Friday, September 27, 2013

My Gram: Arlene and Autism

We buried my grandmother today.   My grandmother had Alzheimer's, had been in a nursing home for a year, and before that had full time care in her home for several months.  

My Gram, as far as I know, didn't know much about autism.  It wasn't something that plagued her, her children, or her grand children's generations. It was not even on my family's radar. 

The only connection between my grandmother and autism is this: My gram came with me to each of the twins well baby appointments their first year.  I needed her to hold the first baby after his shots so I could hold the second baby for his.  She was happy to come for the outing and to help out. 

She'd say "Horrors!  Why do they have to have so many shots?!"    I would roll my eyes privately.  

I don't remember if she came to the 15 month appointment.  The one that changed everything. But every other one she was there, comforting one of my sons and helping me maneuver through twin well baby visits. 

My grandma loved babies. She had three daughters, six grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. She was a daycare provider to many. A foster mother to 27 babies over the years. 

She would be appalled at what has happened to my babies. 

I told her, at Christmas last year, that Andrew has autism.  We didn't have a formal diagnosis yet but he had just passed his hearing test, so we knew we had ruled out the only other option.  It was still so new that it hurt to say it. 

She was confused, she couldn't believe it.  Autism? In this healthy happy boy that she knew?  I never brought it up again, and I am sure she didn't remember.  

Another thing I am sure of though, is that if she were here, really here, she would be my biggest cheerleader as I fight this uphill battle to recover him.

And goodness, who better to look to for how I should love this child to health?  Her unconditional love is weaved into my heart and it is so easy, therefore, for me to wholeheartedly love and accept this boy.   Which is the very foundation for healing him, in SonRise. 

What did she do when we screwed up? Loved us more.  What did she do when we were sad or mad? Loved us more.  No matter what we did or said she had more love to show.  In her love, we thrived. 

And now we must carry it on. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back in Control

So since deciding to do SonRise and reading all the books, life here has been pretty good.   Andrew had a minor regression last week when he got a bit of a cold, but he seems completely back to himself now, and I am relieved.

We took down the baby gates in our house and are letting him freely explore all three floors.  In the basement is his SonRise room.  We had a bit of a scare this week when we couldn't find him for a couple minutes --- he was down in his SonRise room in the dark.  PLAYING WITH BLOCKS.  The next day I found him playing with his bath toys in the empty bathtub.  He is precious and so, so happy.  Playing!!!!!!

Now that things are calmer here, I am beyond ready to take back control of me.  I stopped seriously dieting and exercising in the spring and took it easy on myself with our busy therapy schedule.  I definitely ate to medicate again.

That's over. 

Last year when I ran, I would tell myself how strong I was, how powerful, how committed.  

This year all I can hear when I run is "You're okay. You're okay. You're okay."

And I am.  And it's time to take care of me, now that everything is okay. 

I found the right people, right away, immediately even.  Took a leap of faith and plunged into healing him in every way I could.  And it's paying off. And I will never stop.  

I am learning that the people in my life who surround me are interested in learning how to protect their children and their friends children too.  That means everything to me. There is SO MUCH GOOD that has come from Sweet Andrew's injury that with every day it's harder to look back. Of course I wish he was never injured, but to not know about the GOOD in the people around me?  Not sure. 

That's a gift you have all given me, how do I thank you for that? Keeping me buoyed in the present by your kindness and support, and facing tomorrow knowing you have my back. 

Thank you for your love.  It propels me forward.  

And the more peaceful I can be, the more zen my boy is, and the most responsive and happy.  And that's what we want for him. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.