The Pervis jackson Autism Foundation – Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was this month and as it is a day of recognition for mothers. I could not let the month end without recognizing our ‘Special Mothers”, the mothers of  handicapped children., Since we formed the Pervis Foundation, I have been in contact with many mothers who have special needs children. I am so impressed by them. All mothers make sacrifices, but these mothers have challenges and make sacrifices that are way beyond what we other mothers make. I had no idea until I became the parent of a son who is handicapped by autism.

We have in common a commitment to our child and the courage to live with them and to speak for them. These mothers  are some of the most brave  and courageous people that I know. Their bravery goes unnoticed and unsung, but they continue taking care of their child, earning their star in Heaven. That’s why we formed the Pervis Foundation to try to give them a little comfort. That’s why our motto is “a spoonful of comfort’ . A spoonful is the smallest amount of comfort that you can give.

You, too, can give a spoonful of comfort. You do not have to write a book or form a foundation to help these parents. If you have a friend or a relative who is struggling to raise a child with a handicap, can you offer help? Can you fix (or buy) them dinner a couple of times a month? Can you take them on an outing to a park for an afternoon? Can you ask them what you can do to help? Can you sit with their child so that they can have an afternoon off? (I would suggest a practice session with the mother there if you do this). If you cannot bring yourself to do any of this, then you at least recognize what they are up against.

These parents are my heroes and I wish that the Pervis Foundation could offer more than we do. We are a small “mom and pop” foundation and the pop part is gone. Pervis Sr was aware of the sacrifices that I made for our son and was aware of the sacrifices other parents make. I always had his encouragement and support, even when we were separated. He was a public figure so he felt a strong need to help. The Spinners had been humanitarians for others and Pervis was always asking me “What can we do?”. When we came up with what we could do, Pervis did not live to see it. He was the foundation for the foundation and I believe that his Spirit knows that we are helping in our small way.

When it came to our son, Pervis and I were always a team. He was an excellent father always supportive of me and his son.  When I lamented that I could not write a book because our son was not a success story, he felt that it was an “autism story” and needed to be told.

Special Mothers and the two Pervises are the reason that I continue. Pervis Jr is still handicapped, but he is much loved. I have seen how much he has overcome and I am proud of the person he has become. His behavior has improved greatly. He is now more pleasant and cooperative and tries to help. He smiles a lot more. He was the ultimate burden of my life. Then he became the ultimate challenge. Now he is the ultimate blessing.

“That which you do for the least of my brethren, you do also unto me. (Matthew 25:40)

Claudreen Jackson

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Wonderful Words of Wisdom – 8

 

If you have been listening to the news (how can we miss it?), then you know we need all the words of wisdom we can get to balance out what we are hearing. Darkness is facing us on all sides so we have to try to be a light. Light can chase away the darkness, but darkness can not put out a light. I submit words of wisdom that are not my own, so I can say that they are wonderful.

If the best you can do is the best you can do, then that’s what you do.                        Treat others the way you wish to be treated.                                    We have a choice about what we let into our thoughts. We can empty out the impurities of life, guilt, bitterness, regret, anger, so God can fill our minds with positive thoughts. We can’t stop the toxins of life from coming in, but we don’t have to keep them in. (Joel Osteen)                            

 Words have power. Your words can calm the angry, uplift the despondent, goad the quitter, cheer the unhappy, warm the lonely, praise the worthy, encourage the defeated, teach the ignorant… and say I love you. (Og Mandino)                                  The expectations of life depend upon diligence. The mechanic who would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. (Confucius)                               If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.            Be ye not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12;21)

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)                                   God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us — in the dreariest and most dreaded moments — can see a possibility of hope. (Maya Angelou)   People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. (Elizabeth Kubler Ross)                               Always remember that what’s in you will always come out of you. (Pastor Kenneth Moseley)

One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ that can beat teamwork. (Edward Abbey)                                    Of the billionaires I have known, money just brings out the basic traits in them. If they were jerks before they had money, they are simply jerks with a billion dollars. (Warren Buffett)                         You can fool some of the people all of the time, and you can fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. (Abraham Lincoln)

The fool doth think that he is wise, but the wise man knows that he is a fool. (Shakespeare)                                  When we know better, we do better. (Maya Angelou)   Keep moving up; you might not reach the top, but it’s in that direction.                When the going gets tough, the tough get going.                                        God is everywhere, even at your wit’s end.                                   Treat others the way you wish to be treated.             Character is who you truly are. Reputation is who people think you are.

