A poem about Autism Awareness
It is a bright…. Clear…… spring day. There is a gentle breeze in the air….. As you walk toward the mall area in Washington, D.C., you see the Cherry Trees in Bloom……………………you stop and pick a flower……..and it reminds you why you are there…
The birds are singing, and the sunshine feels so good on your skin. The preparation for this day has been trying and hard. It was a long and cold winter in many ways…………. Many times there was doubt that this day would happen…….. This day is a Miracle in so many ways. A day where all of our efforts have come full circle. A sense of achievement overwhelms you……….
As you enter the mall area…………. your breath is taken away by the sight of thousands of pictures. You stand still at the power of what they say……..each child’s face silently telling their story………. each one waiting, deserving of only the best.
You see Grandma and Grandpa scanning the boards, trying to find their Angel’s picture. You hear a small voice go “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE… .” You see another child point, “Daddy, that’s ME!”
The Autism Awareness Quilt is on display……………..but it’s so huge – you will never find your child’s square! “Cure Autism Now,” one says – “ Save my brother,” says another…. .Oh, there it is over there, your child’s colorful scribbles on fabric that bring tears of joy and pride………
In the background, you hear speakers, telling the Nation of the need to help these children – and for the first time in a long time…….. you have Hope that this is the event that will make it so.
Close your eyes…….. imagine being there…………Hearing the silence of those who can’t speak………Hearing the voices of those who can…………
A dropped Awareness Ribbon is all that is left of that day…...
Now open your eyes………..
The title of that poem was "A Dream Come True" -- I think now, on the verge of April 8, 2014 -- it seems like it would be best titled, "The Nightmare Continues."
It breaks my heart to think that.
To write that.
Never, ever, back in the 1 in 500 rookie autism parent days would we have ever fathomed numbers of today, 1 in 68. Never would we have fathomed we would be veteran parents. No, not us, our children would be cured by then.
Not ever would I have fathomed reading blogs from folks sharing things as if for the first time when we veterans experienced them over a decade ago. New revelations that are actually old news for us. Same ol', same ol'. New autism organizations formed to take yet more money from the established ones who need the money to be even more effective.
People hindering instead of helping.
The things that are new in terms of treatments and opportunities are still not accessible to those without the means to obtain them.
It's hard to bear at times.
For that rally, for those Congressional Hearings, we worked so hard. We gave everything, and more. And we have continued to do just that. I hear so often people sprinting out of the starting blocks with new ideas and new goals, only to peter out in the name of having to take a break to focus on their own children. All the while, us veteran parents have had no choice but to do both. Find a way to do more, sacrifice more. Heal our own children while saving the world from autism. No break. Who would then pick up the slack?
I sit here still stunned by the sheer numbers now vs then. But I can't help but smile too. I don't feel we failed, I feel we just haven't won yet, and so must keep fighting. No, the only ones who failed, are those doctors and agencies who we have reached out to for help, but who have instead turned their backs. They must live with the realization that they could have stopped this epidemic, but didn't.
We who forged paths when there were none haven't failed. We worked. We followed the truth no matter where it lead because we had nothing to lose. We didn't merely light things up blue and think we were actually changing anything. We listened to the truth, and we acted on it. And we did it from our own homes, with no pay. No one in a fancy office receiving a salary has even come close to those achievements.
No, we haven't failed. Not us who were there from the beginning on the message boards late at night, all night. Not us who called, faxed, rallied, wrote, and researched. Not us who endured scorn, humiliation, threats. Not us who spoke truth in an ocean of lies.
Not us who saved pennies to be at rallies and Congressional hearings because it was that important.
Not us who made history by standing up and speaking out.
Not us who will NEVER QUIT in helping to keep that dream of so long ago, alive.
In that poem above it speaks of thousands of pictures. That's what it was then.
Today, it would be 1.2 million pictures on those boards.
I have the dream now that I did then.
When will anyone hear that silence?
|The "A Call to Action" Autism Awareness Quilt stitched together in 4x6 panels by Nancy LeGendre.|
|Bernard Rimland. I wonder what his thoughts of today would be.|
|The "Open Your Eyes to Autism" picture boards by Unlocking Autism.|
|Brandon. The reason I went there...|
|Kyle Walsh at our prayer meeting before the rally.|
|Brandon's quilt square.|
No way this epidemic of autism can be worse now than when we began our fight.
No way those agencies designed to protect our children's health are still turning a blind eye to researching the obvious, vaccinations, toxins, etc.
There's just.....no way this amount of devastation could be real.