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.

May 13, 2018

I am.....

I am…

I am the little engine that did.  When on my journey in life, my tracks led me to a mountain -  a diagnosis of (child’s disability) -  I looked at it with defeat - thinking there was no way I could climb over it.  I then pondered the obstacle before me, and I then said to myself over and over, "I think I can, I think I can...," then I slowly started climbing the mountain saying to myself over and over, "I know I can, I know I can,...."  and then I made it over that ominous diagnosis and continued my journey.
I am unstoppable. 

I am more devoted than Noah’s wife.  I sometimes feel overwhelmed in my  “houseboat” -- 365 days and 365 nights a year, constantly working with and teaching my child.   But when the storms of isolation and monotony become  most unbearable, I do not jump ship. Instead I wait for the rainbow that is promised to come. 
                  I am HOPEISM.

I am Xena.  Real life warrior goddess of (child’s disability).   With my steel plated armor I can battle anyone who gets in the way of progress for my child.    I can overcome the stares and ignorance of those without a disability in their lives - and educate them as to why my child is the way he is, and why he does the things he does.  With my sword of persistence, I can battle the schools to have them properly educate my child, and with my shield of determination I can block laws and legislation that would discriminate against my child.   Yes, I am Xena - and I am prepared for any  battle that might come my way...
      I am the invincible.

I am beautiful.  I have hairy legs because I get no time alone for me, I sport bags under my eyes from staying up all night with my child, and most days I feel I am simply running on fumes. The only exercise I get is the sprint from my house to my car - to take my child to therapy.  Dressed up to me is, well - just that I had a moment to get dressed!     They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and so even on the days when I don't feel very beautiful - I will know that I am…….. because God is my beholder.
      I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am the Bionic Woman.  With my bionic vision - I can see through the disability my child has,  and see the beauty in his soul,  the intelligence in his eyes --- when others can't.    I have bionic hearing -  I can look at my child when he smiles at me,  and hear his voice say, “I Love You Mommy,” --- even though he can’t talk.   Yes, I am thankful to be Bionic.
      I am empowered.

I am Mary.  A not so well known mother of my son whose life would touch the souls of those around him, in a way that will forever change them.  And it started with me.  By teaching me things I would never have known, by bringing me friendships I never would have had, and by opening my eyes as to what really matters in life.  Things like  the Joy of just living in the moment, the Peace of knowing that God is in control,  never losing Hope,  and knowing an unconditional Love that that words cannot express.  Yes, I too have been chosen for a task I would never on my own have chosen, just like Mary.
     I am humbled.

I am Superwoman.  I am able to leap over tall loads of laundry in a single bound, and run faster than a speeding bullet, to rescue my child from danger.  I have eyes eyes in the back of my head and can hear a seizure gasp from my son in the other room even when I'm sound asleep in the middle of the night. Oh yes,  without a doubt, I am Superwoman.
       I am thankful.

I am Moses.  I  am imperfect.  I may at times question whether I am the right "man" for the job ---but God will give me the Faith I need to lead my child to be the healthiest and most independent he can be.     And like Moses, God will give me the  small Miracles here and there,  needed to accomplish my mission.
            I am a leader.

I am Stretch Armstrong – a mom that can be stretched beyond belief – and still somehow return to  normal.    I can stretch limited funds to cover every treatment and therapy that insurance won't.  I can stretch my patience as I bounce from doctor to doctor in a quest to treat my child.  I can stretch what time I have, and share it with my husband, my children, my church, and still have some leftover to help my friends.   Yes, my name is Stretch.  And I have the stretch-marks to prove it!
                               I am resilient.
 I am Rosa Parks.  I refuse to move or waver in what I believe is right for my child --simply because my view is  the minority, not the majority.   I refuse to believe "What can one mother do?"  But instead, I will write, call, and rally to the government if I have to, and  do  whatever it takes to prevent discrimination against my child and ensure that he gets the services he needs.
        I am brave.

