Antonio Edward Adams Prokup
On July 30, 1995, I, Antonio Edward Adams Prokup was born. I weighed 7 pounds, 4 oz and was 20 and 1/4 inches long. I was a very sick baby and was flown to Columbia from Moberly, and put in the IC unit for babies. I have seen pictures of me with tubes helping me to breathe and nourishing me. I stayed in the hospital for ten days. Each day my mamma, grandma, and sister came to see me. My dad was working and came every night. I have, of course, no memory of this event, but this ten day period probably changed my destiny. The name Antonio was someoneís name in my motherís family. Edward is my fatherís biological grandfatherís first name and his step grandfatherís middle name. Adams is my motherís maiden name and my grandfather was called Adams by my grandmother. So I have several different reasons to be proud of my name, which I am. But mostly I am proud of the fact that such thought went into the choosing. I will always try to live up to the qualities of each of these men knowing that that my name represents amazing characters of 5 incredible men.Destiny is determined by God, so my life has been determined and what I do with it affects many other lives. My father Jamie Prokup has had to work very long hours as a pharmacist at his pharmacy in Laplata. He is responsible for every material thing I have and need. He is a wonderful provider. He also has learned to be patient and accepting toward me, which has been amazing for me. Dominica, my sister, is truly blessed. She has shown me and others around her that to love is to love unconditionally. She exhibits faith, honesty, loyalty and compassion. My mother gives everything to me but especially her time. This sacrifice is appreciated more than sheíll ever know. My family has always been there for me guiding me through my destiny.What did God have in mind when he decided that my life was to be different than the normal? Did he want to use me to benefit otherís lives? Did he want me to be an educator? Did he want me to lead the way for others less fortunate? I question this every day, as Iím sure my parents do. Finally, I have come to the conclusion that I am just to live my life as normally as possible and if Iím lucky either by example or hopefully someday with my writings, I will have helped others. My destiny.There are things that are destiny and things completely in our control. What is in your control may not be within my control. I struggle each day trying to control my actions and act appropriately, but sadly I am not always able. I remember the time I was about 5 years old and I acted uncontrollably which led to a major accident. My sister had just had her 7thbirthday party and I along with everyone else had gone to the pond. I had enjoyed that so much that the next day I headed for the pond without my motherís knowledge and bolted in the middle of our cattle herd. The new motherís panicked and charged at me. I can still remember watching the cow run at me and feeling helpless. As I was flying in the air I heard my mother scream. I have never told her this before, but I was never so grateful to hear her voice than on that day. Just like the time in Green Bay when I was lost for an hour. I had wandered off uncontrollably. I knew I didnít know where I was going, but I couldnít make myself stop. After crossing busy streets I finally sat on someoneís swing and waited and then I heard my dadís voice. I had been so scared but couldnít help myself. So, controlling my own actions has been hard and sometimes terrifying.I think destiny sometimes is misunderstood and we use it as an explanation to why we behave the way we do. I donít ever want to feel this way. I want to be able to rise above which gladly I can say on occasion I have done. Recently I was honored to have an article published in the School and Community magazine about my life at Bevier Public School. I will always be grateful to Mrs. Murphy for giving me the opportunity and encouragement.Encouragement, time, and patience by others are necessary for me to succeed. I am blessed to have these types of people around me. I have been allowed to follow my dreams such as swimming, academic bowl, being an author, attending regular classes at school and finally my most recent goal is to paint something really cool all by myself.When I am swimming I love the way my body feels in the water. I have complete control and am able to swim really well. This activity is very good for me and allows me to act more appropriately than I do in other situations. I love to swim and play with others in the pool. They actually interact with me and me with them. I can swim under water like a fish. It is a wonderful feeling to be under the water. Under the water I am not different, I am perfect. Academic bowl is the only extracurricular activity I do in school. I love these types of games like Jeopardy, because I love to challenge my memory. I love to learn new things and I retain information easily so this is a good avenue for me. Sadly, though, last year I was unable to compete. I had just started my sensory diet and everything was so magnified that I couldnít make myself enter the games. I hope this year I can contribute something to the team. We are really good. This year I am taking an art class. My mother had decided a long time ago that I wasnít taking art because I was unable to do it and she was tired of doing it for me. This year we both have grown. She is a better modifier and I am a better artist. This means that I have better control over my fine motor skills than I used to and she is able to come up with wonderful modifications that allow me to experience the art