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Donna Flood
Finding Heart
Uncle Dennis Homer Flynn Jones and Rhonda

Uncle Dennis and RhondaUncle Dennis was a man who was either completely hated or dearly loved. There was no in between for him. I loved him. All the hard times we went through with Rhonda's Cerebral Palsy saw him by my side, not for days, or months but for years. We walked through every zoo, every museum, down town shops, through Rhonda's therapy. The entertainment was supposed to be for her, but in actuality it was really for me. He kept my mind away from despair. His steady way kept me from sorrow. I believe this kept my marriage together because I wasn't overcome with grief. So many of the families who had to deal with a handicap were around us and in therapy too with their children. Eventually some were divorced. This only added to and compounded the problem for the child.

Uncle Dennis had been a gentleman all his life. He was accustomed to having his own time. This gave him, and me, the advantage of being able to govern our own pursuits. He chose to spend this time with Rhonda and I, and he did just that. We saw the sites, art museums, and zoo over and over in Oklahoma City, the little town of Norman, Oklahoma and later Dallas, Texas. There was never a running out of things to do in Dallas. Gradually as he aged and wanted to spend time with his daughter I didn't miss him so much because I had already been tutored in his lifestyle. This is when I began my studies more seriously with art. Through this avenue the city of Dallas was opened up to me and he gave me the background to love that way of life. Learning to sacrifice one's desire for material things in order to go toward a goal was planted in my heart. Some may call this a Bohemian lifestyle. If it was I was never aware of it as such. Once one becomes involved with the world of art, loneliness and sorrow is like a raging wolf who is held in the darkness and at bay by the light and beauty of that new world. Uncle Dennis brought me to this house of dawn and for what more can one ask.

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