“Looking for Louise!”

Me and Louise

The photo is of me and my cousin Louise.

I’m the one doing the kissing. ๐Ÿ™‚

I found this old post of mine today and decided to share it again. I believe that my longing to find another girl who might be “like me” was what kept me hopeful as a child/teen. Knowing that there was a possibility that this girl might actually understand me and be able to enter into my world had a profound mystery about it. I grew up undiagnosed with ASD/Dyslexia and mild ADHD it was very lonely and confusing so I was ALWAYS looking for my Louise. I think in a way that search never really ended, I just grew into an acceptance of the social norm.

So this is my story…

Louise is exactly three months younger than me. My Mom and her Mom were best friends and our Dad’s are identical twins, both of our Dads have High Functioning Autism.

Thoughts through old photos

When I was growing up I very often caught my Mom upstairs looking through a box of old photos. There were SO many of me and Louise together as babies, toddlers. So many of my Mom with her best friend together smiling, laughing hugging one another and dancing. It was the kind of friendship I could only dream about.

My Uncle and Louise’s Mom *JK had a very messy break-up and Louise stayed with her Mom. It was so hard on my Uncle, with his lack of understanding, that my Nan and Grandad never talked about Louise again. I have never heard my uncle mention her once, it’s like she never existed.

I know most families have things they never talk about

BUT…As a child I really needed to talk about this and I wasn’t allowed to. Only when I was with my Mom and when we were alone upstairs in her bedroom.

I suppose knowing there was a girl out there that was probably just like me always kept me wondering. Every time I met someone called Louise I wondered if she might be my cousin. I remember being sat in a History lesson once and thinking, I wonder what Louise likes? I wonder if she can read good? I wonder if she has many friends? I wonder if she can draw? I wonder if she would like me? I wonder how tall she is? I didn’t like History much, the teacher was extremely boring…hehehe

When I was about 14 my Mom found out where *JK was living.

My Mom REALLY wanted to see *JK, she told me that she only ever had one best friend and she missed her, but she couldn’t go against the wishes of the family. She said to me, “I can’t keep secrets from the people I love.”

I REALLY thought that I would finally get to meet this cousin who I was so curious about. A message was sent to my Mom from a friend of a friend. This person said that Louise was not AT ALL like her younger siblings. She had brown hair and brown eyes and apparently was a lot like my younger brother, in many ways.

My Mom spoke with the family about what she wanted to do.

There was such upset going on in my Nan’s kitchen that Saturday night. It was decided and my Mom, as always, went along with what everyone else wanted. This is where I fail to understand the behaviour of my Dad’s family.

Yes, my Dad, uncle and my Nan, whom I loved dearly, all show/showed Autistic behaviour. But I can’t understand why they couldn’t see my Mom’s loneliness. She had lost her Mom and her Dad before she was even 30 years old. She was isolated on the other side of our City away from the rest of her family. She had three very demanding children who she gave everything for. She never went out because my Dad never socialised and didn’t like her to either. The only places she ever went were shopping and to Church, even then she got moaned at if she took too long.

I guess what I’m getting at is what is Autistic and what is selfish?

I really struggle to understand this, my Mom did her best to teach us how to put others before ourselves. I’m not always great at it, but I understand it. I saw her example. I have to think quite a lot about how to do this, it doesn’t come naturally for me with my Aspie wiring. I naturally think everyone thinks like me. I have to step out of this and really think it through. Praying it through is actually a lot easier than thinking it through. I’m more relaxed and I believe God helps me understand far quicker this way.

I’m not good with shallow relationships at all

I find them WAY TOO confusing. Those I am close to know who they are because I have regular contact with them. I get to know them because I love them, I think about their needs and pray for them every day.

I am very like my Dad in his Autistic ways but I chose to follow my Mom’s loving example of giving in whatever way I can. I don’t mean to sound harsh towards my Dad’s family. My Nan was one of my very favourite people, she totally loved me and she always accepted me. She was very misunderstood and I know she only ever did what she thought best for her family. This is why I still struggle to understand all this.