I am Hercules.  The Greek god known for strength and courage.   The heavy loads I must carry would make others crumble to the ground.  The weight of Sorrow, Fear at uncertainty of the future, Injustice at having no answers, and the Tears of despair,  would alone possibly be too much, --- even for Hercules.  But then the Joy, Laughter, Smiles, and Pride,  - at my child's accomplishments, - balance the load to make it easy to bear. 
               I am indomitable.

I am touched by an Angel.  An Angel who  lives in a world of his own.   And it’s true.  He lives in a world of innocence and purity.  A world without hatred or deceit.  A world where everyone is beautiful and where no-one is ugly.  A world where there is always enough time when you simply live in this moment.  A world where he goes to bed with no worries of tomorrow and wakes up with no regrets of the past.  Yes, I most certainly am touched by an Angel, and in some ways,  his world is better….
            I am blessed.

I am a true "Survivor" - the mom of a child, who has faced, is facing, and will face, --some of the most difficult challenges life has to offer for longer than any human was designed to have to face them.   I am ready for the marathon to outwit, outlast, and outplay my opponent of disability.  The only things I will be given are the supernatural mental endurance and fortitude to last until the end; -- along with  a sense of humor to cope with all the twists, turns, and surprises along the way.   Oh yes, I am a  TRUE "Survivor" - and I only wish it were as easy as being on a television show and collecting one million dollars at the end. 
             I am the champion.

I am forged from the adversities I have been forced to face.  I have gained a strength from those fires that few could fathom. Where the most elite in the Military have a motto that says "The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday" - as the mom of my son who is vaccine injured I have found my motto to be, "There Are No Easy Days" - only battles to fight with little to no reinforcements for the weary.  And like those elite warriors, I will only be defeated in two ways:  If I give up, or if I die.  I am in it to win it.  I will run to the ROAR.  I will Never Quit.
          I am NDCQ.
    (not dead can't quit)

I am the mom of a child with a disability, all the above,  and so much more.   Some days I will want to be none of the above – and just be a typical mom with a typical child, doing typical things.  On those days I will know it’s o.k. to be angry, and to cry, and to lean on my family, friends, and church, for support.  Because after all, ---the most important thing I am, …..  is human. 
         I am unbreakable.


And on this day, and any other day I need to, I will read this as a reminder,  of just who it is,   I am………

I am Michelle and I live in vaccine-injury land because of the Jabberwocky called Pharma that feeds off of greed, fear, and dishonesty...

But you know what?

I believe in many more than six impossible things...

One of them being that Jabberwocky's can be slayed.

c. May 2000 By Michelle M. Guppy    inspired by Warrior  Mothers I have met on my journey - and dedicated to Warrior Mothers everywhere…….

Please contact MichelleMGuppy@yahoo.com for permission to forward or distribute or publish.

May 11, 2018

The Invisible Heroes...

I wrote the below "Letter to Society" several years ago...

I am sharing it here, for Mother's Day, in honor of all the invisible heroes who devote their lives to caring for their children who have lifelong disabilities, and especially for all who are not their mothers but who care for them as if they were.

I have been blessed to have had several invisible heroes in the course of Brandon's life thus far -- those who have gone above and to infinity and beyond for him. 

Who have loved him as their own.

But today, for this Mother's Day, I dedicate this to Brandon's current "Mom away from Mom" -- who cares for him at his day program.

There is nothing more priceless in all this world for warrior mothers than the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the person who you trust to care for your child - actually does care for your child.

And I especially want Trisha's children to read this "Letter to Society" and to know that of all the professions in this world, there is none.  I repeat, none --- that is more honorable, more valuable, than caring for the life of another person.  I see them at the center with their Mom and I wonder if they truly know what a remarkable person she is.  I see them watching her have to care for the most basic of needs in my son - and I wonder what they are thinking...if they truly understand the word "humble servant" and what it means to be the "hands and feet" of Jesus.  I wonder if they can even fathom how in Jesus' eyes, their mother is greater than the greatest and most accomplished and wealthiest person in this world. 

Society, school, everyone, everywhere tells you otherwise.

Don't believe it.

I wonder if they can understand that...  I pray that one day they do fully understand that...  It is my HOPEISM that they are so very proud of their mother in choosing to do what most others would shun or think is beneath them...

