I feel like I have been riding on a roller coaster, I’m sure most of you can relate. Recently, we had family come in from Pennsylvania and Virginia for my husband’s ceremony. Everything went beautifully, I felt more at peace placing my husband’s remains at this gorgeous national cemetery. Having friends and family around always makes things run a little smoother. And, I do feel it gave everyone some closure, including myself.
Now the one thing I was truly hoping for was for my youngest son, Nick, to truly enjoy meeting his family from out-of-town. I realize it was a lot for him to take in… new people, new sights, new scents. The experience was new for him. And then you add the dreary, rainy weather in the mix and you get a very unhappy camper. I know some may say, “Oh, the weather can’t possibly have anything to do with headaches or behavior changes…” But I am here to tell you, yes, it can and does with my son. He can literally feel a storm brewing hours before it actually hits our area, he paces feverishly around the house. Peering out of each and every window like he’s waiting for the storm of all storms to come, and then afterwards, the pounding headaches occur. He struggles so much in just dealing with the pain, it’s difficult for him to focus on anything else.
Each time I can see the mountain of frustration riddling his face. And as an autistic parent it can be extremely tough, because for him it’s hard to verbalize what’s going on. We’ve come a long way and I have discovered so, so much in these past few years since my husband passed away. It’s not a path I would pick even for my worst enemy; raising a child with a disability on one’s own. It’s not easy by any means.
But there is a gift … For me, there are days I see him, my son, I can actually see this beautiful young man staring back at me. There are days where he just comes up and kisses me on the cheek and hugs me, cooks with me, paints with me and those are the days I cherish more than anything else. Those are the days that offer hope to me, that tell me not to give up.
One thing I found truly encouraging when our family came down was how accepting everyone was, how each family member boldly offered their love to him. There was never a moment of insulting questions or offhanded remarks. Everyone seemed to understand that Nick has autism, that a sudden sound or common noise to us could trigger a meltdown for him.
Even though a union of acceptance surrounded us, my stress level was off the charts, only because I desperately wanted Nick to allow his grandmother one glance, one hug, maybe a few words like, I love you, but he was confined in the world of autism. Perhaps, in time and with the many changes I am including in our daily life, more progress will show.
So, in this blog, I want to address two things. One – Don’t ever give up on the ones you love and Two – don’t give up on the things you love. And in saying this, I have finally, after three long years, completed a novel, titled Memoirs of a Superhero. Yes, it is available on Amazon, and yes, I do plan on writing more, a lot more! 😉
I truly believe there is a unique journey for all of us and I know some days can be somewhat challenging, believe me I know! But even in the darkest of nights there are always stars shining above us.
So please help spread the awareness. Help educate, support, encourage, and love families living and dealing with autism. One kind word or act of kindness toward them can go a long, long way!