world. I canít wait to create a painting of my very own.Being in regular classes in a public school is something Iím sure no one anticipated. My behavior throughout my years in public school would give anyone reason to believe I should have been in an institution or at the very least a self -contained special ed. classroom. I fear that might have happened if I had not been born to Janet Marlene Adams Prokup. Her knowledge of the field and down- right determination has brought me to the point where I am today. She often says that God has guided her into making her decisions about me, but I think she is wrong. I think she just has a wonderful sense of the human nature and always, always sees the best in people and especially me. She will not allow me to fail.Failure is a scary thought and unfortunately I live with that feeling all the time. I just watched my cousin Jean play what Iím sure he would say was a horrible baseball game in which he was a failure. In my world he was a hero. He walked out on that field each inning and knew that the balls would be coming to him and still he walked out there. I canít make myself do something I fear. I run, bolt and sometimes fall down in a fetal position to get away from my fear. I donít have what it takes to say itís ok just keep moving. But someday I hope to be able to walk into to any room under any circumstance and hold my head high. I think that failure is a prerequisite to success. If we did not fail at anything, our successes would mean very little and unfortunately we would be unhappy people. Have you ever notice how very wealthy people tend to be depressed, alcoholics, drug users or just plain unhappy? My mother always says that sweating is satisfying. I think what she means is physically working for a goal and reaching it feels greater than just reaching the goal. I know when I finally am able to speak; she and I will be satisfied because of all the effort we both put in to making it happen.I sometimes feel Iím being judged unfairly because I am unable to speak to people verbally. I donít like people to judge others and thatís what most people do to me. I remember once I was at a basketball game in Marceline with my mom. The game was over and we were going to leave. I was depending on my mom to guide me through the people down the bleachers and she let go thinking I was in control. I then bolted down the bleachers and hit some lady in the head. She was furious and yelled at my mom. Even after my mom apologized, the lady was still upset. I remember that my mom cried all the way home not because she was mad at me but because she was mad at the unthoughtfulness of the lady. So, if I really hate anything about people it would be their lack of sensitivity, and compassion toward all human beings.Generally, I believe that all people have good hearts and usually are kind to others. I see examples of this all around me but mostly from my family. I have a very large extended family and most of them live near me. We are constantly celebrating something, not just the usual holidays. My favorite gathering with my family is one we call ďpicnic in the woodsĒ. In 1979, my great grandfather Grazeo Chiarottino was cutting wood in a field near his home. He had recently come out of retirement because his son had become paralyzed after a horrible accident. Being in his seventies, made cutting wood an exhausting chore. After he did not show up for supper my grandma became concerned and sent her new daughter-in-law to check on him. She found him dead lying in the bed of his truck. He died from an aneurism.Since that day, September 19, we have gathered at the place of his death to celebrate his life. And I absolutely love this place in the woods. There is a little clearing between trees that we park a hay wagon and load it with carried-in food. Everyone has their blankets and lawn chairs and Uncle Junior has hauled some picnic tables to the site. After eating, some play cards or visit but I like to play in the creek. This is the day that I usually come home filthy. I sit in the creek watching the other kids build fires and play in the water. Mostly I just love to look at my surroundings and think about how it must have been for my grandpa to farm such a beautiful place. Then itís time for our annual walk around the area. There are two tombstones under a grove of trees. It is too hard to see the dates but it is believed to be in the 1800ís. Then on to our family dump. I know that sounds awful but I love the memories that linger there. Old bicycles, bottles, refrigerators and my favorite, Uncle Mikeís car, are sitting there. It feels like they tell a beautiful story every year we walk through. I love listening to the memories that surround me about each item we see. These old junk items are not junk to my family. They bring happiness and serene comfort. They also unite them again as if they were still young and living with those items again.Material items can be treasured by some and discarded by others depending on the memories attached to them. I have a treasured item which some would say it is worth very little. My treasured item is the collection of books my Aunt Brie made for me when I was younger. For each birthday Aunt Brie, my momís sister, Jeanne, assembled a collection of photographs of me and produced books for me. I loved to look at the pictures and admire her writing talents. She also produced some stories of mine and added pictures to make a wonderful publication. She is an extremely talented writer and uses her talent in very creative ways. Writing tends to run in my family. My grandmother, my momís mother, loved to write. She often said