Today is Alex’s birthday.  He is 29 years old.  I don’t know if I can tell you all that is in my heart about this young man.   He was always different from his brothers. They both had a darker coloring like me and Don…Alex was blond, blue eyes, and very fair skin. 

 He’s always thought and acted on a different level.  His spirit is that of a gentle soul.  He has an amazing tenderness, but he also is strong and brave.   Adam and Ian both got their fair share of spankings, but a spanking wounded Alex’s spirit…that was not the way to discipline him.  He had to write me a full page report on the subject at hand.  Oh, how he didn’t want to do that!

 Cousins at play…NC…….1985


We became aware of his disease when he was in the 8th grade, and it changed the life of our whole family.  Instead of going off to college, with fraternities, and studies, and girlfriends…he went to doctors, and doctors and more doctors.  Instead of choosing a major and making career plans….he was trying medicine and therapies to help him deal with pain.  Instead of walking in graduation and receiving his diploma and degree…..he was trying out wheelchairs and walking canes to help him stay mobile.

He is blessed to have 2 brothers who love him and are always there for him to lean on.  He has a SIL who loves him also. He has cousins who would do anything for him.  He has aunts and uncles who help us search for doctors.  He has a Dad who has provided him with a beautiful apartment in our home.  Here he has complete privacy and we are near to help if need be.  His grandparents have always spent hours in prayer for him and have been a source of strength.  Many of our friends are available for him at a moment’s notice.

Even though he is in such terrific pain all the time, he reaches down deep and summons the strength to get out and be with those he loves.

He shows us all the meaning of bravery, and is an inspiration to any one who knows him.  And…he has a new best friend!

As his mother, my heart breaks every day.  I see him suffering and I want to do something…anything.  But,  we have been to doctors all over the country.  We are continually searching for someone who knows enough about his disease to offer him some help.  We are confident that God will lead us to that person, if that is His will for Alex.  And, if it’s not, then we will continue depending on Him for strength each day.  We will praise Him for all that He has blessed us with.   Look at how He blessed us in the middle of the pain and helplessness.  He led us to a doctor who fixed so much of his vision.  This was just dropped in our lap…we weren’t searching for it or seeking help for his vision.  But, God knew…and in His time, He gave Alex his vision back, by working through his brother, Ian.  And, the biggest bonus…Adam is seeing much, much better also.  What a reminder that He is watching all the time, and He knows what we need.  I thank Him for sending Alex to our family.  He has taught us all such lessons, and he fill our life with joy.  Happy, Happy Birthday!




  1. Happy birthday Alex!! I'm inspired today by his strength, and your love for him. Praying a prayer of blessing over him today.

  2. Happy Birthday Alex! The pictures are all so precious. I will pray for him and his health.
    As a parent I know how your heart must ache with every pain he feels. Our daugher is also 29 and suffers from OCD & BDD. My heart is always heavy with her suffering. I know that she doesn't suffer like Alex but to her it is very painful in other ways. I pray that the next miracle will come his way so he can live without the pain. The support he has from his family is the biggest blessing for him along with his faith in God. ((HUGS))

  3. Happy Birthday Alex! What a testament to joy in suffering. Love the picture of Finn asleep in Alex's lap!

  4. What a beautiful and heart-wrenching post. I can't even put into words how I felt after reading it. Praying for strength for both of you! Happy Birthday, Alex!

  5. Happy Birthday Alex!

  6. What a beautiful and touching tribute to your precious Alex, Tonja. May his day be as beautiful as his sweet smile, and may God grant him an abundance of Miracles and Grace in the coming year. Happy birthday, Alex!

  7. Happy Birthday Alex!

    Very sweet post Tonja.


  8. Renee Woodham Thank you for sharing …you know your whole family has been a Blessing to mine sooo many times and I love you all dearly!

    .Kevin Cobb Happy Birthday to Alex!!

    .Martha J Patterson a sweet letter from a Mother's heart! When our children hurt, we hurt also. I have a son, Tom, battling cancer. It is always a family affair when one member hurts..we all hurt. Happy Birthday to Alex! And to all of you..have a blessed day!

  9. .Anne Jenkins Atkinson Happy Birthday Alex!!!!!

    Janice Kelley Happy Birthday Alex!!! Tonja, you continue to inspire me! God is in control and though each of us have our trials we must continue to trust Him! I have been and will continue to keep you all in my prayers!!! Surely God will bring forth j…ust the right specialist to help relieve Alex's pain and suffering…the waiting is what is so hard!
    God Bless You for being such a loving and caring person and mother!
    And thank you for such a fabulous job at the Youth

    Linda Bush Mills Happy Birthday Alex! Tonja,thank you for sharing from a Mother's heart. God knew exactly what He was doing when he chose you to be Alex's Mother. Oh what a blessing you are to so many!

  10. .Libby Elmore Mcdougald Happy Birthday to one good looking young man!!!
    Billy Joe Rich Thank You Tonja. What a blessing you and Alex have been in my life. We must hold to the promise that when we are weak our God is strong. He has been and will continue to carry you through. Love to all.

    .Rhonda Grandstaff Wow! That was awesome. I so glad Alex has you as his mother. Tell him I hope he has a wonderful birthday!

    .Monty Clark Hope Alex had a wondeful day on his birthday! he and you are such an inspiration to so many! Love you.


  11. I thought I'd posted once already===anyway, I hope you had a Happy, Happy Day, Alex!!

    Since I'm late to the party, tell your Musical Mama to give you a SLUR on into the weekend—let the festivities continue on, and even more CAKE would be in order.

    I can just FEEL the love in your Mom's posts, from so far away, and it glows across all of us.



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