Be ye not weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap if ye faint not. (Galatians 6:9).

Thank you for the privilege of your time.

Claudreen Jackson

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Inspired By Old Age–Aging in America

It is a privilege for me to be able to write about aging in America because many people did not make it to be my age, including my husband. It took me to get to be this age to decide that if I don’t write about aging now, when will I? We don’t know how much time we have on Earth and I’m not sure that I would want to know. But we should make the best use of whatever time we have left. I am thankful for our Freedom of Speech in America so that I can add to the conversations.

I was a part of a five year  study on aging conducted by Wayne State University and Detroit Receiving Hospital, two of our city’s most important and accomplishing institutions. I am glad that studies are being conducted and that I was a part of one. When I went in for my intake interview, I was interviewed by a 22 year old. She was surprised at my age and said that she expected people in their 70s to have to lost their teeth and to be losing hair. I told her that I had bought both teeth and hair because we have that option. 

From this vantage point, I can see what is worth getting upset about (not much). I know about the effects of stress on the body and have lessened my stress for myself and others. I’m not the one who will stress you out, nor will I let you stress me out.  I no longer feel that I have to “roll with the punches”.  I hope that the punches are over by now.  Now, I feel more able to “go with the flow” if the flow is going in my direction. If not, I can opt out. My body may be aging,  but my Spirit is not.  We have the same Spirit that we had when we were children. Our Spirit can remain youthful, but we have to preserve and pace our body so that we can try to make it last.

I have had my “happy ever after”.  I was married to Pervis Jackson of the Spinners, an award winning singing group. They were and still are a world class group who are still performing. I was able to travel, shop, party and live the “fairy tale” life. But I have learned that there is no such thing as “happy ever after”.  My husband and I had a roller coaster marriage. The highs were very high and the lows were very low, but he  had faith in me and consistently encouraged me to write. It is because of his mentoring and pushing that I formed the Pervis Jackson Autism Foundation and still find myself writing.

I am trying to have my “golden years”, though one writer referred to them as our “rusting years”. I agree with both.  I’m glad that we now have arthritis medicine that doesn’t smell and large print for aging eyes. We also have a lot of conditions that can be monitored and treated with medication. I am thankful for all our medical advances and they are a benefit to many of us seniors. We are only as old as we feel, but sometimes our mind and our body are on different pages.

My “get up and go” had got up and gone, but I am getting it back. I read somewhere that “you are never to old to become what you might have been.” Though I am “past my peak”, that is OK. I still have life in me yet. There is still something I can do. I know for a fact that you are never to old to write (or improve your posture).

May we live long and prosper.

Claudreen Jackson

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Inspired By Old Age–Aging in America

I wanted to write about aging in America because that is what I am doing. This time in History is one of the best times to be aging in America.  In June, I will be 78 years old and don’t feel that I am finished yet. We have great doctors, great preventive medicine and great treatments. We are living longer and healthier lives and I am thankful for this kind of progress. We seniors have redefined aging. Society has redefined aging.

We now have computers, cell phones, ipods, ipads, etc. etc. etc. We have facebook, twitter, snapchat, etc. etc. etc.  I love that, at our age, we can occupy ourselves without expending a lot of energy or money. I couldn’t have written my book, “Inspired By Autism” without using a computer. I could not write this blog without using a computer. At first, I was computer resistant, but as a teacher in Detroit Public Schools, it was mandated that we learn to use a computer.  Computers were put into all of our classrooms and I discovered that my students knew more about computers that I did. I had to catch up.

In the past almost 80 years, I have seen great progress. I would never have predicted all the advancements. I remember tin tubs and washboards for washing clothes, rotary phones, manual typewriters,  and life before television. I remember when postage stamps were three cents, a loaf of bread was 22 cents, as was a pack of cigarettes. I remember the ice man and the milk man. They made deliveries in horse-drawn vehicles. We had to stay far away from the sidewalk during delivery times. But it seems that what we have made in progress, we have lost in social skills.  I am amazed at the negative people who attack others using social media.

