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 24, 2011

On the corruption of my husband...

I'm not sure what made me think of doing this... I guess for an escape from the heavy issues I've been facing lately my mind must have needed a bit of levity. Or lunacy. Knowing me, perhaps both.

Either way, I found myself thinking about my husband and how he has changed over the years since I first met him. As he casually remarked this past Sunday, "Nothing about our life is normal..... We're not normal, our kids are not normal... Our dog isn't even normal."

But I remember when we were.  My husband especially. When I met him, he was pretty normal.  Perhaps too normal. His family was, is, a very typical Bible-belt Church-going family. They are pretty routine, live simply, follow the rules, don't make a ruckus. They, like Todd, are really good people with good morals and good values.

Which when I consider what I and my free-spirited with attitude self had to bring to the table in our marriage, I could kinda see why his family got together and took up a collection in an attempt to bribe him not to marry me.


Coming from an Italian/German family - I was raised by Uncles who could have starring roles in any of the Godfather movies. And I mean that with utmost respect and admiration.  I would always secretly tell my friends we had mafia connections and that anytime I wanted to I could send my Uncles after them.  I think before I learned how to write my name in Kindergarten, I knew how to jew a vendor in English-town on the price of a piece of most likely stolen luggage.  My Uncles made sure I knew the important things in life!  Ha ha ha....

My family was big. Big fun, big laughs, big loud, and big 'if the food wasn't perfect at a restaurant, it went back and back until it was cooked right.'

Big opposite of Todd's quiet, to themselves, never complain about anything family. And I mean that with the utmost respect and admiration too.

It was just funny when we figured out how different our upbringings were. Ok so maybe not funny at first, but eventually!

I had bought Todd something that didn't fit. One day he was going to Wal-Mart and I gave him the bag and receipt and asked him to exchange whatever it was. He looked at me like I just asked him to kill his mother! He had never returned anything to Wal-Mart before that!  While I, on the other hand, cannot count how many times while in Wal-Mart I had to stand beside my mother in horrified 'beam me away' shock as she would argue with a sales manager about why he wouldn't take ten extra dollars off a minutely scratched lawn chair (or any other item she wanted but didn't want to pay full price on) already on red-tag clearance.

Teaching Todd that he would not in fact die if he returned something to Wal-Mart was when my corruption of him formally began. Well, after the corruption of our Wedding reception.  We had planned for everything, but not for the fact that my family drinks and his family doesn't.  My family brought out the wine at the reception and it was like Moses had entered the room and parted the red sea.  "Would all the hell-bound Catholic drinkers please go to the right of the room!"  "Would all the heaven-bound Baptist non-drinkers please go to the left of the room!"

Todd and I still chuckle about that......

I like to think I brought a bit of insanity to his sane world.

And I know he's brought a bit of saneness to my insane world.

Life with Autism helped with that. It was hard for him to be serious when he walked in the front door and slid half a mile in a pile of poop I had missed during some tough "Leaky Gut" days my son with autism had.

He eventually quit turning red when Brandon would launch a glass jar of jelly out of the grocery cart and everyone would stop and stare at us like we were circus freaks begging for money on the corner of 5th and Main.

He eventually came to appreciate the fact that Brandon's humming, while mind-numbingly irritating, not to mention horribly embarrassing in public, did serve a purpose if we ever got lost in, you guessed it, Wal-Mart.  We all knew to just follow the noise.

With the corruption of my poor husband came his sense of humor that I'm now sometimes jealous of.  This man who was so serious, so proper, so reserved, was actually heard saying when we pulled up in yet another church parking lot to eventually not feel welcomed at -- "If someone says Good Morning to me, I think I'll punch them in the face!"  This during a time when our son with autism refused to sit in a car seat and when made to would scream the entire way to wherever.  During those years we lived one wrong look away from jail.  Honestly, looking back, if we hadn't been corrupted into gaining a sense of humor and a deeper love of Christ, both at the same time, we wouldn't have survived.  Our marriage sure wouldn't have.  Who had money for marriage counseling?  Who had time to read a marriage book?  We had to learn to do things the old-fashioned way -- by digging deeper and dealing with it and not running away. By Hard Work. By Faith. By Prayer.

By Laughing.

Recently my husband made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to die.  He had just gotten out of the shower and was drying his hair. He paused. Brought the towel to his nose and smelled it. Sure enough, Brandon had somehow peed on it and he had just dried his hair with it.  Now you know you've been totally corrupted when you don't immediately jump and freak out like normal people would.  No... not my husband. Well, not my new and improved corrupted husband.  He paused another moment. When I asked him about why the pause, he said he was trying to decide if it was a recoverable incident, or a non-recoverable incident. When he explained that, I just exploded in laughter. I mean some aerobic, calorie-burning get the ben-gay out for the muscle strain laughter. To him, a recoverable incident would just be where he can wipe pee or poop off his hands or something and go on.  A non-recoverable incident would be something that you couldn't.  Like having to get back in the shower so your hair doesn't smell like pee all day.

Hence the newly coined term in our house, "Well, that was non-recoverable!"

Ahhhh, I'm so proud of my husband.  I've done him good over the years.  Life with Autism is teaching him well.

And speaking of dying laughing... We even have our gravestones planned out.  That's how corrupted we are.  All of us.

All four of us will be in a row...  I, being the Queen Corrupter of the House, will be first with my Gravestone reading:   "Finally, no more poop!"  Todd will be next with his Gravestone reading:   "Well, that was Non-Recoverable!"  Matt will be next with what he always says after a "Non-Recoverable":   "You just can't make this stuff up!"  And Brandon, our dear sweet Brandon who has corrupted us all so very much in the very best of ways, -- his will read:   "And everyone always thought I was the weird one..."

Yes, I am very proud of how each of us has changed, has evolved, has learned to embrace life and enjoy it to its fullest despite all the things that try to empty it of happiness.

I'm proud of the ways the good crazy in me has rubbed off on him, and how the good sane in him has tried to rub off on me. Though I think I've fared better in corrupting him.  One day when I received a copy of a magazine one of my stories was published in, with a serious look on my face I handed it to him telling him he should share it at the meeting he was going to at church.  He looked at it, then looked at me, rolled his eyes and said, "You do realize I'm a Deacon, don't you?"   I laughed so hard. I just couldn't help myself.  The magazine was the "Brimstone Bulletin".  I had been published in "Mother's from Hell".

I know.  I am bad.  And my husband is so very good.  And so very corrupted.  Where once he was mortified by my antics, he now says, "Give me the list of churches, time to move to another one after that...."

Why... I bet one day at work he'll even be brave enough to say to someone bragging about their kids triple-play or winning home run on the state playoff game, "Well, my kid can out poop your kid!"

And then walk off smiling.

Ahhh, it's a dog eat dog world out there...

And I'm so glad we're Guppy's.

Choosing Happy. Living Joyfully. Following Christ. Wearing Camo.
                                         The Guppy's

P.S. -- when I asked Todd for his permission to share this, he shook his head as a man knowing he had no choice, and replied:  "You shouldn't be allowed on the internet!"

Ha ha ha ....  I love you Todd!  So very, very much...

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