Special Gathering Stories

Books and articles written for and by the mentally challenged community

Archive for Special Gathering stories

Disability Expo 2011 and Family Information Forum

Disability Expo 2011 & Family Information Forum


July 30th

Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo
10901 SW 24 St Miami, FL 33165

10:00am to 4:30pm

This event is presented by

WaiverProvider.com / SupportCoordinators.com

With help from

AREA 11 Agency For Persons With Disabilities (APD)

Area 11 Family Care Council (FCC)


This is a free event for all families. You do not need to register to attend the event. Come for all of the help and information. Then stay for the dance, door prizes and fun.

We are pleased to present this opportunity for first hand information from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities. Also updates on current issues and future plans of APD Area 11.

WaiverProvider.com will be telling families about resources to help with internet information. Also with ways to help you speak out about your questions and concerns.

The Family Care Council – FCC area 11 will be helping families with information. FCC area 11 is also excepting new members.

There will be Free refreshments & food during the event. We will also be giving away many FREE door prizes at the event. There will also be a dance for everyone to enjoy.

Don’t be left in the dark.
Come talk to the people that can help you.

The event gives you the opportunity to learn about resources & programs that can help you and your loved ones. Also a opportunity to speak out about your questions and concerns.

Learn more information about Medicaid, Social Security, Voc Rehab, Centers for Independent Living & Transition information, Guardianship and more.

DATE: Saturday, July 30th 2011

10:00 – 11:00 am APD, WaiverProvider.com & FCC area 11 11:00 -12:00 pm Break Out Sessions & Exhibitor Time
12:00 – 1:00 pm A Free Lunch & Exhibitor Time
1:00 – 2:00 pm Break Out Sessions & Exhibitor Time
2:00 – 2:30 pm Closing Remarks

Then at 2:30 – 4:30 pm

A Free Dance with a live DJ taking your requests. There will also be many Free door prizes that will be given away to families.

For information about the event please contact  WaiverProvider.com & SupportCoordinators.com
Aaron Nangle: 727-841-8943 or Email: WaiverInfo@aol.com



My dad

My father was not allowed to leave the house without me.  That was my rule–not his.  Sure, he could go to work; but after that, I would pile into his mini-Crosley car whenever he attempted to leave the house.  I didn’t always get my way; but it wasn’t my fault.

My mother once said that I got a lot more ice cream and Coke than the other children because I wanted to be with my father all the time.  As my father was dying, the rest of the family who lived in town hovered around his bedside.  Yet, they concluded that Daddy wouldn’t die until I could travel the eight hours required to get there–and he didn’t.

As much as I loved my dad, I also knew that it was wisdom to fear him.  He was much bigger than me and he required obedience and respect.  He earned both.  

He could make anything.  Before he died, he built my mother her dream house.  It was two stories; and except for the inside finish work, he build all of it himself.  He also made our first set of water skis.  As my brother approached his teenage years, Dad decided that skiing would be a good family sport that we could all enjoy.  He had a small fishing boat.  Because we are all small in statue, he calculated that this boat could pull us fast enough to lift us from the water.  He was right.

Daddy found a friend who owned a pair of skis.  After examining them, he worked for several weeks to fashion and mold the wood into skis.  The next six or seven years were spent on various rivers and lakes skiing.  My brother because a champion skier.  I didn’t like to fall.  Therefore, I did the fancy, skiing that required little or no risk, while my brother did the real hard work of making me look good.

Whatever my father did, he threw himself into it with his whole body, mind and soul.  That included his relationship with the Lord.  He was about fifty years old before he truly came to know the Lord.  Even though we attended church multiple times each week, Dad didn’t have a vital relationship until one day as he was driving home from a wholesale warehouse.  He stopped his Volkswagen Beatle at a red light, put his head on the steering wheel and tearfully surrendered to his Heavenly Father as the complete Lord of his life.