After looking at life from the perspective of old age, I made some decisions about my future.  There is a certain freedom that comes with old age. There are some things that I am leaving behind. I am through with feuding and fighting, stress and mess, and drama and trauma. Many things that used to upset me don’t bother me anymore.  Now I know how to “Let It Go”.  I no longer feel the need to “Pretend” about anything. I am trying to put Positive Energy into the Universe because there is so much negative energy being forced on us. That’s how negative energy is.

Mortality is staring me in the face and I know that death is inevitable but I am not ready to go yet. My husband did not make it to be my age, but I am still here.  Life is still an adventure and I want to enjoy the rest of it. I am still able to travel and see this wonderful world that God has created. I can still go out into the world. When you see all the beautiful lakes, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, you see that God created things that man can not.  When I see these beautiful locations, I am reminded of the saying that “Heaven meets Earth in such a place.” 

I am living a healthier lifestyle (it’s about time) and being wiser about where I expend my energy. Some things are not worth it.  But the Bible and some of our great writers give us tips on how to renew our energy.  Norman Vincent Peale said that “God created us and He can constantly and automatically recreate us”.  The 23rd Psalm says that “He restores my soul”.  Romans 12:2 says “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”.  If we focus on these words of wisdom as we get older, maybe we can extend our time. I am trying to see if this works.

George Burns said, “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old”.  Psalm 92:14 says “They will still bear fruit in old age. They will remain fresh and green”.

May you live long and prosper.

Claudreen Jackson

 

 

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Wonderful Words Of Wisdom – 7

I contend that we are not hearing enough words of wisdom in society today. We seem to hear more of the wrong words than the right words. I am trying to do my bit to share some of the wisdom that is already out there. I hope you are, too.

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.    (2nd Timothy 1:7)                                 Bring Higher Energy to a situation of lower energy.      You are responsible for the energy you bring and for the energy you allow in.                       Even a broken clock is right twice a day.                                      Even a broken tree can bear fruit. (Pastor Rick Warren)                               Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when you listen. (Kelsey Grammer)

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.                          If you don’t get what you want and you don’t want what you get; you get a learning experience.                                     Be careful with your words; they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.                               It’s not what you are called, but what you answer to that counts.                                     The biggest communication problem is that we do not listen to understand, we listen to reply.

It’s hard to see the picture when you’re inside the frame.                              Fire on the mountain; catastrophic to man; a passing annoyance to the mountain. (the I Ching)    Darkness is capable of anything. I will not contribute to this horrifying twilight; though the terrors of the night be all around me, still I will celebrate the light and glorify the dawn, (Rishikavi Raghudas)                 Treat others the way you wish to be treated.

Every woman should wait for the right man to come along; but she can date “Mr Right Now” while she is waiting.                                 The best way to find a friend is to be a friend.                        Politics is about making the rules of distribution, of deciding how laws determine who gets what,  when, where and why. Politics, importantly, ensures that those who make the rules are are favorably disposed toward justice and fairness. (Julianne Malveaux)               The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. (John F Kennedy).

Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. (Arthur Ashe)                             Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. (Aldous Huxley)                                Formula for success; Rise early; work hard; strike oil. (J Paul Getty)                              Howard Hughes was able to afford the luxury of madness, like a man who not only thinks he is Napoleon, but hires an army to prove it. (Ted Morgan).

America is a nation that is a constant work in progress. That’s why we are exceptional. We don’t stop. (Barack Obama)                                 It’s not the voting that’s democracy. It’s the counting. (Tom Stoppard)                                  If we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting. (Stephen Covey)                                     A dead end can never be a one way street; you can always turn around and take another road. (Bo Bennett)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.  ( Matthew 5:16)                                      Be the Light.              This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.

May we live long and prosper.

Claudreen Jackson 

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Wonderful Words of Wisdom – 6

We do have to keep hope alive, but it seems that our country is becoming more and more divided. I don’t know about you, but I am not hearing enough words of wisdom to balance out all the other words that I hear.  So, I am sharing more. I hope you have some of your own to help guide you in a positive direction.

