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 28, 2012

Don't Worry Choose Happy

The above is a picture of a bush at the end of the sidewalk leading up to my front door.  Brandon and I pass this bush each morning as we head into the tan minivan to be off to school.

It was odd how I came to focus on that bird yesterday morning.  When I opened the front door I heard it fly off quickly, as if it had been sitting on the chair by the front door waiting for us to come out.  When we stepped on the porch I saw it head down the sidewalk, stop briefly on my tan minivan, then continue on to that bush.  That bush that it seemed to know we would pass by.

Never before had a bird seemed to be calling me towards it, to follow it.  Typically, it's the mockingbirds who have a nest in our Oak Tree who dive bomb me thinking that I'm going to climb the tree and attack their baby birdies.  (Keep using my front porch as your port-o-potty and I might just do that.)

What a crazy week it was already -- three doctor's appointments for Brandon regarding two upcoming procedures he'll have to have in two different hospitals under general anesthesia.  (Far be it for anyone to get a clue about autism and actually work together, coordinate, to do everything all at once!) One at Memorial Herman for Dental Surgery under sedation to fix a broken tooth from a fall from a seizure, the other at Texas Children's Hospital for an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy with Biopsies to rule out any new issues other than the ones we already know of, that would be causing weight loss and increased bowel issues.

Ahhhh -- the life of "Life with Autism....."

Constant worry.

Constant threat of sadness.

So needless to say, as we were off for our first pre-op visit of that day, I didn't have the time nor desire to be bird watching.

Yet that bird's presence drew me in.  Even with Brandon and his humming and running around close to it in his typical "evade and escape" pattern of avoiding getting in the van, the bird remained still in that bush.

I allowed myself a moment to stop and look at it.  It was a beautiful scene with it being almost camouflaged by the bush. And I do love anything camouflage. I wondered if it would allow me to get close enough to take a picture. I took out my phone and dared to step closer and closer and much to my surprise the bird dared to let me.  One more step closer and I could have touched it.

Only God would send me a bird to wait outside my door to remind me, in all my worry with all I had to do this week and the coming weeks and with all that could go wrong in all of that --- to not worry.

Matthew 6:25
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" 

Luke 12:6-7
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Right before I snapped the picture of the bird, I noticed that where his eye should have been was a scab.

Only God could put an exclamation point on the end of that message by not only sending me a bird, but one who has a disability.

A bird much like my Brandon.

Good one God --

Good one.


I won't worry.

I'll Choose Happy.

August 2, 2012

Autism Appreciation Day

I guess my whole issue with the Chic-Fil-A-pocalypse of yesterday is because I read so many posts about it being about "Freedom of Speech" and not any other issue. What makes it hard for me to believe that, is that I never saw one post on Facebook listing our Bill of Rights.  But I did see hundreds of posts listing scriptures against a certain lifestyle.

To me all yesterday did, was make a well off man even more well off.  He is a strong Christian who has strong morals.  The strongest kind - the kind that puts his Christianity before money.  No one does that these days.  The owner of Chic-Fil-A gives up millions more in profit just to abide by the Bible's principle of honoring the Sabbath and not being open for business on Sunday's.  All through my son Matthew's NWAL and USA competitive swimming swim meets when we as non-Sabbath-honoring sinners would be driving to a swim meet on a Sunday morning and would go through Chic-Fil-A drive thru forgetting it was Sunday and they were closed, -- we were starkly reminded of his beliefs.  We would have to turn around and go to Whataburger - a sinful business that is open on Sunday mornings.  Chick-Fil-A would have continued to thrive with or without yesterday.  The owner would have continued to expand his businesses without yesterday's showing because denying him a permit based on what those mayor's were basing their threatened denials on, would have been overturned in any court.

To me yesterday was about the already full feeding themselves more, while at the same time so many in America were hungry or starving.  It made a wealthy business, wealthier, - the hungry, hungrier, - and all people who sin remained all people who sin. 

But there are two mayors who have been shamed.

I don't know --- seems we could have fed the hungry and sent those mayor's some e-mails instead.

