Life with Autism

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

An Angel named Fred

I like to think that as long as I'm still fighting, I never truly lose.  As long as I'm moving toward the goal of victory, I'm still in the battle.  As long as I NEVER QUIT, I will still have HOPEISM.  So for any given day in my "Life with Autism" it's more which direction I'm moving.  The check mark at the end of the day in the "forward" column, or the "two steps back" column. 

There's a whole lot of check marks in the "two steps back" column lately...  But today, I got to put a check mark in the "forward" column.  And a very overdue one at that.  There is so much that autism steals from my son. So many things he can't do.  Which is why I was overjoyed when finally we received funding and a slot for him to begin Hippotherapy.  Finally, he could do something most everyone who wants to, can do.  Ride a horse.  The chance for him to break the monotony of school then home.  The chance for him to go somewhere, do something, be free, and have fun.  But so far it's been anything but.  When we're not missing a week due to seizures on horse-riding day, it's a cut-short riding day because he won't stay on the horse or can't tolerate the helmet.  It's been frustrating.  We've had one or two good riding days, but the rest....sigh. The therapist and volunteers deserve such praise for their patience and persistence.  The last riding day we were able to attend, I left in tears as I argued silently with God in that why, why couldn't he at least have this one hour per week that autism doesn't ruin.  After that day we were told they would try another horse next time.  Brandon's constant squeezing of Annie was confusing and upsetting her. 

So this week, today, we were to try a new horse. I almost cancelled today because he had a seizure yesterday, his behavior has been off the charts bad, and I figured why bother.  We'll miss a day of school to just go there and come right back home.  I don't think I could have had a worse attitude about today if I tried.  But, misery likes to be validated, so I picked him up from school and we went for it.

Brandon met Fred. A bigger and stronger horse.  Last session it was agreed that I was to walk along with them to see if that would help Brandon be settled, so I did.  But Brandon didn't need to be settled.  I don't know if it was just our lucky day, if it was Fred, or if Brandon really enjoyed it.  All I know is that Brandon got on the horse and never tried to get off and never messed with his helmet.  One time he got a bit upset, but that was it.

I had such low expectations of today, I didn't even bring my good camera.

This picture was taken with my cell phone. I eventually quit walking with them because Brandon was doing fine. I thought I would try to capture whatever pictures I could.  It was a bright, clear, beautiful day and when they came out from in the woods the sun lit up that horse and I instantly knew why he was doing so good on this day.  It was the Son shining down on that white horse and lighting it up with the brightness of peace and calmness for Brandon.  In past days, weeks, and months of nothing but such disappointment and struggle, it was God sending a shining reminder of HOPEISM for me through an Angel named Fred.

The HOPEISM that in the middle of CDC Whistleblower stalling, media blackouts, twitter parties and anti-vax/pro-vax wars, among all the seizures and sickness and weary warriors, that God's grace and glory still glows.

And some days, like today, shines so brightly it's overwhelming.  I left there in tears again.  But this time, the good ones.  The humble ones.  The very, very, thankful ones.

Tomorrow may be another check in the "two steps back" column, next week may not be such a good horse riding week, but that's ok.  I'll keep trudging forward no matter what sets me back.