even though she had only an eighth grade education she was taught how to write. I personally think it is remarkable to think she was five years old before she could speak English having grown up in an Italian home, and then write as beautifully as she did.Throughout her life she kept diaries, trip journals, and wrote a story about the history of the Chiarottino family and their descendents. She also wrote many short stories about specific gatherings or events. This talent must have then passed on to her daughter Jeanne Marie. My Aunt Brie writes the most amazing stories each year for her Christmas letter. She takes one simple event and constructs a wonderfully, humorous story that many people look forward to for a whole year.This writing talent has now been passed to me and I only hope I can live up to the wonderful tradition. I started making up sentences in my head since as far back as I can remember. Unfortunately, no one knew I could write until I was six years old and then I just wrote for communication. I can remember thinking if only they would ask me to write, I could show them what I can do. Instead I waited until second grade when Mrs. Easley wanted all of us to enter a writing contest sponsored by Cheerios. The story was fiction, not my specialty, but it opened the door for me as a writer.Writing is my life line to the world. Without writing I would almost be invisible both at school and within my community. When a person is unable to communicate, their identity becomes distorted. It was awful before I could communicate knowing others thought I was stupid and retarded. I felt like a person trapped in a sound proof glass room screaming but no one could hear me. All they could see were my actions that they perceived to be abnormal. Through writing my world has changed dramatically.Now, my life ambition is to become an author. Someday I would love to write and possibly illustrate my own childrenís book. I have always thought that I could and should be an inspiration for others who are struggling with their identity and their purpose in life. I believe that I am here to become better than anyone expects, so I can give courage to others. I am often inspired by otherís accomplishments. So if I am to inspire, I need to put myself in situations that are at times uncomfortable. This is what I work on daily and hope to conquer some day.Now, that all this has been written and said for anyone to read, I have made a decision. Yes, my life has not been easy and as simple as most, but would I have it any other way? Well, maybe. But, then would I be who I am? So, I guess that all I can say is I will strive to become the best I can be. That means I will accept my disabilities and use what strengths I possess to encourage, inspire, but ultimately survive. That is not only my destiny but also yours.





Antonio Edward Adams Prokup
On July 30, 1995, I, Antonio Edward Adams Prokup was born. I weighed 7 pounds, 4 oz and was 20 and 1/4 inches long. I was a very sick baby and was flown to Columbia from Moberly, and put in the IC unit for babies. I have seen pictures of me with tubes helping me to breathe and nourishing me. I stayed in the hospital for ten days. Each day my mamma, grandma, and sister came to see me. My dad was working and came every night. I have, of course, no memory of this event, but this ten day period probably changed my destiny. The name Antonio was someoneís name in my motherís family. Edward is my fatherís biological grandfatherís first name and his step grandfatherís middle name. Adams is my motherís maiden name and my grandfather was called Adams by my grandmother. So I have several different reasons to be proud of my name, which I am. But mostly I am proud of the fact that such thought went into the choosing. I will always try to live up to the qualities of each of these men knowing that that my name represents amazing characters of 5 incredible men.Destiny is determined by God, so my life has been determined and what I do with it affects many other lives. My father Jamie Prokup has had to work very long hours as a pharmacist at his pharmacy in Laplata. He is responsible for every material thing I have and need. He is a wonderful provider. He also has learned to be patient and accepting toward me, which has been amazing for me. Dominica, my sister, is truly blessed. She has shown me and others around her that to love is to love unconditionally. She exhibits faith, honesty, loyalty and compassion. My mother gives everything to me but especially her time. This sacrifice is appreciated more than sheíll ever know. My family has always been there for me guiding me through my destiny.What did God have in mind when he decided that my life was to be different than the normal? Did he want to use me to benefit otherís lives? Did he want me to be an educator? Did he want me to lead the way for others less fortunate? I question this every day, as Iím sure my parents do. Finally, I have come to the conclusion that I am just to live my life as normally as possible and if Iím lucky either by example or hopefully someday with my writings, I will have helped others. My destiny.There are things that are destiny and things completely in our control. What is in your control may not be within my control. I struggle each day trying to control my actions and act appropriately, but sadly I am not always able. I remember the time I was about 5 years old and I acted uncontrollably which led to a major accident. My sister had just had her 7thbirthday party and I along with everyone else had gone to the pond. I had enjoyed that so much that the next day I headed for the pond without my motherís