Mar 7, 2008


It’s a long road—one travelled by a few, but traveled nonetheless. It starts out being smooth. I enjoy both the scenery and the monotony of it all. Then without warning, the results of a simple routine stop at a doctor’s office changes my life forever and affects not only me, but everyone I come in contact with.

Then what to do? I research, pray and mourn for what might have been. I find that I visit the grief process over and over again: as if it is a local corner market. The road suddenly narrows and becomes dark and isolated. I grieve some more. The road winds around and with similar questions. They are all too familiar: Why didn’t I see it before? What kind of Mother am I? What kind of life will my child live? How will I help my child?

The road takes me forward up the hill. Sometimes I see a clearing and take a mental note that “things will get better, so just push on.” A bridge appears in view. It looks rather rickety, but I know I must cross it. There is no turning back. To my surprise, a construction worker emerges carrying plans. He studies them. He points to others further down the bridge. I see a police officer guiding traffic. Everything is in slow motion. There are others like me wandering around the bridge as they look under it, looking for a different road or path to travel. The currents of the stream underneath are strong and steady. I remember I cannot swim. It is best to stay on the rickety bridge road. I see firemen eager to help within the distance: their faces reflecting interest and concern.

With careful, deliberate steps, I push forward. I am now in the middle of the bridge dodging mini-fires here and there. I’ve even thought about wrestling the construction worker to the ground and shredding the plans. Do I trust that he read the plans correctly?

Suddenly, I have a vague awareness that there are others behind me. I look and there I see my family. My husband who struggles with Aspergers, my wonderful daughter and sons: those beautiful three sons who struggle with Autism. They hold onto each other, grasping one another’s hands and follow me. Me. Why me??

I feel the burden placed upon me. It rests upon my shoulders, perhaps explaining why I love massage therapists so much. I am in the middle of the bridge now looking forward with renewed hope and faith in this less-traveled road. There are others like me. I must find them, for I have a tale to tell, an ear to listen and hearts to mend.

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Ernie and Oscar learn they like different things-great for kids on the Spectrum!