relationships and personal situations are unique and convoluted. It's made that much more so because each one of us brings our own crayon box to the play date. You have the 64-color box with the built-in sharpener, and I only have the eight-count jumbo collection filled with dulled stubs. But I may have some colors you don't, some flavors and experiences that you already went through, or different colors that you've never seen before. And you, assuredly, have a few that I've never used on my canvas.
We can control only so much of what comes our way in the shrinking time we have; can only draw with the colors in our box. But if we're lucky, some other kids let us see inside their boxes, maybe even let us borrow a little part of them to take with us to use on our big picture. That's when we get to see just how brilliant a world can be when we stop seeing things in black and white alone.
Politics are magenta. Religion is desert sand. Justice is fuzzy wuzzy.The environment is forest green. Love is pink flamingo. Society is jazzberry jam. And friendships are raw umber.
We can live a life with only two crayons, surround ourselves only with those who agree with us, refuse to accept anything outside the lines we've drawn for ourselves, and toss from our lives those who don't. We can.
But something tells me that the world, and our brief passing through it, is made so much richer and worthwhile by drawing with other crayons once in a while, accepting each other for who we are and loving each other no less.
I've got a crayon on my desk... It's red-orange, a heartwarming combination of colors that are neither black nor white, but resembling earth, fire and time. And the smell of it takes me back to a place that I will never forget; a childhood and life filled with dreams and fond memories. I hope you like it. It's yours if you ever want to borrow it.
Life, packed in a box of crayons
 Sharron Sparks Boyle

Recent graduates have one thing in common. At one time, and not so many years ago, they knew that magic lives in a box of Crayons. It doesn’t matter if one is eight or eighty; the tinted wax sticks bring smiles, brightness and color to the world. Last week my granddaughter, a recent kindergarten graduate, and I carefully picked our favorite crayons to color a flower and a sky. Suddenly I remembered that magic. 

I realized how much the Crayons I have used from my earliest memories have painted my life, my thinking processes and who I am today. Modern writers have described how colors can impact self-image and direction in life. Musician and author Shel Silverstein’s verse “Colors,” goes like this: “My skin is kind of sort of brownish pinkish yellowish white. 

My eyes are grayish blueish green, But I’m told they look orange in the night. My hair is reddish blondish brown, but it’s silver when it’s wet. And all the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.”

Louis L’Amour stated, “All education is self-education. A teacher is only a guide, to point out the way, and no school, no matter how excellent, can give you education. What you receive is like the outlines in a child’s coloring book. You must fill in the colors yourself.”

As I sail along in life, I invent my own unique names for colors as I try to describe the fleeting glimpses of nature’s beauty. The harbors, bays, sounds and oceans I’ve crossed are full of color. The sunsets are phenomena of unparalleled beauty. Each day brings colors of deep blues and greens to bright pinks, oranges and aquamarines. Many of the colors are found in a box of Crayons. Palms, sea grapes, orchids and causarina pines also reflect the spectrum of greens, silvers, and browns created by the Crayon LLC.  

Underway, I create my own names for the ever-changing vistas. Imagine plows through the surf and I invent Sea Foam White. In my mind the color is a bubbly kind of white with tones of gray and green that ever so subtly give body to the color. Sometimes when the sun shines bright, the ocean appears almost purple, not quite the Violet Blue once found in a box of crayons, but more of a Dark Royal Purple Blue. I’ve yet to find the perfect color for the beautiful clear blue waters of the Bahamas. Perhaps Crayola could create a Bahamas Blue that would fit somewhere between Aquamarine, Jungle Green and Pacific Blue.

The magical world of Crayons began when cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith founded a company to produce pigments for industrial use in New York City during 1885. 

Early products used red iron oxide for barn paint and carbon black chemicals to make car tires black. According to Wikipedia, the inexpensive black colorants earned the young company a gold medal at the 1900 Paris Exposition. Slate school pencils were added to the line later that year and soon after experiments with slate waste, cement and talc led to the first dustless white chalk, earning the company another gold medal at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

The first boxes of Crayons made a debut in 1903 with an eight-color pack. Over time the variety of colors increased, reaching a high of 120 shades 95 years later in 1998. Since that time, Wikipedia states that while new colors have been added, the new hues always replace existing colors.    

Since 1958, 13 colors have been retired, (making a total of 133 colors over time) while others have been re-named.

Crayola retired Blue Gray, Lemon Yellow, Orange Red, Orange Yellow, Violet Blue, Maize, Green Blue, Raw Umber, Thistle, Blizzard Blue, Mulberry, Teal Blue and Magic Mint. Blue Gray and Orange Yellow were two of my favorites. As social awareness and sensitivity to cultural issues rose to the forefront, Crayola reinvented names for several of their colors. 

In 1962, Flesh became Peach for obvious reasons. suggests that 
perhaps the Civil Rights movement may have influenced that move. Indian Red created in 1958 to help fill the new 64-count box was changed to Chestnut in 1999. At the time the company warned children not to warm “this Chestnut over a fire,” as crayons melt at 105 degrees. Earlier Prussian Blue became Midnight to avoid political associations. 

Perhaps it was these changes that Robert Fulghum, author of “All I Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten, thought of when he wrote, “We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box.”  

Even as adults many of us still love the smell and feel of Crayons. Both take us back to a time when life was simpler. My niece Sara, and her mother Nancy, recently used Crayons and a blow dryer to create melted Crayon posters. 

As I pick up each of my granddaughter’s crayons from the carousel where they stand like soldiers. I pull out the glasses to read the new colors, Jazzberry, Wild Blue Yonder and Dandelion and of course I have to try them out. 

