Life with Autism

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Celebrating HOPEISM

Talk About Curing Autism ( click here for TACA FB page ) has been featuring pictures of those who have autism on their FB page, along with something their family is celebrating about them or their accomplishments. It is really touching to read and sure puts "Christmas" and "Christmas Gifts" in perspective. The families featured - their Christmas wish lists so very different than typical families. The things they celebrate, so very humble. As much as I hate, hate, hate, LOATHE, autism, I love the things it has taught me about life. Christmas is the hardest time of year for us because of autism. Nothing about "Autism" can appreciate or tolerate "Christmas." My son has no imagination to believe in or watch all the classic Santa movies. Visiting Santa at the mall one year resulted in Santa most likely being forever infertile from the meltdown! Brandon has no concept of gift list and at present straws are the only toys that would even be listed if he could write.... Parties at other people's house? No thank you. Holiday treats? Only if GFCFSF, Paleo, non-GMO, no sugar, artificial anything, no preservatives, and it must comply with the ketogenic diet. Hence why we don't get out much at Christmas. Our life with "true autism" can tolerate nothing about Christmas. I worked very hard to even be able to have trees and decorations for this season. Typically my house is bare all year long. Yet despite all of those issues, this is the most wonderful time of year for me because of how Brandon has taught me how to cherish Christmas. The true meaning and spirit of Christmas. Which is found in none of those things listed above that Brandon cannot tolerate. It is found in the simplicity of Bob Cratchit's family sitting in their humble house that wasn't filled with gifts or food, but rather overflowing in love. It is found in little Tiny Tim, "the least of these", who toasted Scrooge with a smile on his face and who in church said these words that Mr. Cratchit shared with his family: "He hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk, and blind men see." When I saw what Talk About Curing Autism was doing, in highlighting the things parents are celebrating in their child this Christmas -- I knew which picture of Brandon I would pick. This one. Our "celebration" is very different than what you will read from others. In our particular brand of "Life with Autism, Seizures, and a side of Trauma" -- we celebrate not any one particular victory, but rather HOPEISM. Brandon still has significant daily struggles with autism, seizures, and the trauma they bring to his body. We have tried many things that have not healed him. We have gone through many doctors who have not helped him. What we do celebrate with him this Christmas and each day is how he survives. How despite all he must endure, he still smiles. Oh how we simply celebrate his smile this year! How finally after more than a year of searching, we found a dentist who would restore that smile that shines so brightly the rare times we see it. We celebrate our never quit warrior mentality in trying to help him that is driven by the fact that Brandon has no option to quit his autism. We celebrate how we are still standing despite how very many times autism and seizures and trauma have tried to knock us down for the count. We celebrate the one autism doctor we have who has not abandoned us when the going got tough. Who is still in it to win it for Brandon despite how many times we have lost. We celebrate the friends who have stood by us and who have not abandoned us. We celebrate all who work tirelessly and at great personal sacrifice to share the truth about autism. We celebrate all who continue to pray us through. And tonight, on Christmas Eve, we will celebrate those who make it a tradition to come to our home to sing Christmas Carols for us because it is simply too much for us to attempt a Christmas Eve service at church. Much like what little Tiny Tim was sharing about in going to church on Christmas -- we simply celebrate Brandon and how he teaches us the true meaning of Christmas, and we celebrate the HOPEISM that Christmas brings. How Jesus' Birth on Christmas Day gives us HOPEISM in knowing that even though we have not seen those prayers of healing answered, nor any one great accomplishment in Brandon this year other than surviving more seizures than we care to tally, --- that those prayers will be answered. Those accomplishments will come. Jesus can make the lame walk, the mute speak, and the blind see. He can heal autism and stop seizures. We celebrate that we will never quit believing that.