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.
February 2, 2010
The many shades of love...
I’m not sure why I found myself thinking about this, but I was recently pondering what holiday or celebration is the hardest for me as the mother of a child with autism.
My son does not understand the concept of “Holiday’s”. Too many unfamiliar people crowding his space and talking to him at once at Thanksgiving is hard for him to handle. Christmas time is nothing more than a multi-sensory overload…. The sights, sounds, smells, are too much for his system to bear. I chuckle at the memories of our first trip to the mall to have my son’s picture taken with Santa. I’m not sure who was more traumatized – Santa or my child! Hunting eggs at Easter has proven to be about as fruitful. Flying eggs describes it well though. Instead of picking up the Easter eggs and putting them in the basket, my son prefers to throw them. In his orderly, consistent world, Easter eggs don’t belong in the house or yard. Brandon tolerates his annual Birthday party we throw, only because it’s the only time we let him sorta cheat on his special diet, and he happens to like Mickey Mouse balloons.
So even though those traditional holidays and celebrations may seem like anything but a holiday and celebration – we are blessed. Because of our son, we have learned to truly appreciate the deeper meaning of those holidays and celebrations – and for that we are eternally grateful. At Thanksgiving, Brandon has taught us to focus on being truly thankful for our many blessings, despite the occasional hardships. At Christmas, we focus on Christ and on being together, and not the other stuff that distracts us from the true meaning. Brandon has shown us that the truly perfect gift is not going to be found at that mall.
Brandon has taught us to truly understand the powerful miracle of God’s love and healing. Brandon’s life has given us a sense of peace in knowing that God created our son to be just who he is.
But, I am human, and on that particular day when I was reflecting the difference in how our family views holidays versus other families, I came to the conclusion that Valentine’s Day was the hardest for me.
But not for the reason you would think. Sure I would love to get a handmade card or half eaten box of candy from my son, but it is much harder to think that there are people who take for granted the “love” in Valentine’s Day – that is truly the hardest. If Brandon has taught us anything in life, it is Love.
Pure, total, unconditional love. And that God is love.
I can handle not having the same “joy” in holidays and celebrations like parents of typical children do – but I don’t think I could handle not having found the “Love” I have found because of my son. The kind of love that overshadows any sadness on holidays or celebrations that my son does not understand. For me, Valentine’s Day represents an occasion to reflect on the blessings of having a child with a disability, and all the people in my life that make the journey more bearable, and all the “things” that matter in life that Brandon does “get”.
Valentine’s Day also reminds me of just how much Brandon has taught me about God and Love. I see people buying cards, buying gifts, and going out to romantic dinners to express love, and those things are fine to do; but I always wonder inside if they truly know WHAT love is. Pure, total, unconditional love. God kind of love. The kind of committed love that vows to stay together as a team to care for a child with a disability. The unwavering kind of love that a father or mother has for their child that sees them through the longest, darkest, loneliest tunnels. The kind of determined love a mom has in not accepting a doctor’s grim prognosis for their child – but to instead fight with everything she’s got to see her child through. The kind of confident love that parents rely on that God will deliver their child from illness. The faithful kind of love that parents impart to their child during the difficult and challenging times, when the child is wondering if they will survive. And finally, the enduring kind of love that only parents of children who have gone on to heaven truly know.
That is what is sad for me – that some people can go through their entire lives not understanding that kind of love. That people think of love in terms of something bought, wrapped, and presented, for a special occasion. When life gets tough, it is that kind of love that carries me through each moment of the day. It’s that kind of love that draws me closer to the One who IS Love. The kind of love depicted in Ephesians 3:17: “....and I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
We were created to seek that kind of love. Some people find it. Some people don’t. For years, I didn’t. Then one day God blessed me with my son who has a disability, and I have known it ever since.
Dear Lord I thank you that each child you create is an image of your pure, total, unconditional love for us. I thank you for the child you sent our family, for him to be that mirror through which we see and know the true meaning of that love. We thank you for the different kinds of love we have known in our journey that have drawn us closer to your meaning of love, and away from the world’s meaning of love. We know there are difficult times we will face, but because of your love for us, we know we will prevail.
Thank you for sending your son, thank you for my son, and thank you for your love.
Written by Michelle M. Guppy