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Coleman at Navarre Beach '07

Coleman at Navarre Beach '07

“A Portrait of Persistence.”  That’s what I think about every time I see this picture of my son, Coleman, that was taken at Navarre Beach, Florida, two years ago.  For those who may not know, Coleman is autistic and was diagnosed at five months of age with a genetic disorder called Dubowitz Syndrome which involves varying levels of mental retardation, microcephaly (small head circumference), speech delays, etc.  Coleman does not speak at all, other than having the wonderful God-given ability to say, “Mama.”  Yes, his mother is more proud of that than I can tell you!  I could write a book about him (and we probably will some day), but for now let me just say that he has been an incredible blessing to our family and to the lives of the hundreds of people who have known him during his 16 1/2 years of life.

Now, back to the beach.  Coleman loves the water.  I mean, he loooooves the water!  He doesn’t know how to swim.  But, he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know how to swim.  He has no fear of the water whatsoever, whether it is in a swimming pool or in the giant, endless wave pool called the Gulf of Mexico.  When we are at Navarre, we stay in the water with him until we are all worn out and have to drag ourselves back up on the beach to catch our breath and some sun.  Coleman will sit contently on the sand for a little while, and then he will begin to inch his way toward the water.  I think that he thinks that if he moves slowly enough and doesn’t make eye contact with us then we won’t be able to see him.  His slow slide-and-glide across the sand may take a few minutes, but his patience and persistence will ultimately pay off in getting him back to the water’s edge to let the waves wash over his feet and legs.  In his wake, he leaves a track worthy of a giant sea turtle headed back out to sea!  That’s our Coleman!  Sea Turtle Boy!

“….forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:13-14).

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September 2009