My granddaughter colors thoughtfully beside me. I imagine the hues that she will chose to color within the outlines of her life. I hope she colors herself with tints of Kindness, Curiosity, Loyalty and Love, Courage, Steadfastness, Patience, and Charity. Thank you Smith and Binney.

The Crayon Wars
A Simple Box of Crayons
Ayngel Overson

An empty box of crayons lay forgotten upon the table. 
This, my friends, is the beginning of our little fable...

Red Versus Blue
This is right, and that is wrong, and thus we have reached an impasse, my friend.
You are so very stubborn, you will not break, you will not bend.
Though anyone could clearly see that the most important color is not you but me
You are as blind as any brick wall could ever hope to be.

Sir, you are mistaken, it is you that has been struck blind.
Blinded by your ignorance, blinded by your mind.
For what lies before you is as plain as the nose on your face,
though by your logic it could be a nose, but you would call it a vase.

A vase and a nose aren't all that different you see,
flowers seem to appeal to them both equally.
If logic is where your argument is based, then logic my friend is dead.
Anyone could plainly see you have but rocks in your head.

Me Versus You
Your way of spinning logic, to suit your own device,
leaves my head a-hurting, so here is my advice.
Look at the world around you, and imagine it with no Blue,
the skies, the water, the flowers, all devoid of my particular hue.

You sir are merely Red, a crass and angry color indeed,
the world can live without you; unless they want to bleed.
Anger, war, and violence flash in dark and bitter shades of you.
Look around the battlefield, you'll not find any Blue.

I am the blood, this much is true.
Anger, war, and violence are all devoid of Blue.
Yet blue is the color of sadness, of sorrow, and of pain.
Look among these awful things and you'll not find a red stain.

You forget the rose, my friend, though many colors it can bear.
Yellow, White,
Pink, and Orange, a colorful affair.
Yet only Red speaks of passion, of love, and emotion so divine.
You may have the sky and water, but passion is only mine.

What About Green?
They turned their backs to one another, their noses to the sky.
Each refusing to give an inch, move a muscle, bat an eye.
So firm they were in their mission,
neither noticed the approach of a new addition.
Gentlemen, gentlemen, stop this nonsense now. You are you, and he is he,
but where would the world be without the aid of me?
Green is the color of life, Green is the
grass, Green is the tree.
The world would be dead and Brown without the likes of me.

Black and White World
And what is wrong with Brown, I ask? With nature, wood, and earth?
I might not seem like much to you, but only I represent rebirth.
When winter comes and the other colors die, I remain.
I wait out the season patiently until it is time to bring life again.

Over in the corner, Black and White stood sullen and quiet.
More colors joined the battle, the crayons began to riot.
Each quite certain of their place, each refusing to budge from a single point of view.
Black looked at White and plead, "Whatever shall we do?"

A True Work of Art
White spoke up then, her voice clear, strong, and true.
Where would I be without each and every one of you?
When all of you are needed, how can we say only one is right?
The absence of light is darkness, the absence of darkness is light.

The world was not made to be viewed as merely Black or White,
It was not supposed to be us against them, each of you are right.
The world was made for Red, the world was made for Blue,
and Green, and Brown, and Orange, and every other hue!

Where Have We Gone Wrong?
The crayons lowered their heads and shuffled off to sleep.
Inside their box they settled down, a chastised flock of sheep.
Only Black and White remained outside watching their children rest.
Black asked, "Where did we go wrong? Have we not done our very best?
All of them are different, but they are also all the same.
Why do they attack the differences, passing on the blame?
Where have we gone wrong, when they refuse to see what is right?
We are all the same in darkness, why can't we all be equal in light?"

Life is a box of crayons 
by JoAnn Yohn

Two vibrant pinterest pages:

Life is about using the whole box of crayons

Life is a box of crayons

DIY Melted Crayon Heart Art

Muffin crayons

Glittered heart crayons:

And finally, my own story as my son remembered:

Imagine yourself as a crayon.
Every crayon is different, but yet they all go into the same box.
Some crayons are very popular and the point is completely gone.
Some are bright, some have a perfect point.
Some are small pieces.
There are crayons that have the paper removed.
There are some crayons that have longer names.

Every crayon is different
It doesn't matter.

What does matter is that you are a crayon.
You fit in that box.
How you fit is up to you.
How you look at yourself is up to you.
If you think you are a broken crayon, then you will be a broken crayon and feel sorry for yourself forever.
If you are not the most popular color, that is okay because not all crayons are popular.
Be happy with what you are.
Make what you are work for you, because you are a crayon.
Some boxes have eight and some have over 100.
Each crayon is perfectly beautiful just as they are.

I did tell him he had Asperger's disorder that day.
I told him that it was truly a gift.
He told me it didn't feel like one at that particular moment.
My heart was hurting, it was something that needed to be said.
I didn't know what the future held.

He had to work harder and learn things differently.   
Through the years, he realized how his brain worked and this became his strength.

He was able to "visualize" the crayon story and he chose to live it!
He turned out to be one of the best crayons ever! 

He is a one of a kind - the rarest crayon in the world.  There is no other like him.  They broke the mold after he was born and I wouldn't trade him for the world!

This post is in honor of him.
He left the other day for college.  
My heart aches.  

I loved everything about raising him.
From the first time I held him in my arms and kissed his little baby face until our hug in the dorm. 

I am so blessed to have had the experience of raising him.  
I love him beyond mere words could ever say.

Yes Billy - life is like a box of crayons, no matter which way you tell it,  my version included.  However, it is how you choose to look at it, that matters the most!  I love you!

Thanks for reading!