Because in heaven - it will be those who care for "the least of these" who will get the biggest "well done faithful servant" welcome.

Thank you Trisha --

Thank you to all the Trisha's of the world.

Thankful & Grateful,

Team Guppy

Letter to society

I thought it was thunder rumbling in those late hours of the night… 

The calm, peaceful thunder that keeps you slightly awake, but yet relaxed enough to still rest, and sleep. 

But when the wee hours of the morning came, that thunder became not so peaceful.  Clanging and banging, but not in the rhythmic smooth way that thunder is.   That’s when I knew it wasn’t thunder.  It must be my son.  He’s up again.   I tried to ignore the sounds, thinking they would stop.  I was so tired….   Weeks in the summer when school is out can seem like  months when you cannot find attendant care.   But,  the mommy alarm in me wouldn’t let me ignore it for too long…  What if he’s wet… dirty….  hurt.  Then, as I lay there longer still, I became angry.  Why me.  Why again.   Why not wait and see if my husband gets up to check….

That made me angrier.  Knowing that really, even though my husband does his share,  I should get up and do all that needs to be done, because my husband has an important job to go to early in the morning.  He has responsibilities, meetings.  A paycheck to earn.  He must be fresh to do a good job, so he can keep his job.  Me, I don’t have a job, at least not one I get paid to do or can get fired from.  I stay home and care for my son and my family.  I don’t have to clock in.  I don't even have to get  dressed. 

And apparently, I don’t have to sleep either.

So it was with that anger, (and perhaps a bit of self-pity), that I trudged upstairs to my son’s bedroom to see why he was awake.  I didn’t need to turn on lights, I could follow the banging and clanging of toys being thrown, a bed being jumped on.  And by the aroma that met me when I opened the door, I didn’t need lights to tell me the reason why my son was up clanging and banging.

So in the dark I changed my son so I wouldn't disturb the rest of the family.  I perhaps grumbled too loud as I tried to maneuver a diaper on and off in the dark.  I perhaps grabbed a stray arm that was in the way of me cleaning him, a bit firmer than necessary.   And when diapers were changed, clothes changed, and sheets were changed, and he went back to banging and clanging, I know that perhaps I said to him way too angrily, “Go to bed!”

I’m not sure when he finally did go back to bed, but the next morning at 9:30am when I was to pick up my other son from swim practice, he was still sound asleep.  He looked so peaceful, so sweet.  Nothing like what I heard just a few hours earlier.  The guilt was quite a mouthful as I recalled what I was thinking about him in having to be up most of the night because of him.  I hated to wake him up, but knew I couldn’t leave him to sleep while I went.  So I woke him.  Once downstairs he was confused as to why he was turning to go outside to the car, instead of in my bedroom to the tub, his normal routine when he wakes up.

As I drove to the pool, I was now mad at myself, and not him.  Mad that I was mad about having to get up at night.  Mad about being tired all morning; and even madder that I had no one I could call to stay with him when I have to leave – or just to give me a break now and then.  I was mad that my back still hurt after two weeks of pain.   I guess a decade of bending and changing and chasing and dressing had started to take its toll.  Along with nearing forty, adding ten extra pounds; not to mention the lack of exercise because of taking no time for myself, even when I have it to take.  

Too many other more important things to do…

Then I happened to look in the mirror …

Not the rear view mirror, but the special mirror I have attached to my rear view mirror.  The one that allows me to watch my son like a hawk while I'm driving.  So I can see and hopefully dodge a drink he has launched my way.  So I can see when he’s escaped from his seat belt and can pull over before he gets to the front seat and grabs the wheel.

What I saw in that mirror humbled me. 

I saw a little boy with blonde hair, sleepy eyes, and disheveled hair.   I saw my child in pajama bottoms that were inside out and backwards because I had hastily dressed him in the dark in the middle of the night.  I saw a man, with a man’s body, in a sleeveless t-shirt.  A man I admired and who was worthy and deserving of my respect.  I saw a child who tries so hard to navigate a world he doesn't understand, and that doesn't understand him.

