On being forged into a warrior mom

If I could summarize our journey from Hell to HOPEISM, it would be in my faith, which I call HOPEISM. It has been my weapon of choice to get me through each battle I have had to fight in my mission to win our war called life with autism and seizures. Vaccine injury to be more specific. It would also be in committing to heart, soul, & mind the words and motto's from Forged, NDCQ, the Lone Survivor, and Levi Lusko in his book, "Through the Eyes of a Lion." I will be forever grateful to the inspiration, encouragement, and mental fortitude found through all of them collectively. Because of that, I am not allowing this tragedy of vaccine injury that has come into our lives to be an obstacle to being used by God. I am instead turning it into an opportunity to be used like never before!

This blog is dedicated to Brandon. His life has been forged by difficulty, obstacles, & all too often because of seizures - pain, blood, broken teeth, & broken bones. Yet through all that he has shown such fortitude. The bravery, strength, & resilience of a true warrior. He taught me that having strength through adversity means that even if you lose every battle, like the Lone Survivor, you never quit fighting until you win the war. That in the words of "NDCQ," you keep "dreaming," keep "daring," & keep "doing." As Team Guppy has yet to be able to escape vaccine injury, we have no choice but to as Levi Lusko writes, "Run toward the Roar." God has indeed given us such incredible power in enduring such impossible pain.

Some days the HOPEISM in that simply takes my breath away.

January 4, 2010

Sweet Sixteen...

Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it. -- Kathleen Casey Theisen



I never thought that when I saw that quote above, how true it would ring for me on this day.

January 4th, 2010.

My son's birthday.

He is 16 years old.

"Sweet Sixteen".

I can't comprehend that.

I look at the picture above of him running and I see a teenager. A normal, typical sixteen-year old young man.

A High Schooler who might secretly hide the Clearasil in his backpack to dry up the zits he doesn't want his girlfriend to see.

One who fights with his brother at home over who must do what chores; or who makes bets with him to get out of doing chores.....

One who bugs me incessantly on this day for me to take him to the Department of Public Safety, where the closest parking spot will be a block away, only to then stand in that endless line for endless hours waiting to get what will turn out to be a crappy picture taken for his very first Driver's License.

One who today, will cause his dad's car insurance to double yet again, with yet another teenage driver in the house.

But no.

Autism has robbed me of all the above.

And "Sweet Sixteen" is something very different for me on this day.

Something in all honesty I do admit, that is more bitter than sweet.

I've dreaded this day, for a couple days now.

I suppose it's worse for me because I have already had a "Sweet Sixteen" celebration in my house. The way one should be. My typical son Matthew consumed for a whole year starting at fifteen, by completing Driver's Ed and passing the test. Then anxiously counting down the day until sixteen when he could stand in that endless line to get that piece of paper that for him, somehow meant freedom.

A rite of passage.

To drive a real car, with a real engine, on a real road, all by himself.

No more toy cars for Matt.

But for Brandon...

As I write this, he is pushing a toy car on the kitchen floor, fascinated by the hum of the toy engine.

The rational side of my brain tells me all the right things to think on this day.

It tells me to think of it as sixteen years of joy, with the promise of more joy to come.

And I know that.

It tells me to think of the many accomplishments and victories, of which there have been many.

I know that too.

It tells me to think of how far we've come, not how far we still have to go.

Been there.

It tells me to not dwell on what isn't because of Autism, but on what is, thanks to Brandon.

Done that.

To be thankful that what he's taught Matthew by being his 'silent sibling' speaks much louder than any conspiratory comraderie they would conjour up, ever could.

I am.

It tells me to lean on God and on his word to get me through this. This what? What do you call the maddness of what this day represents to me? No matter. Call it what you want. Whatever it is, it just is.

And I know God is there for me, I know what His word says to me.

But you know?

Some days you just have to admit that you're pissed or sad, no matter how close to God you are, no matter how many scriptures you can recite.

My rational side, the 'good voice' so to speak, simply tells me what I already know...

What a blessing my son Brandon is.

But that's not the point of how I feel about today.

No, today is not a rational day at all.

It's a day that the irrational side of me and that other voice reminds me, that while for his self esteem I'm glad he doesn't realize what acne is or whether the Clearasil worked before lunch with his girlfriend - that he should be like every other sixteen year-old worrying about that.

That while having one teenage boy in the house with a girlfriend is enough, - I should have two of them with girlfriends.

That worrying about having one teenage driver on the road is more than any mother's heart should be put through, I should have a double heart-attack with two.

But no.

No, no, no, no.

On this day, rational thoughts do not prevail!

And I don't see that as all bad.

Nor do I see it as a pity party.

I see it as a day where I will simply have to face my giants.

Today I will acknowledge my true feelings about his "sweet sixteen" birthday, negative though they may be. I will not hide them, make excuses for them; nor will I apologize for having them when I know good and well that I shouldn't.

But seriously, how?

How do you see past the giant to celebrating the victory?

How do I look in my sweet child's endless brown eyes on this day with all my intelligence of knowing what this day should represent, and see anything but loss?

Anything but what could have been?

What should have been?

I've thought about that for a while now in writing this, and I have no answers.

Perhaps it's just "blind faith".

As if there were another kind.

And to me, faith is Mary.

I would love to meet her at Starbucks for a cup of coffee to talk about the loss of a milestone this day represents for me.

I could use an espresso shot of her kind of faith through difficult circumstances, and her unwavering trust in believing a higher purpose in all things.

Though two very different scenario's that I dare not compare, I would still love to know her thoughts as she watched her tortured son stagger down the path to his crucifixion on a cross. I would love the validation that perhaps she had my same dilema of today, at that time. Her rational side knowing that her son's life was cut short for a higher purpose. But her irrational side thinking how instead on that day, she might have wished she was watching her son happily walk down the aisle to the alter to take his fiance's hand in marriage.

But alas that coffee-talk cannot be, that Wedding Day for Jesus was not meant to be, so I must trust in God's purpose for this day that I cannot yet see.

And I must face my giant.



And on this day as I do that, face my giant, my son's sweet sixteen birthday, ~~~ I win for no other reason, and have no other point to make, except that I was simply brave enough to face this day.

Still standing.

Still smiling.

Still somewhat sane.

Saddness or anger may creep into my being now and then, like today, but it will not have the last word in this journey.

Not today.

Not ever.

~ ~ ~
Acceptance is not submission; it is acknowledgment of the facts of a situation. Then deciding what you're going to do about it. -- Kathleen Casey Theisen
~ ~ ~

Today is January 4th, 2010.

It's Brandon's Birthday.

He is 16 years old.

Sweet Sixteen.

At sixteen you celebrate.

We will.

You make a cake with candles.

I will.

And for sweet sixteen, you go to the Department of Public Safety where the only parking spot you can find is a block away, so you can stand in a forever-long line to get what will turn out to be a crappy picture taken for that piece of paper that proves you are you. A member of society. A Texas citizen who can legally drive.

So that's what we'll do.

We'll go there and get not a Driver's License, but a picture ID.

Except for us, we will get front row parking with our Disability Plates, and with his wheelchair-like stroller he needs to sit in at crowded places for sensory purposes, (and control purposes), we'll get a free pass to the front of the line, and we won't have to wait at all.

Ha ha ha all you typical folks who must wait in line...

Autism membership does have its priviledges........


For Brandon, who taught me how to face my giants, and win.