knowledge and bolted in the middle of our cattle herd. The new motherís panicked and charged at me. I can still remember watching the cow run at me and feeling helpless. As I was flying in the air I heard my mother scream. I have never told her this before, but I was never so grateful to hear her voice than on that day. Just like the time in Green Bay when I was lost for an hour. I had wandered off uncontrollably. I knew I didnít know where I was going, but I couldnít make myself stop. After crossing busy streets I finally sat on someoneís swing and waited and then I heard my dadís voice. I had been so scared but couldnít help myself. So, controlling my own actions has been hard and sometimes terrifying.I think destiny sometimes is misunderstood and we use it as an explanation to why we behave the way we do. I donít ever want to feel this way. I want to be able to rise above which gladly I can say on occasion I have done. Recently I was honored to have an article published in the School and Community magazine about my life at Bevier Public School. I will always be grateful to Mrs. Murphy for giving me the opportunity and encouragement.Encouragement, time, and patience by others are necessary for me to succeed. I am blessed to have these types of people around me. I have been allowed to follow my dreams such as swimming, academic bowl, being an author, attending regular classes at school and finally my most recent goal is to paint something really cool all by myself.When I am swimming I love the way my body feels in the water. I have complete control and am able to swim really well. This activity is very good for me and allows me to act more appropriately than I do in other situations. I love to swim and play with others in the pool. They actually interact with me and me with them. I can swim under water like a fish. It is a wonderful feeling to be under the water. Under the water I am not different, I am perfect. Academic bowl is the only extracurricular activity I do in school. I love these types of games like Jeopardy, because I love to challenge my memory. I love to learn new things and I retain information easily so this is a good avenue for me. Sadly, though, last year I was unable to compete. I had just started my sensory diet and everything was so magnified that I couldnít make myself enter the games. I hope this year I can contribute something to the team. We are really good. This year I am taking an art class. My mother had decided a long time ago that I wasnít taking art because I was unable to do it and she was tired of doing it for me. This year we both have grown. She is a better modifier and I am a better artist. This means that I have better control over my fine motor skills than I used to and she is able to come up with wonderful modifications that allow me to experience the art world. I canít wait to create a painting of my very own.Being in regular classes in a public school is something Iím sure no one anticipated. My behavior throughout my years in public school would give anyone reason to believe I should have been in an institution or at the very least a self -contained special ed. classroom. I fear that might have happened if I had not been born to Janet Marlene Adams Prokup. Her knowledge of the field and down- right determination has brought me to the point where I am today. She often says that God has guided her into making her decisions about me, but I think she is wrong. I think she just has a wonderful sense of the human nature and always, always sees the best in people and especially me. She will not allow me to fail.Failure is a scary thought and unfortunately I live with that feeling all the time. I just watched my cousin Jean play what Iím sure he would say was a horrible baseball game in which he was a failure. In my world he was a hero. He walked out on that field each inning and knew that the balls would be coming to him and still he walked out there. I canít make myself do something I fear. I run, bolt and sometimes fall down in a fetal position to get away from my fear. I donít have what it takes to say itís ok just keep moving. But someday I hope to be able to walk into to any room under any circumstance and hold my head high. I think that failure is a prerequisite to success. If we did not fail at anything, our successes would mean very little and unfortunately we would be unhappy people. Have you ever notice how very wealthy people tend to be depressed, alcoholics, drug users or just plain unhappy? My mother always says that sweating is satisfying. I think what she means is physically working for a goal and reaching it feels greater than just reaching the goal. I know when I finally am able to speak; she and I will be satisfied because of all the effort we both put in to making it happen.I sometimes feel Iím being judged unfairly because I am unable to speak to people verbally. I donít like people to judge others and thatís what most people do to me. I remember once I was at a basketball game in Marceline with my mom. The game was over and we were going to leave. I was depending on my mom to guide me through the people down the bleachers and she let go thinking I was in control. I then bolted down the bleachers and hit some lady in the head. She was furious and yelled at my mom. Even after my mom apologized, the lady was still upset. I remember that my mom cried all the way home not because she was mad at me but because she was mad at the unthoughtfulness of the lady. So, if I really hate anything about people it would be their lack of sensitivity, and compassion toward all human beings.Generally, I believe that all people have good hearts