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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)

TITLE: What's in a name
By Margaret Watson


What's in a name?

My daughter answers to many names,Joanne, Jojo, the commonest being Jo, but it might as well have been Joy. It's a theme that runs through her life. The joy at her birth at an age when I might well have been considered too old the joy of hearing that first yell of indignation when she was pulled protesting into the world and it was pull too she never was good at geography we always say, because at the last minute she decided to try and come out sideways not recommened.

We were told a few hours after she was born that Jo had severe physical and mental problems and it would be better to leave her in the hospital and go away and try for another child this to a mother who had already had 4 miscarriages. But the first time I held her I knew that they were wrong. I have held many mentally retarded children in my time some floppy, some tense, but none like Jo.Yet I wasn't a hundred percent sure at that time, but still I found peace and joy at her birth. They were wrong about the retardation, but the physical problems were if anything underestimated she also had brittle bone disease, a degree of deafness and she stopped growing at 20 months of age.. I mean totally, not slowly, and she was already so small that she had only just grown out of first size clothes. But when she was 4 treatment became available she has never quite made up, but at least now she doesn't have to jump up on to worktops to reach. There were regular trips to hospital of course. They had a Wendy house in the waiting area they joy when she banged her head on the lintel one day 'I',m too big. I'm really too big for something!'

The hardest part was sometimes convincing the doctors. They still read a description at the front of her notes that says severe mental retardation. She is tiny, so when she was smaller people who didn't know her treated her like a baby but she soon put them right.

The joys are different nowadays she has been on a preaching tour of Italy and acted as translator for the group despite the fact that she was to some extent lip reading. More recently she went to Gambia and met with local school children. When she related her adventures her joy was bubbling out. She has this week taken her final university exam We don't know what her future holds, but I know that she has a God given joy to share oh and she can finally reach the top shelf in the supermarket!

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This article has been read 658 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Michelle Burkhardt05/25/06
Nice sweet, story about your Joy...
Lynda Schultz 05/25/06
What a tremendous testimony to the grace of God. A few typos to fix, but this is a great story and I would have liked to have had you fill in the gap between childhood and university. Thanks.
Rita Garcia05/25/06
Your story of Joy blessed my heart, thank you for sharing.

Great job!
Patricia Williams05/26/06
Your story is wonderful. You don't want to stop with a story,
you've got a book of a life full
of struggles but, oh, obviously also full of miracles. God bless your JoJo.
Wonderful story. I sure hope both of you are journalling everyday. I agree you have a book of a life that can touch
oops. i'm not real computer savvy. I sense you have a book in the making that could touch an untold number of people. may God bless all of you.
Helen Paynter05/27/06
I loved this. What a heart-warming story. So glad your daughter has done so well, and clearly she loves the Lord like you do. God bless.
william price05/29/06
I read where Joanna means "God is gracious. Your story reminds of of Ps 111:4 "He hath made His wonderful works to be remembered. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion." I believe your daughters story, when fully told, will be one that will be remembered. And I'm sure her life brings Joy to God's heart that she is living her name. God Bless both of you.
Tim George05/30/06
I agree with those who hope you will write a book about your daughter. Both of my brothers had Cerbral Palsey and were severely retarded. That's what people called it back then. Even though they never improved like your daughter, they certainly improved the rest of us. Thanks for sharing this picture from your life.