“Things Began to Fall into Place”
As a single father of a sweet and beautiful little girl, I have had more than just a few challenges, but nothing we couldn’t manage.
Then she became a teenager. And she became a stranger. Nothing like the girl I knew and raised.
Where did I go wrong?
School, home and our personal relationship began to deteriorate. I was at a point where I no longer knew which way to turn. I was lost, concerned for my child and saddened by the feeling of our once close relationship, slipping away.
Kerry & Kent Jossie at the Skylight Respite Ranch were not only my first thought for a solution, but my only hope. I didn’t know what else to do. I had known them both previously, and had the opportunity to speak with their wonderful children.
I had the unique fortune, one fall afternoon, early in the planning stages of the ranch, to be given a personal tour of the property. I drove my Jeep along trails, leading us through open meadows, narrow paths, and quiet hollows that I quickly learned would one day be a Christmas tree farm and activity area. Kent narrated the tour, as we slowly strolled our way through sprawling fields, and winding trails, skirting the property. Kent’s wife Kerry walked with the children, at times arm in arm, and others, simply pointing out the autumnal beauty that surrounded us. We made a great big squiggly loop that must have encompassed at least a few miles, and came right back to almost where we started from.
Kent & Kerry then began to really share with me the heart of their vision and dream. It quickly became clear to me that this was not just a property, and these were not just two people with a goal. This was to be a place of refuge. A sanctuary. And as I listened to Kent delineate this dream with emotion and passion, I knew that this was a venture that was as inspired as it was was well planned and thought out.
This experience, along with my many discussion with both Kent, Kerry and at times their children, gave me the sureness and reasoning that provoked my immediate call to them for assistance.
There was not so much as a hesitation when I called. Kerry made plans to pick her up the next morning. I was scared, heartbroken, and wanted nothing more than to have my daughter back in my arms. What was one of the hardest moments in my life, I watched her, sitting, head down and depressed, as they drove away.
Ever the consummate professional, I was informed of every moment of her stay. Kerry was attentive, diligent, and caring. In addition, Kerry was able to counsel me and help me understand how and why my daughter felt and acted the way she did.
As the week wore on, I felt a shift. My daughter was also gently being taught and counselled.
I felt so relieved. Things began to fall into place. Things began to make sense. It did not happen magically, but it DID happen with a great deal of grace and care.
Before the week was up, my daughter wrote me a letter. In that letter were commentary and expression that I had not heard from my 14 year old baby girl before. I could feel the change, and it made a giant impression upon me. She came home the next day, however, she not only came home, but she came home with a plan. Even bigger and more amazing to me, was that they had also illustrated, and designed a plan for ME! A way to cope and helpful tools to help me interact with a child, MY CHILD, who had changed so much that I barely knew her.
Slowly over the next two weeks, we began to forge a new relationship. A better understanding.
Not a restoration of what we were, but a reparation of old ways, and a relationship between daddy and daughter that was built upon a stronger foundation.
Since this passage of events, we have kept an ongoing dialogue and friendship with the Jossie family and the ranch. As I have said, it is more than just a place. You feel the warmth, love and genuine concern when you are there. These folks do it because it is not only a passion, it is their gift. I am with all confidence proud to boldly proclaim that it is indeed a talent. I cannot thank the entire Jossie family enough for all they have done for myself and my daughter.
We still struggle, and that’s ok, because I now have the support and knowledge I have been given by this wonderful couple, and exceptional family.