AUTISM: A CHRISTMAS KICK IN THE HEAD
Don't get me wrong I HATE AUTISM. I loathe it. I would give it away, throw it out for the trash, put it in the blender, burn in on the barbeque, well, you get my drift. I hate it for the moments, the experiences, the joy, it has stolen from my child. I hate it for the pain, the anguish, the confusion, the tears it has caused my child. For those who feel otherwise, that is fine. For those who view it as a blessing, a difference, I applaud you and support you 100%. I have not reached this level of thinking yet.
The past two years of our lives, my son's and mine, have been hell. He has lost his eyesight and his father. (No, his Dad did not die). I cannot explain either to him in terms that he is able to understand yet. He is so much stronger than I in that he takes on each day without the knowledge that I have, trusting, I suppose, in me. Through this 2 years I have been drop kicked by every emotion imaginable. Fear, anger, hatred, betrayal, doubt, mistrust, envy. I've been on the amusement park log flume ride of emotion and the boat never seems to pull into the starting area. It just keeps looping and looping around and trust me, I wanna get off. It's the joke about "show me a Mom who has never thought of taking the car keys, driving off and never coming back, and I'll show you a mom who can't drive.
But I can't drive off. He needs me. He needs me now more than ever.
But this Christmas in an unexpected moment I received a rather strong KICK IN THE HEAD. I began following a story on Facebook about a little girl in our state, 7 years old, whose days on earth were numbered due to a very rare form of leukemia. I read how the folks in her town rallied in numbers exceeding 8,000 people, to fulfill one of her last wishes...to hear Christmas carols being sung outside her home. I jumped on the prayer chain on Facebook for this child. Her family clung to the slightest hope for a miracle for her to pull through. She had been through so much in a short period of time, 7 months since her diagnosis. Christmas Eve, my son with autism and I retired for the night thinking of the gifts he would receive the next morning when Santa visited our house.
Her parents however spent the night in vigil over their precious child whose life hung in the balance.
I awoke Christmas Day and checked their Facebook page to find the worst. Their daughter had passed from this earth at 3:10 am. My heart sank. How will this family every have another enjoyable Christmas remembering this as the day they lost their child?
Like a kick in the head from a size 13 Army boot I realized. Yes, my child has autism, but I have him. I have him here on earth. I'm sure her parents would tolerate any form of loudness, hyperactivity, any meltdown, any repetitive behavior, any negative, annoying, tiring situation for the opportunity to spend time with their child, who is gone.
I vowed any moment in 2014 when I am feeling sorry for myself, when I'm exhausted from autism, when I'm saying "why my child" I will think of this family and this child. I'm realizing that sometimes miracles don't always immediately present themselves as such. You just need a kick in the head.