I still think about Louise regularly

I wonder if we would be friends as well as cousins? I wonder about her kids and what kind of Mom she is? I wonder if she knows about me? I wonder if she has Aspie ways? I wonder if her kids have ASD too?

What I do understand about all this!

I do believe that God in His loving wisdom used this upset in our family to help me to seek true friendship. I have looked all my life for those who are like me, or would accept me. As a child I thought that maybe Louise might help fill the gap. I know and I understand now, that no matter how hard I look, no matter how many wonderful friends I find, it will only ever be Jesus that can help me to feel whole. I believe that God used this in my life to keep me seeking, and as I write this post I understand that it is His will, His heart, His loving arms that I need to always be seeking.

Love and hugs everyone.

Lisa. xx ๐Ÿ™‚

It started with a fish.

It started with a fish.

I won a fish on the ‘hook a duck’ at the fun fair, I was 5 years old. My brother won one too, Mom put them both in one of those 1970’s over sized brandy glasses. We called our fishes, Tom and Jerry. For my 10th Birthday the present I wanted the most, I got.

My first Aquarium.

I kept cold water fishes and they gave me a place to stare, I found the movement of the water through the filtering system extremely calming, and I knew each of my fishes and how they responded. My aquarium was in my bedroom it acted as a night light and the soothing sound of filtering water helped me to drift off into sleep.

When I moved into my own flat at the age of 18, I still had this fish tank and I started my first tropical aquarium. I had been wanting to do this for years, but Mom and Dad would only let me have cold water fishes.

I started with easy to keep fish in a community tank, Guppies, Mollies, Zebra Danios, Neon tetras and some smaller variety of Gourami.

MY ONE BOOK

At this age I was fascinated by all the varieties

The different names and how to keep these beautiful creations alive. I learnt about water values and how to test for nitrates. I learnt how to control the temperature and which fishes would breed at higher water temperatures. I knew which fish were live bearers, egg layers, egg depositors. I became obsessed with everything that my ONE book taught me.

I can see now that if someone would have taken my passion for keeping fishes at the age of 10, and used it to help me read, to help me understand science, to look at the fishes anatomy, maybe research all the different plants that I could have grown in my aquarium. My educational experience could have been so very different and such a positive one.

Oh well…such is life!!

At the age of 26, I became homeless and I was very ill with depression. I was close to breakdown and having regular suicidal thoughts. My Mom had me back home and she gave me and my 2 year old *AJ her master bedroom. She bought me a new fish tank, a bigger one, and she told me to fill it with the most beautiful tropical fishes I could find.

Doing this helped me so much and I am so grateful for the wisdom that God gave my Mom. I would go out with my boy and we would find the most amazing Aquatic centres. They always had little cafes and we had a fabulous time looking at all the wonderful fishes.

When *AJ was 9 my Mom bought him his first aquarium

He was fascinated with testing the ph and nitrate levels he also memorised names, temperatures, origins and tank types. He would talk none stop about his aquarium and his teacher was fascinated at his knowledge. I got him so many books and he read every one of them. He loved his tank so much and then one night the thermostat over heated and boiled all the fish, we came down to an awful smell. All his beautiful tropical fish were white and floating on the top of the tank. My *AJ cried his eyes out, and refused to ever talk about it.

Here is a photo of him with his first aquarium, before the boiling obviously

In the cage next to the tank is “BOB” the Gerbil, we later changed his name to “Beelze-BOB”

That Gerbil was just plain evil.

*AJ, 9 years old, with his fishes

*AJ later went on to breeding mice,

He won shows at the national mouse association. I took advantage of his “SPECIAL INTEREST” he was obsessed with mice, so I used it to teach him in SO many ways. He had to clean them out and feed them every day and he had 57 at one point.

Over the years

Me and my kids have kept fish, mice, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks, quails, budgies, love birds, cockatiels, finches, cats, dogs, kakarikis, tree frogs and a snake.

