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.

December 22, 2010

Christmas through Brandon's Eyes

I thought I knew Christmas.

As a child it meant Santa, Rudolph, and gifts galore.

It was a winter wonderland perhaps not always of snow, but always of the magic of it all.
Christmas as a child was a carefree time with no worries.

When my husband and I became Santa & Mrs. Claus with the birth of our first son Matthew, Christmas was all those things and more, but perhaps with deeper sentiment.
In knowing we were making these memories for our son, to be his Christmas memories one day, to pass on to his son, and so on.

As it should be.

During Matt’s childhood, I could not imagine Christmas meaning any more than it did then.
We had the best of both Christmases.

Both real and make-believe.
The bribery of Santa’s ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’ list.
The truth that Christmas was about Baby Jesus’ Birthday, who was born for us to be put on His eternal-life list.

Cuddling on the couch with him each night, watching Charlie Brown, Rudolph, or Santa Claus Comes to Town.

Christmas Eve Candlelight service, singing about our Savior.

And then the look on his face Christmas morning in finding all the toys Santa left him under the tree…

I thought that was Christmas.

Until Brandon.

And his autism.

What would Christmas be then?

Can a Christmas, without Christmas things, still be Christmas?
Without Santa?

Without the understanding of his own Birthday, let alone Jesus’?

What memories do I make for him, who might never have a son to pass them on to?
I now know the answer.
It would still be Christmas.
Christmas through Brandon’s eyes.

You see, once you strip everything from Christmas that is autism… the magic, the pretend, the imagination, those things that my son can’t comprehend.
The crowds, the Christmas goodies, & the parties that my son can’t have or handle.
And the perfect gifts, that I can’t buy, from a list that he can’t write…

If you take away all that – all you have for Christmas is a mom, a dad, and a precious child.
Sound familiar?
If not, look at any Nativity scene.
What do you see?
What don’t you see?
And when I look at it that way, I can see why many do not like this time of year.

And I’m even more dazzled by how much I love this time of year.

They see a perfect Christmas as one in a clean, full house, decorated exceptionally.
I see it as an essentially homeless couple forced to have a baby alone in a dirty barn.

They see the only point of Christmas in being if you have a job and can put gifts under the tree.
I see it as a poor Shepherd Boy who had no gift to bring except for himself.

They think you can’t have a Merry Christmas if you are burdened by challenges, disappointments, or poor health.
I see the joy of Three Wise Men who wouldn’t have missed that journey, that Holy Night, and all the hardship & challenges they had to endure to get there - for all the Frankincense, Myrrh, and Gold in the world.

And sometimes when the world tries to make it so complicated and hurried, I think it is good to just sit back and think as simply as the animals did in that barn long ago, - simply staring in awe at a baby asleep in their hay.

It’s because I now must look at Christmas that way, that it has become the most wonderful time of my year.

It’s the time of the year that I look back on the journey and how far I have come in following that Star, my God, who is up in the heavens guiding me.

It’s that time of year when I can look back at all the Herod’s in my son’s life who would want to harm him, but didn’t because I would go to the ends of the earth to protect him.

It’s that time of year when I take time for renewal, in preparation for the New Year and a new journey, as challenging as it too may be.

It’s that time of year when I can truly smile that in my own plain-ness, I am highly favored.
I have given birth to a most special child.
No, not one who would save the world from sin…
But rather one who has saved me from myself.

Yes, I can look at what the world has done to Christmas, and what it has told me Christmas can only be about – and I can see how I too would want it to just go away as quickly as possible.

But when I look at Christmas through my son’s eyes, and through Mary’s imperfect journey in getting to that first Christmas night so long ago, I can only see joy, peace, and a most perfect love.

I can only be joyful.

I can only wish for it not to end!

I think that’s God’s personal confirmation to me, that He knew what he was doing with autism in my life.

His personal illustration to me, that Christmas is not what the world has taken away in my son, but rather what God has given me through the gift that is His son, my son.

Christmas through Brandon's eyes, is my son’s gift to me.

His sacrifice, my gain.

Those lines sound familiar too…

And it humbles me to no end.

Just like I’m sure it did to Mary.

As she saw Christmas through Baby Jesus’ eyes...

On that first Holy Night, many Christmases ago.


Merry Christmas Brandon…..

I love you .

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