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    Posted April 3, 2011 by
    Ravenna, Michigan

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    The Death of a Living Son


    I can still see the look in my son's eyes the day his soul died.   He was just over 16 months old and had survived every mother's worst nightmare: a surgery gone wrong.   As his tiny body writhed in pain and his chubby fingers pulled at the tubes weaving in and out of his skin, he looked at me, his deep brown eyes screaming in horror.  "Help me!  Why can't you just help me?"  But there was nothing I could do but hold him close.  And in that moment, I watched helplessley as his soul slipped away, retreating into a place so deep inside himself that it would be almost two years before I would begin to see it return.


    For three years I waged a war against Autism and lost many battles.  Yet every tear, each drop of sweat, and yes, even some blood shed, was a cheap exchange for the beauty of watching the music return to Owyn's eyes.  Slowly, like the sun reappearing, his soul rose once again in him.


    There is no such thing as being "healed" of Autism.  But Owyn is no longer at the mercy of fear.  He is no longer a prisoner locked away from life and love.  He is his own song, a sweet melody of many rare and beautifully unique chords.  Both he and his older brother Devyn, (who has the milder form of Autism, called Aspergers,) bring beauty to my life I never thought possible so many years ago when we were given cold, clinical definitions of their needs and struggles.  My husband often reminds me that our sons are perfect being themselves, and are so much greater than the people we had dreamed of.   But the truth is that we had to let many things die; the plans of who they would become, what they could accomplish, even weddings and grandchildren so that something so much greater, purer and rarer could grow.

    The hardest days are when my husband is gone on deployment.  We are thankful he is in the Coast Guard stationed at a unit which never leaves US waters for very long, but time has little meaning to Owyn.  Tearful phone calls fill our nights many times a week, yet there is a sweetness that comes when Daddy is home that trumps the heartache.  And perhaps this has become our greatest lesson: Bad and difficult things happen that we can't explain or fully accept. But when we allow what was to die and what could be to grow, the value of the result is so much greater than we could have imagined. 


    Thank God for that.



    For more on my family's daily battle against Autism, write me at hkrpjr2599@frontier.com.

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