We have quite a library of animal husbandry. I know that through animals I have not felt the loneliness in my life that some Aspies feel. My animals have been my friends, I have loved them and they have loved me back. They have given me friendship, companionship, many giggles….I had a Cockerel once called DUDE who would sit on my shoulder like a pirates parrot. A rabbit that came when it was called. My Kakariki loved being stroked and would call me to tell me he loved me. I had a cat called Fusspot who would regularly steal marsh mellows lick them and flick them up the wall. My dogs, cats and rabbits have given me a shoulder to cry on, and someone to talk to who is an exceptional listener, and never judgemental. My animals have brought me through tough times by being unique creations, they helped me to look to God and see Him in who they are and how they have been created.

My little *CAL looking at fish in an aquatic centre

NOTE: This post was written two years ago. I found it today to share with a lovely new friend that I “met” on facebook through Everyday Aspergers group. I have a lot of new followers that may not know about this part of my life and those who have been following me since the start of Alienhippy won’t mind reading this again.

I enjoyed reading this today, it helped me see just how far I have come.

Love and hugs. Lisa. xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Busy Being *CAL

Tomorrow is *CAL’s last day at school

Here in England this week the children are breaking up for the summer holidays and will return to school in September. *CAL will start secondary school and *AJ is going to be starting university. LOTS of change come September.

It suddenly dawned on me this week that I have been going backwards and forwards to our local primary school for the last 14 years. 14 years of waiting in the playground and even working in the playground for 4 of those years. Come September all this changes and I really haven’t got a clue how this will affect the Alienhippy household. I just thought I’d share some photos today of my little *CAL who is now 2 inches taller than me.

Love and hugs. xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Just me in my Aspie-oddness

As I walked home from the school this morning I realised just how Aspie-odd I am. In a good way of course, odd, eccentric and nutty are all good in my book. Every now and again I will walk past elderly ladies and I can smell my Nan. This is so lovely for me as I loved my Nanny so very much. The smell is a combination of Oil of Ulay moisturising cream, Bristow hairspray, Rimmel face power and a slight smell of my Grandad’s Embassy No 6 cigarette smoke. I find it so odd to smell that whole concoction on someone that looks absolutely nothing like my lovely Nanny. Also if just one thing is different it doesn’t smell like my Nan at all. It’s an exact mix of chemical smells that triggers off such happy safe feelings of comfort.

Nan with AJ and CAL

I have been feeling a mix of emotions over the last few weeks

I know God is growing me in the area of friendship. Which has taken me on quite a journey because my best friends were my Mom and my Nan. They were the people in my life who always loved me and accepted me as I am. I have always had to change for others, modify my behaviours and wear a mask to fit.

My last post was about my lovely Mom and what we experienced in the years running up to her death. It was a very healing post for me to write. If you missed it here is the link.

The Teddy Bearย Diploma.

It was just a few short months after my Mom died that my Nan got ill and suffered dimentia. She became like a 2 year old for about 3 weeks and then had an accident and died on her way to hospital.

My Nan was a very strong willed lady. She was Aspie I can see this, it is SO obvious now. She raised my Dad and his twin my Uncle What (as I have always called him) almost as a single Mother because my Grandad was in the army at first. He was very old fashioned with this sort of stuff also. I remember my Nan telling me that once the boys were 14 my Grandad said, “Right now it’s my turn to teach them a trade” and he did, they both became carpenters.

I’m not going to pretend and say this friendship stuff is easy

I know that with my past, friendship is one of the hardest things for me to understand. I can’t do surface friendship, I’m hopeless at chit-chat, I have to feel I have a connection.

I know the best way of me understanding all this is to listen to what God is telling me. I never really needed close friendships as a child because I had everything I needed in the relationships I had with my Mom and my Nan. So I never really learned how to be a friend or what was or wasn’t acceptable within friendship. But I do need friends now because I feel alone a lot of the time.

So, I’m going to be stuck in my Bible for a while.

The friendships that come to mind are.

Ruth and Naomi

Jonathon and David

Elijah and Elisha

And of course Jesus’ close friendships with Peter, John and James.

I have two ways of understanding

They both come down to family connection. Physical family connection and Spiritual family connection. I know God will guide me and I have close friendships with very beautiful, kind, loving and patient friends that God has brought into my life. I know it’s time for me to learn in God’s way and He has provided just what I need to find my way forward.

