Daybreak delivers pure joy for Holly Lumpkins, 42.
The sweet-spirited woman — contending with a traumatic brain injury — is exultant and cloudless at her aunt and uncle, Deloris and John Bentley’s Greenup home.
She plays, dreams, and is engaged with her committed and compassionate auntie’s aid.
But, as the hot day wears on, Holly tires out. It’s hard for the Bentleys, who brought the woman to live with them in June 2009. Back then she was confined to a wheelchair, couldn’t speak clearly, or convey her many emotional and physical requirements. She thinks she’s 15 — the last time she remembers living with her parents in Winchester.
Emotionally she’s just 4-years-old. Her taxing condition calls for precisely timed medications to avert seizures.
Evening arrives. Holly’s drained and her mind drifts to her old house in Winchester. She won’t believe her mother passed away. She tries to run away, back to central Kentucky to a place that no longer exists. It’s difficult for Mrs. Bentley to deal with.
“Keeping her in the house and yard and off the streets is my biggest challenge. She wants to walk ‘home’ to her house. There’s a fixation about her mom, something she doesn’t want to accept, just as any child would find it difficult to accept such a loss. She wants to live in a fantasy world.
“We’re grandparents who became parents again at age 60. Now, at 63, I find myself continually busy 24-7, watching a child, or monitoring her at night to ensure her safety.”
A new non-profit center here will make life simpler for the Bentleys and Holly.
With an open house on tap for Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m., Emmaus Respite and Resource Center will grant a hand to area families looking for physical, emotional and spiritual backing for family members with disabilities, said its founder Gary Sizemore.
“We believe all people matter to God, regardless of their abilities. Therefore, the people we support are empowered to live the highest quality of life possible, which not only benefits them, but it also benefits our communities and society as a whole.”
The historic 314 Main Street gathering place — once a drugstore and recently a café — will share faith-based guidance, activities, and respite care on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Daily pursuits include a Bible devotional; arts and crafts; music; computer skills; exercise, utilizing Wii games; life skills; and community volunteering.
The Greenup business creator plans to involve Emmaus partakers at local libraries with book-sorting, and through Helping Hands, folding and organizing laundry.
Its lounge area is arty and creative. Bean bag chairs filter tunes through imbedded speakers, heightening sensory satisfaction. New friends munch on a snack. Chalkboard paint covers the gallery walls. Personal imagination and drawing is encouraged here; no worries of a mess.
There’s an endless roll of newsprint paper welcoming fine art — later to be auctioned off as a fundraiser.
“I know they will create some beautiful works,” smiled Sizemore, a father of two little girls, tears breaking through. Miss Holly recently sketched the Greenup County courthouse from across the avenue.
At age 21, special needs families face the end of entitled school educational services. Adults and children land back home with few hobbies, pastimes, or an occupation to keep them busy and engaged with life. The Emmaus program will teach daily living skills to reach needed independence — with goals from gaining personal hygiene to interacting in a public place with friends, Sizemore said.
A May graduate of Fairview High School, Shelby Thompson needed learning opportunities — plus the pleasures of living. Nevertheless, at 21, his lack of fine motor skills and mental capacities make it nearly impossible to enter the workforce or head off to college. Yet, he must be occupied with peers and enrich his life.
His mother, Tina Thompson, 57, and sister, Abbie Thompson, 17, searched out various approaches to challenge him. Sizemore started Emmaus with this young man in mind.
“Shelby is my inspiration. He was out of school and I wondered what would happen to him. I knew we had to do something to help him stay active,” explained Sizemore, who started Jesus Prom at Bridges Community Church in Russell. The special night gives the local special needs community a chance to dine and dance the night away, dressed up in formal finest.
“I have such a deep desire to work with and support this population of people. Somehow I know this is what my wife, Jennifer, and I are supposed to do.”
The name of the center is God-given, too.
After Jesus’ death, two disciples ambled through the village of Emmaus, bleak and discouraged. Jesus returned to walk with them — but they didn’t know it was Him. After feasting with this man, they finally recognized their Jesus. Faith restored.
Sizemore is on the same stroll with the Lord. After discussing the program idea with Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Bentley, Sizemore feels God reached in. Thankfully the Bentleys owned a building, and quickly made it available. Wanting to give, the two local women joined forces as board members.
“God opened doors for us. Very few were shut. So we know we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be,” Sizemore said.
Bentley sees Emmaus as a means to help Holly receive nurturing formal training she may personally reinforce at home — alongside new pals she can relate to, in a Christian setting. She’s thankful for Sizemore’s direction and dedication to his ministry. He’s also a special needs Sunday school teacher at Bridges.
“Gary has a true calling for serving special needs individuals in our community and I feel very comfortable being able to finally ‘let go’ of our niece to attend a facility where she can be with others during the day and mature as an individual,” she said. “For many of us parents, it’s very difficult to let go of our children; Emmaus Respite Care and Resource Center is a place where we feel safe for our children to attend.”
Take a break
Sizemore urges the need for caregivers to take short breathers — go grocery shopping, run errands, or just rest alone. He said respite care reduces the chances disabled relatives require out-of-home placement. It decreases stress, fosters emotional well-being, and reduces the overwhelming feeling of isolation from society for parents. This long-awaited lull refreshes them and betters the inner-workings of the sometimes struggling household, he said.
Bentley will use these hours to take care of personal obligations, go see the doctor, or visit with her children and grandchildren. She longs for these “one-on-one” moments.
With special attention, Emmaus workers and volunteers focus on the participants’ strengths, abilities, and interests, while also boosting quality of life for family members and caregivers. The cost is anywhere from $15-60 daily, Sizemore said.
Emmaus Respite and Resource Center hopes to supplement its needs by donation. There’s a silent auction planned at the open house. Of course, community help is needed. Give time, fund raise, or donate.
To learn more, call (606) 547-1140 or email email@example.com
Daybreak delivers pure joy for Holly Lumpkins, 42.
- Local News
Greenup County American Legion Post 43 facing charges
Rail City Railroad Days coming in June
Rail City Railroad Days will chug into Russell on June 7 and 8.
Several thefts reported to APD
The following information was taken from Ashland Police Department reports:
Former Carter court baliff indicted
A Carter County grand jury handed down 10 indictments on April 26, including a former court bailiff.
Ashland's 2013-14 budget
Before Ashland City Manager Steve Corbitt retires this year, he will guide elected officials through the process of creating the city’s 2013-14 budget.
Plans take wing
Local students have done their part to bring some winged and human visitors to town.
Grayson wet-dry vote set
June 11 promises to be a historic day for residents of Grayson.
Greenbo scuba to open in July
A soft opening of Greenbo Lake State Resort Park’s new scuba diving area will take place late next month, with an official opening date in July.
It's a scream
It’s not too early to hit the rides at Camden Park.
Autism program is reason for graduate’s progress
The old clipping from 2001 is somewhere ... tucked into a drawer, in a stack on top of the cabinet or boxed up in the back of the closet.
- More Local News Headlines
- Greenup County American Legion Post 43 facing charges