When you are a part of an outdoorsy family, things like hiking, horseback riding, camping, and hunting are second nature. The funny thing is that growing up, my niece, Susan Griffith really didn’t seem that type to me. In fact, Susan grew up being a city girl, not a country girl. All that changed when she and her husband, Josh moved to the country, outside of Powell, Wyoming. Since then, Susan has thrived on every aspect of the country life. Together they ride horses, go camping as much as they possibly can, go fishing, and hiking. Susan has told me that if they could, she and Josh would live in the mountains, but of course, that wouldn’t really work well for their girls, because kids need to be in school, with their friends, and their activities. So, I guess that living in the mountains will have to come after their girls are grown up and living on their own.
Susan and Josh are great parents. They are raising their girls to be strong, capable young ladies. Of course, they encourage the girly things, but they have also shown them the other side of things. They go hunting, and have taught their older daughter, Jala to hunt too. Kaytlyn’s turn will come when she gets a bit older. Going hunting has helped to fill their freezer with meat, and saves money on the food budget. So far this year, both Josh and Jala have shot their elk, but Susan has yet to get hers. With that in mind, this weekend is going to be a birthday hunting weekend, and I hope Susan has a successful hunt.
Susan has felt like she is living a dream life ever since she and Josh met. She and Josh are so happy with the life they have built together. Josh has helped Susan expand her horizons so much. Some of the things she was skeptical about, like 4 wheelers, are no longer an issue for her. She is confident and capable, and she loves horseback riding, which they started to help her get over her fear of 4 wheeling. I guess it was just something about being out there with no car around you for protection, which makes sense to me, since I’m not a motorcycle/4 wheeler fan myself. Susan has, in many ways, become a completely different person since she met Josh. She is feeling blessed, and loving every minute of it. Today is Susan’s birthday. Happy birthday Susan! Have a great day and a great hunt!! We love you!!
As children, we think that life is all fun and games. We don’t think about the future, because we are busy having fun. Kids have no idea what life is going to throw at them, and they don’t care. They live for today, and they know that their lives are going to be amazing. And of course, for the most part they are, but in reality every life has it’s challenges. good and bad times, as well as happy and sad times. It’s really what we choose to do with these times that shows the true nature of the person we have become.
My nephew, Chris Iverson, truly loves life. He is a family man, first and foremost. He loves to go fishing, and from what I have seen , he is a pretty good fisherman. I’m sure he finds it relaxing, and exciting, like most avid fishermen do. The rest of us…non-fishermen…just find it boring, but to each his own. Chris is an outdoorsy kind of guy, and I’m sure that all that goes together quite well with fishing.
Nevertheless, life happens, and on July 3, 2011, Chris, and his wife, my niece Cassie, had a baby named Lucas. Lucas was born with Down Syndrome, which they knew about in advance. I suppose that some people would have told them to abort the baby, but Lucas was their son, and it didn’t matter. Over the past 3½ years, Chris and Cassie have been amazing parents to Lucas. Lucas is a happy and quite active little boy, and he fills every day with so much joy for his parents, and everyone else who knows him too. Chris and Cassie could have been saddened by their son’s diagnosis, but instead, they have chosen to take the lemons that other people might find distasteful, and make some of the best lemonade in the world…the memories they are building with their little boy. I know that the parents of Down’s Syndrome children are always a special breed of people, because there are those who give these children up for adoption or abort them before birth, but as Chris would tell you, “Any man can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a daddy.” And to that I will add, that it takes a real man to be a daddy, when the going gets tough…no matter the reason.
No matter who we are, life hands us situations that we have to either deal with or run from, and it is my opinion that the strongest people deal with those new things with grace, giving it their all. Strong people don’t give up, whine and cry, or run from their problems, but rather, they take what they have been handed and turn it into something very special. This is what I see in the parents of Down Syndrome children, and this is what I see in Chris and Cassie. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!