Here is a poem I wrote for my Nan, and a song we danced to together in her living room when I was a teen. I was avoiding a boyfriend who wouldn’t take the dumping. I hid out at my Nan’s for over two weeks because I couldn’t cope with his constant phone calls and I couldn’t be nasty to him. ๐Ÿ™‚

My Nan did love to dance…but that’s a whole different post.

Love and hugs. Lisa. xx ๐Ÿ™‚

My Nan

by Alienhippy

I was always welcome

Even when I just turned up

She would cook me bacon

Do a word search

And we’d have a cup of tea

Nan with me

She smelt of hairspray and Oil of Olay

With her face powder and lipstick

She never missed a trick

And even though

Others found her hard going

I always left knowing

She loved me

Nan and me

She never said it

But I knew

And as I grew into a women

I was still her special girl

Her pearl

Her first grand-daughter

Me at 12, Nan, Grandad & Great-Gran

I miss sitting in her chair

Playing with her hairpiece

Making apple pies

I miss her smiling eyes

And her knitting

Nan and me

I miss her asking

“Egg on one, beans on the other?”

Me and my Brother

Staying over after Bingo

I miss the dresses she would make

And the time that she would take

To show me

What was hard to do

Because she knew

I was special

My Nan

I miss my Nan

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One thing I LOVE about blogging

Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,

One thing I LOVE about blogging is being able to look back and remember. I have been reading through many of my old posts today and thanking God for the growth and changes I can see in me.

Blogging has helped me so much and it continues to help me daily. I love my slot in the day to read my favourite blogs and make contact with friends. I now have friends all around the world. Friends who get me, and wouldn’t want me to be any other way. That is just so amazing and something I never thought I would have.

I decided to repost this post of a time when I was feeling totally overwhelmed with all the building work that was being done on my home. I had cleared out my attic and had boxes filled with things that I hadn’t seen in years. This post has two poems in it that I wrote as a child. I have many new blog followers now that didn’t know the Alienhippy back in 2010.

SO…I thought this would be a nice change from my usual…open, honest, vulnerable and probably a little too intense at times loopy self…hehe

You know you all love me really. Right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Love and hugs. xx ๐Ÿ™‚

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Well today I had no intension of blogging what so ever.

I have been an emotional basket case all day, and had no inspiration at all.

I put off sorting my unopened boxes as long as I could.

Then enough was enough, I asked my friend to pray for me and it worked.

The first box I opened was a box that my lovely Mom had left for me.

In this box was a collection of my school things.

Some of my School reports, how they didn’t figure out I had difficulties I don’t know…lol

I also found reading my old note book highly entertaining

Amongst the scribbles and cartoons of Adolf Hitler as Head Teacher wearing a dress, Ken Dodd with his tickle stick and various teachers all doing very naughty things…..hehehe.

I didn’t say I was an angel, I’m only human… AND…I was a rather rebellious teen.

I HAD TO BE TO SURVIVE….I’M NOT JOKING.

Well anyway…I found this really funny chat that I had with my school friend Jeanette.

Where we had passed my note pad back and forth, writing really stupid things.

I giggled that much reading this I don’t know how I didn’t wet my knickers….lol

I would love to blog it, but it is far too rude………………….lmho

What I did find really funny even back then, I was so into writing poetry.

I finished this chat off by challenging my friend Jeanette, to write a poem about winter.

……………how VERY un-relatable Lisa…giggle

Where she answers, “Why? What on earth for? You know I can’t write poetry!”

Anyhow, here are a couple of poems I found that I wrote as a school girl.

This girl that goes to my school

Who took my friends away

She isn’t very nice

They’ll find that out one day

She bosses them about

And tells them what to do

She said she doesn’t like me

And she hates my boy friend too

When it was my Birthday

She broke up all my toys

And ’cause the teacher didn’t see

She blamed it on the boys

And one day in the playground

She kicked me in the knee

But what upsets me most of all

Is…my friends won’t play with me.

*****

And then this one…….

I must be a fool to go to school

When at home I can play all day

I only have to bang my head

And Mom says, “You can stay in bed.”

I only have to start to cough

Or maybe find a little spot.

Then down to the doctors we will go

“Keep her in bed for a week or so!”