Was yesterday about freedom of speech per-say, or was it about freedom of speech as a Christian to even more emphatically say that a certain lifestyle is wrong?  Which did Christians put the exclamation point on yesterday?  I see it as the latter.  And all that came from that is a further divide and a bigger hypocrisy.  Seeing is how no Christian who ate at Chic-Fil-A yesterday was without sin in their own lives.
I'm writing this from the side of someone knowing how it feels to be pointed at.  Society has put their exclamation point of what they view as "normal" and "not-normal" on me and my son hundreds upon hundreds of times.  It was put on him at school in the form of being banquished to "Special Education."  It's put on me when I try to get insurance to cover treatments for his socially unacceptable "autism" rather than his socially acceptable "asthma".  It's put on us each time we go to a store and we're stared at, whispered about, or silently scorned because he drools, has an accident or meltdown, or hums too loudly.  It's already bad enough that the church in many cases is the worse about discrimination when they are to be the best at breaking down the barriers that divide us.  The church was not created to showcase the perfect.  It was created to house the homeless, heal the hurting, help those who need to be helped.  Welcome the unwelcomed, accept the unaccepted, and to do it in love as the hands and feet of Jesus in drawing the unbelieving world in and not as the voice of condemnation that drives them further away.

I guess I must not be a real Christian. 

While I do believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I do believe what the Bible says about any and all sin - I do not believe that believing that means that I hate all who do or believe other than what I do or believe.  I'm not sure when as a society that thinking happened, but it has definitely happened.  Where if you are a man who happens to own a Christian business and you publicly profess your views -- that it's turned into a hate-war.  Where if you don't believe that man's views, you must boycott and ban that man's business from your city just because of his beliefs.

We are to love people.

We are to have our own beliefs and moral code of conduct and uphold those beliefs by voting at the polls and by raising our families and running our non-profits, our clubs, or our corporations by those beliefs and moral codes. We are to live those beliefs and values, but not by condemning those who God told us to love. And certainly not in a way that pits "us" against "them" - when God loves both "us" and "them". And I don't think God meant that we have to boycott anyone who doesn't believe as we do. Otherwise, what would the point of  Jesus' birth and life on earth as a common (though perfect) man walking among common (imperfect) sinners have been?  All were sinners compared to him.  Yet he walked among them.  Was friends with them.  Broke bread with them.  Served them.  Slept in their homes.  Touched them.  Healed them.  Did he become influenced by them?  No.  Did he try to influence them by his example of love?  Yes.  He even washed the feet of the very person who would betray him - that betrayal that was the beginning of his journey to death on the cross. 

Even when all who he came to save rejected him, he still loved them and died for them.

He commanded us to disciple.

We have instead distanced.

As for me, I'm thankful for autism at times like this.

In fact, I'm claiming today as "Autism Appreciation Day."

My son cannot read, write, or even talk.  He doesn't understand religion.  He doesn't know about hate, intolerance, homosexuality, heterosexuality.  Thanks to autism he will most likely never, ever have the opportunity to even be married.  To anyone.  He doesn't understand about Freedoms or even who the heroes are who fought for and died to protect those rights he has no knowledge of.  He doesn't understand why you should eat somewhere for some reason, or why you shouldn't because of another reason.  He just knows that if they don't serve GFCFSF food, he can't eat there regardless.

He doesn't care what color the hand is that holds his. What language they speak or what gender they are.  He doesn't care what the religion is of someone who chases and tickles him.  He doesn't care if the person who helps him learn how to communicate has had premarital sex or extramarital sex.  He doesn't care if the person who wants to go for a walk with him has blue hair, piercings, and tattoo's - or not.  He doesn't care if they're smarter, faster, thinner, fatter, or prettier than him.  He just cares if they would be a real friend to him.

He doesn't care about Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, or Conservatives.  He just cares if the people attached to those labels are nice to him. If they respect him. If they protect him from harm. If they will serve him as their constituent too.

He doesn't distinguish between Baptists, Buddhist's, Muslim's, Methodist's, Christians, or Catholics.  He just cares whichever one will welcome and make a place for him at their church.

That's what keeps me sane in the insanity called "Life with Autism". Being constantly challenged to see the world and God through my son's eyes, not mine.


Today is the day after the Chic-Fil-A appreciation day.  Children are still hungry.  Every other basic human right in America is still being threatened without outrage. We are being genetically modified by vaccinations and food.  We are being doped and drugged by the Pharmaceutical industry.  Politicians and policies are being bought by their profits. We have skyrocketing debt, no money to give to organizations who help those who no one else will help, yet we collectively spent a small fortune supporting a business that was never, ever in danger of losing not one expansion possibility or ounce of profit.

And there are still 1 in 88 children, youth, and adults with autism. 

And as far as Christians and the church?

I know that I will remember yesterday as the day satan collected winnings on a bet made with someone about how on a Wednesday he can get more Christians standing room only at a fast-food restaurant than at a revival or prayer meeting at church.