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.

August 29, 2011

On the Madness of Extreme Mommy-hood...

I talk to God a lot.

In the early years of having one son who was diagnosed with autism, and a typical son only eighteen months older, I really talked to God.

A lot.

Things like, "Lord, Really? You're killing me. One son you give me cannot talk. I've spent a fortune on therapy to try and get him to talk. I've begged him, pleaded with him, and bribed him to talk. But he won't talk. One son you give me will not shut up. I've begged him, pleaded with him, and bribed him to stop talking for just a few seconds to allow my ears to rest.  But he won't stop talking....   Could you just share. Divide up the language between them both?"  I think it was during that period of time when I realized God must have a sense of humor, and when my own sense of humor took a turn for the bizarre.  But hey, laughing about it was better than alcohol, drugs, or smoking!

One son I had to start in school when he was three years old so that he might have a chance at adulthood. The other son I waited as long as possible to start school, until he was six years old, so he would have more time to be a child.

One son failed IQ test after IQ test in assessing his disabilities.  The other son's scores through the roof on IQ test after IQ test in assessing his abilities.

One son had IEP's having to do with 'manding'.  Which means he had to make a sound, any sound, to get a desired item. The other son had a behavior contract where he would be rewarded for only talking out loud 3 times out of every 15 minute period.

And so the extremes began. Both sons so very, very different.  Both sons so very, very much loved.

One son the moon -- quiet, serene, gentle.  Humbly being that light in the darkness that is autism.  The other son the sun -- bright, shining, rambunctious.  Joyfully being the laughter in the lunacy that would be our life.

One needing to be protected. The other, the protector.

It's been an emotional roller-coaster ride being the mom of both boys, that is one thing in this unsure world, that I am most sure of.  And over the years I thought I had experienced every extreme emotion a mommy could.  It's been a decade now of autism and all the ups and downs, twists and turns, joys and sorrows, tears and laughter that goes with that.  And my oldest son, the "other" child as he is called because the child with autism consumes parenthood, -- has just graduated High School.

It's been a whirlwind. I've seen it all and I've been through it all.

Or so I thought.

The events of late have me revisiting that in contemplating which is harder as a mom.  Having a child who does not know how to dream and therefore will never experience a dream being shattered, or having a child who does know how to dream, and him having that dream shattered?

Once again back to God in that never-ending conversation we've had over the years, in that once again I am experiencing such extremes in my children.....  Which is harder? Not being able to dream, or being able to and having them crushed?

All hopeism aside for a moment -- knowing that the son with autism had that part of his life stolen by the very autism that consumes him at times.  In that he's never played make-believe. Never had an imaginary friend. Has never shared his hopes and dreams with me. I'm not sure he knows what dreams are or what the future means. I know how stark raving mad that makes me feel inside. I know the pain of how that sword pierces my soul at times. But at least I know that he doesn't feel that. He can't mourn the loss of a dream he never had in the first place. To him, this day, this moment, is his dream. There is nothing more pleasurable than the moment he lives in. There is no anticipation of tomorrow, there is no regret of yesterday. For him, there is only the right here and right now. Any pain is only in this moment, any anger is only in this moment, any laughter is only in this moment. And then gone in the next moment.  The heartbreak of him never having his heartbroken by a girl will only be mine.  The heartbreak of him never getting to be something every fiber of his soul longs to be when he grows up, will only be mine.

I fear the possible day my other son has his heartbroken by something or someone.  I've been grieving for my other son who might possibly have his dream crushed by something out of his control.

It's that cross-roads where you look both ways and think not knowing is better than knowing.  I guess that's why God doesn't always reveal things to us.  We just couldn't handle it I don't think.  I know I couldn't.  I can't.

All I can do is bump up my humor a notch to cope with those questions.  Those extreme heartaches for my extreme children.  And I must bump up my conversations with God, aka, my prayers. They need to be as extreme as my situation often is.

I just wish I had extreme patience to go with it all.  But until that time, I'll have to settle for having extreme faith. Extreme hopeism. Extreme love for these two boys and the Savior who blessed me with them for a season, a reason and for a purpose.

And extreme thankfulness for the husband who has stood by and comforted me through the madness of my extreme mommy-hood.

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