Then when the week is up

And Mom is not quite sane

I wake up in the morning

And say, “I’ve got a pain!”

Mom says, “Where does it hurt?”

“In my belly”

“Go back to bed and watch the telly”

She doesn’t moan, she picks up the phone

She finds a teacher she can tell

MY SAMMY CAT

That I’m not feeling very well

Then gives me Disprol for my ache

She doesn’t know that I’m a fake.

I ALSO FOUND THIS OLD PHOTO OF MY BEST FRIEND AS A KID.

MY SAMMY CAT.

My 15 year old self (Repost)

Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,

I was reminded of a post I wrote back in October 2010. I wasn’t going to repost it but it just won’t leave my head. I wrote this post while having counselling. I was still processing my realisation of being an Aspie and how not knowing why I felt so different as a child had hurt me so badly.

I am only sharing this because usually when something is looping in my head there is a reason for it. Also it will keep looping unless I do share it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Love and hugs.

Lisa. xx ๐Ÿ™‚

Alienhippy age 15

This photo was taken at a family party when I was 15. I wanted to go home, no-one was speaking to me and I felt really alone. The music was NOT to my liking and was actually hurting my head. My brother took the photo, I was not aware he had taken it. He had a thing for photography.

I have decided to do something different today.

I was thinking about my Teen years and how hard they were. Trying to fit in with everyone else but constantly feeling like no-one liked me.

I learnt how to giggle when the other girls did, even if I didn’t know what I was giggling about. I learnt how to not be noticed. I also learnt that if I hung around with the bullies, I sort of had protection. I was their look out and a source of cigarette money.

At least I felt I belonged though…..to a degree!

School was a nightmare, I had stomach problems every Monday morning at the thought of another week there. I couldn’t read and that was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to taunt .

The subjects I was good at, I wasn’t allowed to take as my options. I had constant board rubbers and bits of chalk thrown at my head for daydreaming.

The only time I was happy at school was in my Art lessons, where I had a wonderful Teacher, who allowed me to be me. Shame I only got 2 hours of Art a week.

At the age of 11, I started to isolate myself in my bedroom. I was happy most of the time at home but my bedroom became my comfort zone. I spent far too long on my own, thinking back now. I had far too much time to think and obsess and hurt myself in many ways.

I couldn’t express how I felt and I couldn’t lose myself in a book, like my friend did. I spent a lot of time sewing and listening to music.

So…. I revisited 1985 in prayer today and tapped into my 15 year old self, and we wrote a poem.

My 15 year old self

by Alienhippy

I wish I knew just what goes on

In a neurotypical mind

‘Cause my mind goes at sonic speed

But answers I seldom find

To all my many questions

They seem to bother me

And…all the different social rules

I never seem to see

The faces they all seem to change

A smile can be confusing

When I smile back I get a glare

It’s only ‘ME’ they’re abusing

Look at the floor that way I’m safe

From all the angry eyes

I miss so much by trying to hide

But at least it stops my cries

The pain is brief, I’m given relief

Isolation takes it’s hold

Sat in my room all alone

Feeling safe but growing cold

It’s so easy to take me apart!

wonderfullywired.wordpress.com

Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,

Wonderfully Wired is what I’m learning to see

My wonderful friend Fi helps me so much with this. How? It’s so very simple really….she loves and accepts me for me! She accepts my quirky ways and doesn’t put unrealistic expectations on our friendship. She also prays for me and my family. This is something I have never had in a friendship before, but it is something I have always prayed for.

In my last post I said I’d been inspired by one of the photos Fi had sent to me. So I’m going to share some thoughts I had about it.

Let’s talk about an Autistic trait of mine…

Analysis

Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle (384โ€“322 B.C.), though analysis as a formal concept is a relatively recent development.

The word is a transcription of the ancient Greek แผ€ฮฝฮฌฮปฯ…ฯƒฮนฯ‚

(analusis, “a breaking up”, from ana- “up, throughout” and lysis “a loosening”)

Taken from Wikipedia

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Taking things apart is something a lot of ASD kids do

Not just kids though adults do it as well, I really enjoy taking things apart it’s like an adventure into another world. It’s a time of discovery and learning in my own way and in my own time. Not too long ago I took an old computer apart, just for fun, and collected all the pieces that I know I can use in a sculpture one day, when I get the time that is…. ๐Ÿ™‚

When I’m taking something apart I can see how it all works. I can imagine rebuilding it in new ways. My brain just comes alive and I don’t notice anything else around me. Or anybody actually…I get lost in there, in the WHOLE process of it. AND….it’s so very lovely. ๐Ÿ™‚

Putting things together is different

Why?