Numerous politicians have seized absolute power and muzzled the press. Never in history has the press seized absolute power and muzzled the politicians. (David Brinkley)          We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. (Aesop)             Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. (Ronald Reagan)                              Instead of putting our hopes in one person, let’s put our hopes in each other. (TD Jakes)                     What you say to yourself has a lot to do with what happens in your life.                          

 Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. (Henry Ford)                               What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight — it’s the size of the fight in the dog. (Dwight D Eisenhower)                                       War does not determine who is right — only who is left. (Bertrand Russell)                                   To be a success, you don’t have to be twice as good as everyone else; just a little bit better. (Dr Phil)                         People rise to the highest level of their own incompetence. (the Peter Principle)

You can put wings on a pig; but you can’t make it an eagle. (Bill Clinton)                     You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.                   History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it. (Winston Churchill)                           Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. (Confucius)               From the bottom of the deepest pit, if you look up, you can still see the stars.                   If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep walking. (Zen proverb)                                If we are facing into the sun, then we don’t see the shadows.,

Remember the crabs in the barrel story? If a crab tries to climb out of the barrel, all the ones on the bottom try to pull him back down.                                   There are three kinds of people; those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; and those who wonder what happened.                               Don’t let your mouth make promises that your behind can’t keep.                                         Bloom where you are planted.                         We may have to be the change that we want to see.

Take the high road; it’s not easy, but the view is better. (Amy Dickinson)                        The best way to gain a friend is to be a friend.                                    Part of faith is sometimes letting go of what we had in mind and accepting what God had in mind. (TD Jakes)             By the time you find out your parents were right, you have children who think you are wrong.                                  

I cook with wine; sometimes  I even add it to the food. (WC Fields)                          I see, said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.                                 I didn’t really say everything I said. (Yogi Berra)

May we live long and prosper!

Claudreen Jackson 

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Inspired By Old Age – The Future

I am surprised that at age 77, I am still thinking about the future. I am not alone. We seniors have redefined aging. But, I do realize that my lights could go out at any time, so I am still busy trying to be a productive “senior citizen”.  I was “over the hill”, but I saw another hill so I will try to keep moving forward.

When I was “over the hill”, I was tired and weary. But we seniors can be restored if we follow  the nutrition and exercise instructions that we have been reading about all our lives.  If you feel worn out and weary, I understand, because I did, too. But we can be restored.  We can relax- recharge – renew – restore – recreate- refresh – reset.  We can find a purpose. We can find something that we want to do that we never had the time for. Now is our time, if we are able.

I still want to write, promote my book,  “Inspired By Autism” and raise money for the Pervis Jackson Foundation to help needy children with disabilities. All children with disabilities are needy, but ones with lower income can always use help. I am thankful to be in a position to help. My help is minimal and we can’t do everything for everyone,  but we can do something for someone. I will probably be helping children with handicaps from now on.

Once I became restored, I feel like a new me. Not someone’s child, or someone’s mother, someone’s wife, someone’s teacher, someone’s relative, etc. I feel like ME. What a revelation! At my age, to feel like a new person. I feel like i got my “second wind” in life. It took a village of writers, speakers, teachers, doctors whose words I read to help restore me. I love the impact that Eckhart Tolle’s book. “A New Earth” had on me. He said that sometimes, we have to ‘just be”. That was and still is hard for me, but it helps to rejuvenate and restore.  

One of the things that the new me is is a Deacon.  Two years ago, I was ordained as a Deacon at the New Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church in Ferndale, Michigan. It is an honor that I never expected. I feel that I have always served God, but now it is in an official capacity. Being a Deacon was never on my list of things to do, but I am proud to serve. I missed a lot of church services while trying to raise PJ, and maybe now I can make up for that. We need God now more than ever.

I know that I don’t want to be a part of the chaos in the world. Who would have thought that society would change so much? When I was a little girl, there was a saying that the world would become “weaker and wiser”. Has that happened? Does that mean that we have to become stronger? We can try. We can hope.  “For we are saved by hope; but hope seen is not hope”.  Romans 8: 24.

May we live long and prosper.

Claudreen Jackson

 

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