This evening I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
There are times in this life when it’s very easy to fall into a pattern of focusing on the chaos that is going on.
When you’re heart is breaking on a daily basis because your child is beating himself and you don’t know how to stop it, and you’ve cleaned up bathroom accidents all over your floors for half the day, and you just wish your child could talk to you, and progress has been extremely slow at times, and you haven’t slept in 12 years, and you’ve been in choke holds throughout the day while getting your head smashed and your hair ripped out, you don’t always stop to smell the roses if that makes sense.
I often joke with people and say that I don’t know why we own couches because we never sit on them. From the moment our kids are up until they are asleep it’s game on in our house.
When Jim was first diagnosed with autism we took him to see an unbelievable doctor in New York. She and her team administered several tests and assessments, and when we were presented with the diagnosis we were also given a report with her recommendations for Jim’s treatment and necessary services.
I remember looking over the report and sitting across from her and saying, “Wow, your recommending that he receive services 7 days a week?” Her response to me was, “Yes, and if you are told that it’s not possible then you tell them autism doesn’t take a day off!” God I love that woman! To quote Mr. Sykes from one of Jim’s favorite movies (Shark Tale), “Truer words have never been spoken!”
So it can be easy to concentrate on the negative rather than the positive. Is my son in a hospital right now instead of being at home with us? Yes, he is and it is so hard for me to be without him.
But here’s what I am grateful for tonight…
- My best friend and husband, Jeremy. Without him I would never have made it this far. There have been times throughout the years when I didn’t think I could make it one more day, but he kept encouraging me to keep going and let me know that he was with me every step of the way, no matter what. He is my rock, my shoulder to cry on, the one that keeps me laughing, and the one who celebrates every achievement no matter how big or small. Some periods have been tougher than others, but we always make it through. I am so lucky to have him in my life and so are our children!
- The fact that after a year of waiting Jim got the opportunity of a lifetime. There are so many families out there struggling with these same issues we are facing with Jim that desperately need this help!
- For the incredibly talented and kind staff at KKI who are treating our son with dignity, respect, and kindness. It is evident that you are all trying to help Jim! I am not an easy mom to please, so if I say you’re doing a great job and that I’m impressed… then you are absolutely killin’ it! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
- For the Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore. Thank you for opening up your doors to our family. Having a place to stay during this very difficult time alleviates a huge financial burden, and the outpouring of kindness I have felt since arriving has been shocking. Upon checking in I was given several gifts for Jim and he had a full mailbox here waiting for him with lots of treats and cards and letters.
- For the three mothers I have met so far on this new journey at KKI (two of them are staying at the house with me). I am taking such comfort knowing that I am not alone here. Having the ability to share my experiences, worries, triumphs, tragedies and hopes with other moms that can really relate is such a gift and a much needed support system right now!
- Friends old and new, and family who are either following us on this journey or right there beside us to offer comfort, love and support in any way that they can! It is remarkable to me that people I have never met in person are asking how Jim is and are genuinely concerned and praying for our family!
- Throughout my own personal journey I have been taught to adopt and embrace “an attitude of gratitude.” I have learned that how I feel about certain situations depends on my perspective and my attitude. Sometimes I just need to be open to the idea of changing the way I look at things. I am grateful for those special people in my life who taught me this lesson… May I always remain willing!
- For God. Although there were times that I questioned your existence, mercy and love, it is no coincidence that you helped rescue me when I needed you most. I know you are listening and that you have a plan for Jim and our family.
I am truly blessed!