March / April 2016
By Alvah Cass
As I reflect on Jerred’s journey, I still have wonderful memories of the first time he rolled over, crawled, stood up, took his first step, and started talking. Each of these experiences gave Darlene and I both pleasure and some reassurance that we were doing a good job as parents. Schooling was always a challenge – fighting for every opportunity for Jerred to get the best chance to learn and succeed. Jerred worked diligently as he went through elementary and high-school. I remember how proud we were when he graduated high school. But he did not stop there; he went on to finish a special two-year program at Houston Community College.
Jerred loved Boy Scouts, and what a great opportunity to interact with peers. He was very much accepted by his troop, some of whom are still his friends. He earned his Eagle Scout.
Special Olympics has provided many memorable moments. Jerred has competed since he was seven years old and still competes with the Space Center Rockets, a local adult team. Jerred and I competed as Unified Partners in power lifting and were undefeated State Champions for several years running until Jerred ‘retired’ from the sport. He and I still compete as Unified Partners in golf and he and his mother compete in bowling. Our time together practicing and competing are precious beyond words. Apart from Special Olympics, Jerred studies martial arts and has earned his black belt.
Jerred has a deep love of music, especially the sixties and seventies, with a collection of nearly 500 CDs. He has studied guitar for a number of years and practices hours on end.
Jerred has a tremendous faith in God. What a better place our world would be if everyone had the faith he has and lived their faith the way Jerred lives his. Jerred works at Gloria Dei Lutheran. Gloria Dei is his home away from home and his family away from home. He recently received a promotion and a raise and took Mom and Dad out for dinner to celebrate.
Beyond the accomplishments, beyond the love Jerred has for us and we for him, I think the loving relationship he shares with his four year old niece warms my heart the most and demonstrates just how ‘special’ Jerred really is!