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 8, 2010
What Makes a Mom, a Warrior Mom...
There is an opportunity for some Houston moms to participate in a photo shoot for the 'Warrior Mom' project in conjunction with Autism File magazine and the Autism One Conference... Warrior Mom's who are fighting for their kids with autism.... Warrior Mom's who are making a difference.....
I put out a call to Houston "Warrior Mom's" - asking them to come to the photo shoot...
One particular mom replied that she would like to be there - she was excited about it... But then, a day or so later, I received this e-mail:
I thought about it and determined that I really am not qualified to be in the photo. I am not a leader in the Autism community at all. I'm still learning! :)
And that made me think about what exactly makes a mom, a warrior mom...
And I believe I have the answer....
A Warrior Mom is the mom who sat up late at night wondering why her child would not allow her to hold him, cuddle him. The mom who was scared each time her child screamed for no apparent reason and she didn't know why, there was nothing she could see that was wrong... It's the mom who tried to understand why her son was more fascinated with the ribbon on the present, than by the actual present. The mom trying to console an inconsolable child.
When you are there, in that stage, you don't think about who or what you are, you think about what your child needs and how you will get it. And that in itself - makes you a warrior mom without you even knowing it.
When you are a mom with a child who is hurting from simple touch, not phased by hitting a wall, who can't talk and can't process too much stimuli at once without having a meltdown; - and you are going from doctor to doctor to try to get answers where there are none; oh baby -- you are SO a warrior mom during those times when you were too busy to even realize it.
When you've gone to the Pediatrician's office and finally received the diagnosis you were looking for, and it was called "Autism" - and you never heard that word before and your Pediatrician told you that there were no treatments and your child would most likely need lifelong care and possibly be institutionalized; --- and you thought that meant an "Institution" and not Harvard - then you were a Warrior Mom in the making. Because even through the shock and stunned silence, something deep inside you was offended by those words, but not defeated by those words.
No, when you left that office and were more confused than when you went in perhaps, it just made you a more powerful and potent warrior mom to be. Whether stubborness, defiance, obstinance, or just sheer pissed off'ness, --- you had an instinct to not accept that. An instinct to look further, do more, - defy.. All qualities of a Warrior Mom.
When you found a treatment and your insurance refused to cover it and you were on hold, and pushing buttons into oblivion and cursing at the computerized mechanical voice that is apologizing to you for not understanding your human voice; and you've managed to get through to a live person who told you that you needed to call another number -- all while your child was creating a poop mosaic on the floor and wall -- honey -- you were not just a warrior mom - but you were a saint. One that may have needed to go to confession after the phone call; but a warrior-mom-saint no less.
If when your child entered school and at the ARD meeting they wanted to put him in a room in a corner of the building with no aide and no real program, and you sat there in stunned silence in the ARD with whiplash wondering what just happened; -- then you were a warrior mom who was severely underestimated at that ARD committee meeting. You were a mom caught off guard that they should have been afraid of, very afraid of. Because once you went back home and talked to your other warrior mom friends - when none of you even knew you were warrior moms - just moms helping each other; ---- and then went back to that ARD demanding more for your child, knowing that there was more for your child, knowing that your child COULD do more, well, --- that was a very warrior mom thing to do. That school may not have exactly referred to you as a warrior mom -- but they knew you were a mom not to be messed with. And they were right. You do not mess with warrior moms. (Well, I guess you can -- but you'll regret it).
If you do all of that, none of that, some of that, or more than that - you are a warrior mom. If you don't even have time for yourself, but spend any time you have helping other moms on the internet late at night when no one notices, - you are a warrior mom. If you are called to rally and can - you are a warrior mom. If your only calling is to make sure your child has his GFCF lunch for school - you are a warrior mom.
There is no status or ranking or stardom in being a warrior mom. It's not a hip clique that you fumble over yourself wanting to be a part of...... To be a warrior mom takes more guts than you ever wanted to have, and it takes a humbleness and selflessness that you were not wired to have, in receiving no glory from others in celebration of the daily battles you and your child must fight fiercely to win.
Put simply, if you have a child with autism and you refuse to believe its a life sentence of doom and gloom - then you are a warrior mom.
If you are a mom with a husband and you are daily beating the odds of divorce from the stress, you are a warrior mom.
If you are a single mom raising a child with autism - I'm not sure if even warrior mom is a good enough kind of mom to describe you.
Warrior moms are called by the echoes they sense but can't hear, of those who have gone before them, to continue the battle for those who might have to come behind them.
So, Moms and Mums.... hear THIS echo loud and clear...
No celebrity mom, no matter how helpful, appreciated, giving, vocal, or how-in-the-hell-do-you-stay-that-small-gorgeous, - is any more a warrior mom than you!
If you are a mom and stood up for your child for something - you are a warrior mom and you best be damm proud of that.
Because even if the only person you ever lead is your child - that is leadership enough to qualify you to be a warrior mom.
You don't have to be on the news, in the paper, have a book, rally in Washington, or be a star in Hollywood to be a Warrior Mom.
So yes, B.B., the mom who sent me that e-mail....
You qualify to be a warrior mom, you ARE a warrior mom; and I'll see you at the photo shoot....
Written by Michelle M. Guppy