Instructions…expectations…a feeling of failure and disappointment.

Confusion, complications and always someone telling you you’re doing it all wrong.

I do love solving puzzles though, I just like to do it on my own with no help at all, away from everyone.

Having someone around “hovering” while I am building/making/solving something is very distracting. I have my own way of doing things, but because of how people have been in my past, I’m used to feeling like I do things wrong all the time. So having someone watching me build something (like a flatpack) while trying to follow instructions, actually throws my brain into meltdown mode.

I can keep this in for quite a while now, but as a kid the model, puzzle or board game would get kicked into the air or thrown across the room. I would then stamp off in a vile mood to a safe place, this made me feel guilty and wrong. I would then get REALLY told off for having a “temper tantrum” Yes…that’s what happens unfortunately when you are high functioning or undiagnosed. People have expectations of how you should be, because who you really are is unseen.

The invisible disability…“The invisible people”

Your intelligence in other things is noticed but your behaviour with so called simple things is unrecognised as a difficulty. This caused me a lot of confusion as a child. I felt so clever with some things and so stupid with others.

As a child I had no control over my reactions, my body acted in a way to protect me. I learned as I got older but I also learned to internalise TOO MUCH! I became far too quiet. Even the things I was good at, the things I had gifts with were no-longer enjoyable, I felt I did everything wrong.

Creating is different

With creativity it’s like building something while taking it apart. It gives me both! I see something being built/made/created but also feel the adventure of seeking and discovering. There are no rules in creativity, no instructions, no right or wrong way of doing (or there shouldn’t be)

School changes this, they place rules on the arts, they tech techniques and place expectations. I was always very good at art at school, but on my bad days I couldn’t meet the goals of my teachers.

Lisa is a quiet child with a lot of talent, she is naturally gifted in art, however she needs to try harder. She tends to drift off into daydreams and not finish the work set for her.

(one of my teachers)

I love this quote by Pablo Picasso

โ€œEvery child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.โ€

It’s so easy to take me apart!

With God’s love I am learning to put me back together.

God’s creativity flows through everything and also through everyone who lets Him in. I’m learning to use my Wonderfully Wired mind to see through my Aspie eyes. True creativity comes NOT from learning techniques and reading from books but from within, from who we are created to be. Creativity and expression are a scary thing to share, but it is also very healing when we do. I have always naturally wanted to learn about the things I love doing, the things I am interested in. My Aspie mind needs to feed on information, when I am interested in something it’s all I can think about.

Fi’s Blog title is…

Wonderfully Wired “Created to be remarkableโ€ฆ”

Created to be remarkable…I see this in my kids and Fi sees it in her kids.

“Different, but not less.” Those of us with spectrummy kids all see this and want everyone else to see it too! It’s not easy being a Mom to kids on the spectrum, not for NT or Aspie Moms. Our kids are unique and wonderful creations. They are blessings from God that we feel a need to protect. We see their quirkiness and we love it. The world however….well, let’s not go there!

As parents to kids with quirks we see its affect every day!

We already know how some people mock that which they are ignorant about, that which they refuse to try to understand.

Bringing awareness to the needs of those on the Spectrum is so very important.

Without people sharing what it’s like there will always be people who tear Aspies/Auties apart.

There will always be the bullies, the manipulators and the abusers. But through sharing our journeys we are building a path for others to walk on. We are making a safe place for others to share. We are telling our stories in the hope that things will change.

I love blogging….. WHY?

Because God has given me a way of taking me apart and building me back up, in a group of loving and accepting friends. In a little community I like to call Bloggyland.

“A place where I can be me!”

Love and hugs friends.

Lisa. xx ๐Ÿ™‚

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (The Message)

So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind.

I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.