Tim Ajax

Sanctuary Blog

by Tim Ajax, Director

Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary

Some people monkey around a little, some people monkey around a lot, and then there's Tim. He's a prince among primates, presiding over hundreds of fellow bipeds in the often-brutal Texas outdoors. There's no ape escape for Tim and his crew, but no matter. They love to help macaques, baboons and vervets live out their lives with as much freedom as possible. And like peeling a banana, Tim's blogs take you to the good stuff inside — with a steady supplement of Texas weather updates, of course!

Beautiful Summer

Published: 03/15/11


(Note from Tim: I wanted to share with you all a poignant message we received at the sanctuary over the weekend. There’s really nothing for me to say that adds anything of substance other than to state how privileged we feel to be doing what we’re doing and to have had a small part in bringing some joy to a wonderful child.)

I am writing to you in memory of a special little girl whose name was Summer. Summer came into my life a few short months ago as a student at my preschool. She was a captivating little girl at the age of 3. She stole my heart from the moment we met.

Summer was very special and there is no way to fit her life into words. She was born in China on Feb. 1, 2007, and adopted to a family who brought her to Illinois in August 2010. Although Summer was unable to share what experiences she lived through in China, you could see it in her deep brown eyes that she was a fighter!

Summer arrived at my school in November 2010 with an eagerness for learning and loving. She was tiny child from all the years in the orphanage but had intelligence beyond her years. Summer was full of life — there is no other way to describe it. She would hug everyone who came into the school and was my favorite student. She became as close to me as a daughter.

Summer did not take naps and thus would spend her afternoons in my lap wanting to learn more and more. She loved monkeys! During this afternoon learning time I often pulled out my computer and logged on to the kids’ National Geographic site, where we explored the many animals and their sounds. She learned so many new words and animal names.

It was one day in December that we were connected to the video of your snow monkeys playing in the lake. Summer’s eyes glowed with excitement and her laughter filled the air! We laughed and laughed as we watched the video over and over again. Each day Summer would demand me to play her Texas snow monkeys.

Summer left this world on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. The reasons are unknown and I am left with the memories of and the impact this little girl had on my life and many others’. She had just turned 4 years of age and had so much life ahead of her. My afternoons are empty without her demanding her monkeys.

In Summer’s honor, my son Avery Williams is asking that in place of his birthday gifts that his friends make donations to your organization. I am providing all the families with the link to your site. Please use these contributions to help these precious animals who gave Summer and me a lifetime of memories and joy!

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