It’s amazing what a little bit of searching can do for you. I was reading through some blogs Friday and there were more than I can read of mothers and families writing about their experiences with a special needs child or children. The more I read the more I saw that these are very strong people with powerful struggles and stories. Life has handed them some pretty tough stuff. But what I’ve found is the majority of them are thankful and joyful. They haven’t made excuses or allowed life to stop just because it’s hard. They have made the choice to be a light to others just like themselves who are struggling in the same areas.
I started to feel myself becoming more thankful to be a part of this community. This isn’t really a “club” I ever thought I would be a part of, or would have wanted to be a part of. But for me to turn down the opportunity to go ahead and embrace it is silly. There are thousands of parents just like me and Justin out there. All I have to do is accept that I am part of it and it only does great things. It allows me to feel less alone. To know other moms are feeling the same way I do. And to hear stories that will crush my heart and bring me to tears, help me to remember to be thankful, and stories that will inspire me and make me want to fight harder for my son.
For about 5 years I have, in my heart, rejected the invitation to be a part of this community. I guess just deep down it was just hard to accept. I know I’ve complained a thousand times and wished this struggle wasn’t part of our world. Of course I pray for recovery for Aiden, but I know in this season I need to be a part of this community and all it has to offer. I’m ready to join. I’m ready to jump in and let them be there for me and I pray I can be that for them as well. It doesn’t mean that Aiden will struggle with the same things forever. It just means for right now I’m embracing all that Autism means. I have written about Aiden’s struggles and what it’s like, but in my heart I don’t think I had ever fully accepted it. I hadn’t accepted that I was part of this amazing community.
In the past several years I have met some pretty amazing people. Giving, selfless people we call Aiden’s teachers and therapists. On hard days it’s difficult to be so open to all of this, but on great days I’m thankful there is so much help for us and I can see the bigger picture. To see the beauty of humanity displayed through people doing their part to serve others. For the ones that don’t teach, they give gifts or words of kindness and encouragement which means more than they know. I am determined to let this part of our life be used for something. I will be joyful even through the dark days, I will encourage those who just can’t see past today. I want to give hope to them too. This part of our life might just be a bit more difficult. But if we are open to it, it will change us in ways nothing else can. For that I’m thankful. And in my heart I am letting go of certain expectations and choosing to join the club.