A gray cloud brought a hush over our house after the autism diagnosis was not only placed in our hands for viewing, but to remain. And I find it interesting that our child was no different than the day before, yet in a matter of seconds, an explanation to the unanswered questions floating over our heads were brought to the forefront and everything seemed to change. Our atmosphere never again returned to its original state. Our hearts were sunken to an all time low and our minds were blown. “Your son has autism” rang louder and louder by the minute and this tidal wave of truth overpowered what we couldn’t wrap our comprehension around. I screamed and sobbed. Screamed and sobbed. Screamed and sobbed – but I couldn’t stay there. Despite the unbearable pain and disbelief, I had to pocket my feelings, switch gears quickly and champion for my son. I did not know which direction to take, and because the turn around did not come as easy for my husband, for a long time, alone was the habitat where I dwelt. My husband felt lost and helpless. Furthermore, he couldn’t grasp fact in one hand and his son in another — it just didn’t balance. His perspective on everything became dark. There were tears but no conversation. Mad love but fear. Aware of challenges but frozen. Present but distant. Heart but unexpressed. His son was before him, but his ability to reach him was submerged in emotions too deep to articulate. He swam in uncharted waters and found it difficult to stay afloat. It helped a little that he traveled quite extensively. For a brief moment, he would get to escape what he couldn’t see how to aid, how to comfort and how to extend beyond his capacity. I soon realized that it wasn’t that he was in denial, but he couldn’t grab his son, and I don’t just mean physically. We have three other sons and their milestones were clear, but he was crumbling because for Callie the same was not there….and the present became a foundation for what the years to come would favor. After high school. Employment. Housing. Finances. Guardianship. Life after us. All was overwhelming and for awhile both inhaling and exhaling appeared to be at a standstill. However, progress peeped through the fog, slowly but surely, and all the no’s and never’s were pushed aside. My husband’s wall of uncertainty finally began to fall apart. Where limitations had roared, possibility’s cry, although subtle, immobilized it and no more was autism the center of attention – our son was. His feelings have taken a backseat and he recognizes that his child’s now and tomorrow are at stake. He sees the importance of making thunder for your child, and how no matter what, your child needs to know you care and no one is more in their corner than you. Today, my husband and Callie are the oyster and the pearl. Callie lives inside my husband’s covering – tossing, turning and molding into something brilliant…something beautiful…something grand, but always protected through the process. Based on the here and now, one would not have imagined prior that my husband was running with fear and a heavy heart. Still, when you see these two precious souls of mine, you see a force to be reckoned with….and you also see autism awareness and acceptance at its finest.
Thanks for listening,