From that moment, Daddy wanted to tell everyone about Jesus.  He was one of those weirdos who has Jesus quotes painted all over his car.  He shared his faith with everyone.  If people rejected him, he would laugh and say, “I could be wrong about going to heaven when I die.  Possibly, it might be like you say.  When we die, there could be nothing out there.  But even if I am wrong, I’ve lost nothing. Because I’m having a wonderful life.  You, on the other hand, are totally miserable; and if I’m right, you are going to die and go to hell.  I think the odds are on my side, don’t you?”

At my father’s funeral, his pastor told the audience a story the family had not heard.  When his pastor was a young man in the Navy, Daddy would come up to the bus stop where the workers would congregate to enter the Naval Shipyard.  Many mornings, Daddy would approach the group of men clustered on the side walk, shouting, “Good news!  Good news!”

There are always a new man who was there and he would ask, “What is it?”

Raising his hands into the air, Daddy would declare, “Jesus loves you and he died for your sins.  All you need to do is accept his love and you will be saved.”

His pastor said, “I could never forget what he said.  I carried that message all day, every day.  Finally, I surrendered to that good news and I came to take the Lord as my Savior.”

The heritage my father left me made it easy for me to understand a loving heavenly Father who delighted in me.  One who wanted me to have the best of everything.  I knew my heavenly Father would disciple me, when needed but with grief and fairness.  I can understand a tough, tender, passionately forgiving  Father who freely poured his love out on a silly child who wants to go anywhere, as long as my heavenly Father is going with me.

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/simplelife/2011/06/my-dad.html#ixzz1PWshrsRT

Where are We?

It’s been too long since I posted on this weblog.  Shelley continues to write.  Here is one of her latest poems.

Real Life is Full of Laughter

Real life is full of laughter and fun.

                         When we laugh,

                                                             we feel things inside ourselves.

Put yourself into a funny place.

                                               Watch a funny movie.

                                                                       Act out the funny parts.

                                                                      Make a funny face in the mirror.

Think of Jesus laughing with you.

Here we are

Daily update are made at our Special Gathering Weblog.  Click here to view today’s entry.

Pictures and more

You will find pictures and much more about The Special Gathering of Indian River on The Special Gathering weblog.  Click here and you might see yourself.

Music in Me

By Shelly Demeree

Here is another poem by Shelly.  To see her other works, go to Shelly’s page.

Shelley and Friends at Special Gathering

Shelly and Friends at Special Gathering

You, Lord, are the music in me,

                                   You are our lives and who we can be.

To show every one that we are different,

                                                        We must keep up our faith.

                           And tell what is keeping us strong.

Of course, our strength comes from

                                                  knowing how much we need you, Lord.

                                                                                              Keep the music strong.


The Elder Son–Chapter 17

  by E. Williams

This story began on June 24.  You may want to go there to begin this book. 


          “Honey, all I’m saying is that the father had enough love to cover both of his sons, different as they were.  Mom and Dad have more than enough love to cover both you and Janet, different as you are.  Jesus has enough love to accept everyone who comes to Him, no matter who or what they are.  The Bible has the answer to every problem in life you’ll ever meet if you search for it with an open mind and heart.  And that’s all the preaching.”



            I sat under the tree after Ron left, thinking about what he had said.  I had to admit that parable might have been written just for me.  I was the self-righteous elder son to the life.  Pride in the fact that I was always good was just as much a sin as the things Janet had done.



            I didn’t know if Janet had really let Jesus into her heart or not.  I didn’t know how she would act.  I didn’t know if I could love her again or not.



            But I did know I didn’t have any right to doubt my parents’ love for me.  I didn’t have the right to tell them to turn their backs on Janet.  They loved her and always would because they were like the father in the parable.  I wouldn’t want them to change.  The one who needed to change was me.  This time I was the prodigal son.  I had been the sinner.



            I packed my bag and started to walk home from the far country.



The end