3 totally separate things have happened in the last 3 days that I'd like to share with you.
First, Sunday, Subvet posted a link to this blog post. In which Dr Nadal says, among many other things:
"No words so completely capture the challenge of parenting an autistic child. Loving behavior doesn’t come to an autistic child the way it comes to ‘normal’ children. It needs to be handwired bit by bit. In teaching love, we learn love. In suffering with and for our children, we learn depths of love unfathomable but for the experience.
So why so many autistic children?
I believe that in His infinite Love and Mercy God is permitting this to happen as a means of rescuing us from ourselves. We are aborting 93% of all Down Syndrome babies, engaging in sex selection, experimenting with cloning, etc. We need to stop this, and soon.
Autistic children are Love’s answer to our designer approach for offspring, especially as there are no clear genetic markers or physical attributes to pick up in pre-natal testing. We are being given one last chance as a civilization to get it right, to learn the meaning of sacrificial love through a condition that strikes at the very heart of social communication, to walk ourselves back from the precipice of the abyss of narcissistic annihilation."
read the rest here!
Then, Monday, I saw an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor for a minor issue and while I was there asked him about Sonshine's snoring and mouth breathing. As is typical of me I mentioned he's Autistic. Dr Alteneau's response to me was:
"God Bless you Ma'am. You're going to Heaven no matter what the Hell you do! You're going straight there. And it would be an honor to take care of your son."
Then, Tuesday morning (today) Sonshine starts talking about where God is and where the Angels are and asking me what his Guardian Angel's name is. This leads me to search for a Patron Saint of Autism. On Catholic Answers Forums I found the answer. There isn't one but many people have adopted St Bartholomew and St Dymphna. So I told Sonshine St Bartholomew. As I further read the comments (starting in 2004) in the thread someone had posted this article:
(please do include fathers when you read it!)
"While I was searching I came across this:
Mothers of Disabled Children, by Erma Bombeck.
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressures and a couple by habit.
This year, nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how these mothers of handicapped children are chosen?
Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting His instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, He instructs His angels to make notes in a giant ledger.
Armstrong, Beth: son; patron saint, Matthew. Forest, Marjorie: daughter; patron saint, Cecilia.
Rudledge, Carrie: twins; patron saint.. . give her Gerard. He's used to profanity.
Finally, He passes a name to an angel and smiles. Give her a blind child.
The angel is curious. Why this one, God? She's so happy.
Exactly, says God. Could I give a child with a handicap to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel.
But has she patience? asks the angel.
I don't want to her to have too much patience, or she will drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it.
But, Lord, I don't think she even believes in you.
God smiles. No matter. I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.
The angel gasps. Selfishness? Is that a virtue?
God nods. If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she'll never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't realize it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word; She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says 'Momma' for the first time, she will be present at a miracle and know it! When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few people ever see my creations.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see-ignorance, cruelty, prejudice-and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life, because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.
And what about her patron saint? asks the angel, pen poised in midair.
God smiles. A mirror will suffice. "
Some days God tells you what you need to hear even before you're aware that you need it.
Thank you Lord, and someone please pass me the Kleenex.