Part 1: A Soul's Body in the Making
Chapter 1: Learning to Cherish Every Child
Short of breath, I struggled to keep my head just above the salty water. Between the crashing waves pounding down over my shoulders and the impending exhaustion setting in over my entire body, I felt deserted. I mustered all the strength in my bones with one final act of desperation and sank down into the depths of the water. In finding a huge rock sticking up from the ocean depths, I pushed with all the energy in my being. In doing so, I was able to elevate my body through the brisk waters. As my head was guided to the top of a large wave, I let out a frantic scream into the atmosphere.
Scanning the coastline for help, I began to accept the inevitable path for my future. I watched as a dark triangle crept out of the water increasing its speed toward my exhausted being. During this time, rain had begun to fall, and my heart was beating out of my chest. In my spiraling mental impairment, I felt the nudge of a large mass from under the dreary waters. Looking up towards the darkening sky, I began to pray from the depths of my soul, as I was pulled down into the frigid waters.
I grasped my stomach in my ultimate attempt to save my unborn child while I was repeatedly being pulled under the waves. I felt blood draining from my leg, as I watched the shark let go of its hold and swim away. Leaving us to perish alone, but together in the open water, I cried out to God for both of our souls. Too tired to cry, scream, or even pray, We began to inevitably sink down into our demise.
Just as my body reached the ocean bottom, I felt a strong arm pull me above the water. A lifeguard had heard my smothered cries. Together we fought the strong storm that had blown in from deeper waters. I felt like the undertow had no intention of allowing us to reach the shore. We were caught in an almost inescapable cycle. The few individuals who were still on the beach, waiting out the storm, seemed only entertained by our endeavor. Their comments and gestures only distracted us from our mission.
Just as the waves finally started to calm, the sky produced a vivid colorful rainbow. Our repeated efforts pushed us onto the sandy beach. Collapsing into the shallow waves, we embraced each other in the warm sunlight. Although we did not yet have the strength to stand on our own two feet, we ultimately were on solid ground. The result of my almost cataclysmic end had bonded us together emotionally.
I looked around and wished I could happily lie on the dry and sandy beach, where I watched numerous parents laughing and playing with their babies. I loved the soothing sand in every aspect and desired to bask in the golden rays of the sun. I could not wait to watch my baby play at the waters edge while I enjoyed, in awe, his growth, and development. I craved to play in the waves that hardly ever reached my ankles, but that was not the course our lives had taken. Over time, I found meaning in my almost destructive experience, because it was in those darkest hours that I learned all about life’s true meaning.
Autism, High Functioning to be exact, combined with ADHD, and Intermittent Explosive Disorder were our large ocean waves and violent storm. Their severity coupled together could have been our destruction, but we would not have them capsize our lives. Moment by moment, we, as parents, pushed on until the waves were no longer knocking us from our feet. With what seemed like the world against us, we battled through an almost impossible forecast.
Even though I had made some immature decisions to land myself and my child in a deep ocean, we were pulled to safety by a wonderful man. That wonderful man came to our rescue in one of my darkest moments, seven months into my pregnancy. Within time, my shark, who had nevertheless helped create this child, swam away. He had hurt my hope and spirit, with his bite yet, he allowed us the time to heal, as I married the lifeguard who pulled me and my child to safety. Together my husband and I confronted our son’s impending behaviors while holding on tight to our little boy, who we loved so dearly.
It was by the love of our son’s soul, that laid buried beneath his neurological diagnosis’, that taught us how to truly cherish each and every child. May you find hope in our true story, encouragement in our techniques, and a deep love for the soul of all special needs children. For it is by the love of the least, the bruised, and the smallest of all humans that we find the greatest love in this selfish world. Slowly but surely, my perfect, wanted, and wonderful child became my fighting reason for everything in my life. Yet, I want you to come to know the entire story. So, before I begin to elaborate further, let me start at the beginning, to the day when I first realized I was carrying a little child inside of me.