I saw my child who could not talk and who has autism, sitting there as pure and vulnerable and as sweet and as innocent as a human being could possibly be.

And I saw the real reason for my anger.

It wasn’t the little boy in the back of the van sweetly grinning and swaying his head to the beat as a song he likes came on.  It wasn’t the little boy who couldn’t sleep last night because he was wet.

It was society...

It was how society had slowly eroded my sense of self worth into thinking that it was a burden to care for or clean up after someone else.  That the job of doing that, wasn’t worthy of respect or an honest wage.  It was those subtle messages I am exposed to each and every day, that say that to be worthy, you have to be beautiful, perfect, smart, rich.   I am none of those things in the world’s eyes.  It was those messages I am exposed to everyday that say that I must be self-sufficient and have a career.  A title.  A degree.  The more initials after my name, the more important I become and the more pay I earn.   I have neither, and get paid nothing.  

So what does all that make me, or the job I do at home?

It was those messages that if you do have some sort of specialized training or position, that you have to do something the world deems worthy with it.   I did go through a policy-making class that trains you how to be a professional advocate.  I am a part of an important state agency council.  But am burdened that because I have no help in caring for my son, that the training and position is going to waste because I am not able to go out in the world and put that training to use.  All I can do is stay home and feed, change, and clean up after.  No traveling to important places to work on important policies to help pass important laws.  No, the most important thing I do each day is to remember to lock all the doors in my house so my child doesn’t run away or flood the bathrooms.

And it was that knowledge that had built up, that made me feel the angry way I did in the middle of the night as I changed yet another diaper, yet another set of pajamas, and yet another set of sheets; in caring for my son.  It was that knowledge that had built up that made me wonder if that is all I would ever get to do.  And if so, was it worth it?

I was sad at how society places value and worth on so many other things, except those things or people that matter most. 

I was sad at how the jobs where you care for others, are the most underpaid, understaffed, and ill-supervised. 

I was sad at how society teaches that no, it’s not worth it.

I was sad at the realization that I too, had slowly become a part of that society.

I was so consumed with finding someone to help me care for my son so I could go out in the real world and get a “real job,” a “real paycheck,” and do “really worthy things,” that I saw caring for my own son as a job that didn’t matter. And by seeing what I did as just a job that didn't matter – the person I was working for, my son, became an object. One that didn’t matter.  One that had no feelings.  By falling into that trap, I understood why there was abuse in state schools, nursing homes, and institutions.  Some there probably felt as I felt.  That their job didn’t matter.  They were working for clients or consumers, and not people.  So what if they talked to them rudely.  It was just a client, not a person. So what if they moved an arm out of the way bit rough.  It just belonged to a consumer, not a person.  So what if they made them lay there wet or soiled a little longer….  After all, it was the middle of the night, who would know?  

Who would care?

I do.

And my Legislator should.  

My state should.

The federal government should.

And above all, society must.

I am not angry anymore, I am humbled. 

At how God used my son, the least of these in the worlds eyes, to teach me a most valuable lesson that all the beautiful, smart, rich, degreed, important, initialed people in this world, could not ever have taught me.

He taught me that all I have to do to define worth, is to look in the special rear-view mirror of my car – and see what is worthy in God’s eyes.  To see what’s beautiful, rich,  and intelligent in God’s eyes.   My son’s worth is that he is simply a child of God. Not enabled, not disabled.  Just a child.  An individual.   My worth is further defined by knowing that in loving and respecting that individual that God thought important enough to create, I am doing what is most important in God’s eyes as well…

Caring for him…


And that is something I will never let society take away from me again.


And if you are someone who cares for an individual in the way I must, do not ever let anyone take that away from you either.


Yes my son, if caring for you is all I ever get to do,  it is worth it; and I'm honored to do it.

Please forgive me for the times I ever felt otherwise.

And to all those caring for those like my son, you are the invisible heroes.

Don't ever let anyone make you feel otherwise.

Written by Michelle M. Guppy                                                         

For all the Brandon's of the world and those who care for them .......