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    Posted December 2, 2013 by
    New Jersey
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The written word: Your personal essays

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    A Softer, Gentler Christmas


    A Softer, Gentler Christmas


    Dear Friends,


    It has been twelve months since Jumba died and nine months since the Court forced us to give up Imani.


    There was no Victory Update. To all of you, so many of you, who comforted us and donated to help us pay lawyer bills, I thank you with love and a gratitude I cannot even express.


    Here's the link to our story on Causes


    We left Oakridge, New Jersey


    We moved, I hope, to a kinder town in another county.


    We have more land - almost an acre - and we have spent the time rebuilding our lives.


    Working so hard, feeling so right, loving two dogs so much ... it was heartbreaking when we lost both of them. We lost faith in the justice system. We lost faith in lawyers. We lost faith in ourselves.


    My Mom passed in June. She was 86 and she died after a long fight with heart failure.


    I still have my Dad. His strength of character is my inspiration.


    Gary took the loss of the dogs very hard ...


    I poured my grief and anger into work.


    Arthur will graduate school this year when he turns 21 in May. As parents of an autistic child, graduation is a frightening thing.


    Will we be able to provide a life of joy and satisfaction for this man child who will never be able to work at a "real life" job, or even function without assistance ?


    It's been nine months of learning about guardianship, special needs trusts and about forming a plan for a positive future.


    I've started blogging again - sharing our love of cooking, and of our commitment to finding the best of everything at the best price - dogs, food, wine, luxury and clothing especially cashmere.Image


    Cooking is part of our plan for Arthur's future too - it's a skill, an accomplishment and a way to provide satisfaction for all of us.


    We're thinking about getting dogs again. It's almost time. We're allowed by the Court. We have lots of space now...and you can see from our video

  we are great dog trainers. We learned some rules -


    train your big puppy from the beginning to develop the habits you want him to have as a grown up big dog - no sleeping on the bed, or the couch, no jumping on anyone ever
    it's never too early to teach your big puppy the basic commands - sit, fuss and especially stay
    Committing to loving and owning a big dog means living in a space that gives that dog the space he needs to exercise easily, is stress free and safe from distractions


    I am writing to you all today because I promised you we would start a 501(C) (3) charity to help other families who find themselves in similar circumstances - and we did.


    Last Christmas, we spent the season camping out at the Jefferson Township Shelter.


    This Christmas we want to give back.


    Our friends at The Cashmere Farms are bringing 500 of the certified best quality cashmere sweaters in the world to America in time for Christmas. And they are donating $50 for EVERY sweater sold to help us get our charity off the ground.


    Here the link to the website


    Love, Peace, Happy Holiday, Thank You Causes - do good.


    Susan, Gary and Arthur Kolb

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