Caleb was out enjoying a warm winter day, running and skipping and such, when he suddenly fell into a rose bush. He yelled out to me in an octave only a mothers could understand. That one that screams out pain. As I quickly picked him up and began to pick the thorns out of his hands and arms, he looked at me in agony as if to say, “what are those?!” My non-verbal little boy communicates so well with his eyes. I told him they were thorns, just as I reached over and picked a wilted rose bud and handed it to him. The Rose had been beaten down by the winter’s cold, yet seemed to still be holding on to its anchor in the branch. It was then that I realized that it didn’t matter that winter had come, it didn’t matter that the storms blew. It only mattered that it held on to the branch. And we’ll, those thorns that we think are nuisances are really a protective armor, they keep us from being plucked out before our bloom.
#HoldOn #Boom #ARoseIsStillARose #InDueSeason #AutismAwareness #Grateful #Perspective
I became a suddenly single mom. When I ended my marriage my son was only 11 months old. This ending was not planned, it was swift. It threw us into a tailspin that took years to recover from. In spite of all of our challenges I made an unconscious decision then, that today boggles my mind. I snapped pictures of Caleb constantly. Regardless to what was going on around us and to us, regardless of the overwhelming challenges of that moment, I snapped. Through all of my moving around and trying to find my footing, I did not have that one kitchen wall that I’d always dreamed of. That one wall where I’d measure the height and growth of my children. That place to see how far they’d come. However I had a phone that had a camera in it, and I constantly told him to smile through our pain. Sometimes on bus benches, sometimes sleeping on someone else’s couch. I gathered those moments as I’d sat in awe that I’d given birth to this little walking extension of my heart. This being that I thought I’d never have due to my health complications. He was here and I took notice. I would return to the same places again and again, and take pictures of him as he grew. Whatever weather, whatever grief, whatever limitations, I would return to those places. Looking back over the horizons of that dark time, I am amazed at how resilient the spirit is, how full the will to live is. How if you determine to focus on the good in any moment, you will find it. I am overwhelmingly blessed to look into my rearview and see that my darkest days are there and not here. I am awed by how the Lord kept my mind and heart. In great part that keeping was through this little being that I’d birthed, oh how life given returns as life multiplied. He is my reason, Caleb is my reason I continued and didn’t break. For I knew I could not because he needed me not to, and I needed him to need me not to. So I preservered. My life in seasons that center around his growth is now my new measuring stick, my new growth wall. The laboring of the carry, the infancy of the awakening, the stumble in the toddlerdom, and the standing tall with new height. It’s all reflected in him. Oh what joy fills my soul.
I am having a moment. When you’re dealing with something super challenging, you don’t know what will break you down. I came across this post from one year ago when I shared that the amazingly talented and anointed gospel singer Jonathan McReynolds retweeted my tweet. It was a moment when my son Caleb, who is overly and non-stop active, stopped to listen to him sing. It was a beautiful moment, remembering it now, it still is. But what got me in remembering this time last year is that my baby, my heartbeat, my reason, has not spoken a word since. He is still non-verbal, and actually has not spoken more than 5 words in his lifetime, and not a single word since in 2014. Along with so many challenges while living with Autism, this non-verbal thing is scientifically called Apraxia, which is the inability to speak. Our lives are full, busy, stressful, non-stop, and more challenging than most families. I don’t cry very often at all. I think I’m part too busy to wallow, and part too numb to form tears. I see my child everyday obviously, but it’s days like this that catch me off guard as I catch tears falling from my eyes. I’m a writer and I usually end on an uplifting note, in this moment, all I have is tears. Pray for us please, in the meantime while I’m wiping these tears away, I will continue to be Caleb’s voice.