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.

October 31, 2011

Of Cinder blocks, Sweat, & Prayers that Never Quit.

I love to write, even though I'm quite sure my grammar & punctuation would make any publisher or English fanatic cringe. Writing is how I think. How I record the craziness that is my life at times. How I preserve the thoughts I want to always remember. So as a disclaimer, this writing is not about Matt wanting me to take these pictures. Or share what he's doing. What he wants to be. It's my idea. It's the picture I saw in my head when I saw the cinder block. It's the words that formed as my thoughts unfolded...

This cinder block has history...

And  a few decades of sweat (and most likely vomit as well) permanently embedded in its pores from those brave enough to endure its relentless torture. As you can see it has the stain of the blood from those it has mockingly pierced as a testimony that there is no merciful day when it comes to this cinder block. This kind of old-school training. By this kind of old-school trainer.

Matt hates this cinder block.

He hates the pain it inflicts. He hates how it laughed at him and blatantly told him the first day that he lifted it, that he's not as strong as he thought he was. He hates how it taunts him and reminds him that while he is getting stronger, he's not as strong as he needs to be. As much as he resents this cinder block, he respects  it. He brings it in the house each night he is home as a sign of reverence for what it represents. For what it will help him accomplish. He respects it for who its trainer is. For who it has trained. As much as he hates this cinder block, he loves it because he knows if he gives it the due respect it deserves, he can conquer it. And if he can conquer it, that means he is one step closer to conquering his dream.

He knows this cinder block means change. That he must change. That he must mentally become as hardened as the cinder block. Harder than its trainer. That he must become one with the cinder block. Yet somehow still retain all that has made him who he is.

And as I watched him come home from a hard night of training with it, then putting it on his already bloody shoulder to run with it some more after dinner with his Dad, I couldn't help but be proud of him. I couldn't help but think how much he deserves this dream he is chasing. But I know all too well because of autism, you don't get things you want because you deserve them, you get things you want because you chased them. And never stopped until you caught them. Treatment, Recovery, that elusive Cure. I can't help but be impatient in wanting to already know if this cinder block will get this son where he wants to be.  Yet I know even if it doesn't, his journey will not have all been in vain. At all. Just like if I never get that recovery for Brandon, the journey will not have been wasted. We've learned too much. Grown too much.

Patience is taught by this cinder block. In pain. With blood. With sweat. With endless working. While endlessly waiting. In his training, Matt has seen another wannabe come and quickly go because of this cinder block. Much like with autism, you don't come to this cinder block tired expecting ease. In fact, you don't come to it expecting anything at all, except more work. And often pain. You pick up the cinder block tired and do not stop lifting it, carrying it, becoming one with it, until it is tired. And much like how autism never tires, cinder blocks don't tire. Which is precisely why SEALs aren't ordinary men. Autism parents aren't ordinary parents. And SEAL training isn't ordinary training. Life with Autism isn't an ordinary life.

I wondered what words others who have trained with this cinder block and who have gone on to realize that elite dream would use to describe it.  I asked Matt what the cinder block means to him in training with it. He said words like "brotherhood". "Blood determination". Much like our "Life with Autism" has set our family apart from being "ordinary" to being transformed extraordinarily, he wants the set apart brotherhood of what training with this cinder block represents. Much like no one knows what living life with autism is like except those in that brotherhood, he wants to be one with each of his brothers who know exactly what he went through to be one of them.

Life with Autism has prepared us for this cinder block. It has been our cinder block. Nothing has been given to us. Nothing has come easy. Before our cinder block of autism we thought we knew all there was to know about life. Then when autism hit, we were starkly reminded how we really knew nothing at all about life. Nothing that matters anyway. Our autism-block changed us. Everything gained, has been gained by blood. Sweat. Tears. We've had to work harder for every victory. Wait longer for any accomplishment. We've been more deeply crushed by every defeat. Yet much like with Matt and the cinder block, we've developed callouses so that we could endure more and more, bear heavier and heavier loads, press on harder and harder. We've known that to get where we want to be, we have to over come more than most. Endure longer than most. Tolerate what most cannot. Do what most will not.

Though Matt is the only one who holds the cinder block, each of us are being further trained by it as well. And even though there is nothing funny about the cinder block, I like to find humor in what it's training Matt for. The Navy SEALS have a motto that they use in their training that says: "The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday".  I like to think that with our "Life with Autism" motto of "There Are No Easy Days"... -- Matt will have a slight advantage going in...


But no.... I don't know the future...  Every time I thought I did, it mocked me as the cinder block first mocked Matt, and reminded me that I know nothing.

I only know what I can see right here and right now through this blasted cinder block that sits by our front door...

And that is my son.

A man of faith. A man of determination. Of strength. Of indomitable will. And not of the ordinary kind of those things.  Of the kind of those things that being a family living with Autism forges, which is much like what kind of warrior-spirit that cinder block forges for those who dare to pick it up..

This child who was raised by a Father and a Mother...who Never Quit. This boy who saw his brother with autism and seizures defeat death time after time...and who because of that will Never Quit...  This teenager who excelled at all he did in part because of having a brother who couldn't do all he could do...and who because of that will Never Forget that and Never Quit. This man who will not be defeated by a bell at BUD/S... because he will Never Quit. This Christian who loves a God...whose plans to prosper him will Never Quit.

So much stands between my son and his dream.

He's come so very far.

He's got so much farther to go.

Only Matt knows how much he wants it.

Only God knows if he will get it.

All we know in the meantime, is of cinder blocks and sweat...

And prayers that will never quit.


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