and usually are kind to others. I see examples of this all around me but mostly from my family. I have a very large extended family and most of them live near me. We are constantly celebrating something, not just the usual holidays. My favorite gathering with my family is one we call ďpicnic in the woodsĒ. In 1979, my great grandfather Grazeo Chiarottino was cutting wood in a field near his home. He had recently come out of retirement because his son had become paralyzed after a horrible accident. Being in his seventies, made cutting wood an exhausting chore. After he did not show up for supper my grandma became concerned and sent her new daughter-in-law to check on him. She found him dead lying in the bed of his truck. He died from an aneurism.Since that day, September 19, we have gathered at the place of his death to celebrate his life. And I absolutely love this place in the woods. There is a little clearing between trees that we park a hay wagon and load it with carried-in food. Everyone has their blankets and lawn chairs and Uncle Junior has hauled some picnic tables to the site. After eating, some play cards or visit but I like to play in the creek. This is the day that I usually come home filthy. I sit in the creek watching the other kids build fires and play in the water. Mostly I just love to look at my surroundings and think about how it must have been for my grandpa to farm such a beautiful place. Then itís time for our annual walk around the area. There are two tombstones under a grove of trees. It is too hard to see the dates but it is believed to be in the 1800ís. Then on to our family dump. I know that sounds awful but I love the memories that linger there. Old bicycles, bottles, refrigerators and my favorite, Uncle Mikeís car, are sitting there. It feels like they tell a beautiful story every year we walk through. I love listening to the memories that surround me about each item we see. These old junk items are not junk to my family. They bring happiness and serene comfort. They also unite them again as if they were still young and living with those items again.Material items can be treasured by some and discarded by others depending on the memories attached to them. I have a treasured item which some would say it is worth very little. My treasured item is the collection of books my Aunt Brie made for me when I was younger. For each birthday Aunt Brie, my momís sister, Jeanne, assembled a collection of photographs of me and produced books for me. I loved to look at the pictures and admire her writing talents. She also produced some stories of mine and added pictures to make a wonderful publication. She is an extremely talented writer and uses her talent in very creative ways. Writing tends to run in my family. My grandmother, my momís mother, loved to write. She often said even though she had only an eighth grade education she was taught how to write. I personally think it is remarkable to think she was five years old before she could speak English having grown up in an Italian home, and then write as beautifully as she did.Throughout her life she kept diaries, trip journals, and wrote a story about the history of the Chiarottino family and their descendents. She also wrote many short stories about specific gatherings or events. This talent must have then passed on to her daughter Jeanne Marie. My Aunt Brie writes the most amazing stories each year for her Christmas letter. She takes one simple event and constructs a wonderfully, humorous story that many people look forward to for a whole year.This writing talent has now been passed to me and I only hope I can live up to the wonderful tradition. I started making up sentences in my head since as far back as I can remember. Unfortunately, no one knew I could write until I was six years old and then I just wrote for communication. I can remember thinking if only they would ask me to write, I could show them what I can do. Instead I waited until second grade when Mrs. Easley wanted all of us to enter a writing contest sponsored by Cheerios. The story was fiction, not my specialty, but it opened the door for me as a writer.Writing is my life line to the world. Without writing I would almost be invisible both at school and within my community. When a person is unable to communicate, their identity becomes distorted. It was awful before I could communicate knowing others thought I was stupid and retarded. I felt like a person trapped in a sound proof glass room screaming but no one could hear me. All they could see were my actions that they perceived to be abnormal. Through writing my world has changed dramatically.Now, my life ambition is to become an author. Someday I would love to write and possibly illustrate my own childrenís book. I have always thought that I could and should be an inspiration for others who are struggling with their identity and their purpose in life. I believe that I am here to become better than anyone expects, so I can give courage to others. I am often inspired by otherís accomplishments. So if I am to inspire, I need to put myself in situations that are at times uncomfortable. This is what I work on daily and hope to conquer some day.Now, that all this has been written and said for anyone to read, I have made a decision. Yes, my life has not been easy and as simple as most, but would I have it any other way? Well, maybe. But, then would I be who I am? So, I guess that all I can say is I will strive to become the best I can be. That means I will accept my disabilities and use what strengths I possess to encourage, inspire, but ultimately survive. That is not only my destiny but also yours.