A few mornings ago I was in the park waiting for Andrew to get out of preschool. There is a really nice park close to his school and since his school is bit of a drive from our house, I use that two hours to exercise and/or do volunteer work for the Autism Speaks Walk. It just so happened the other day when I was in the park that I spotted a young man that I would predict was in his early twenties. I just had to take one look at him and I knew he had autism. He was with a woman that I would say was my age. I would guess that they weren't related and that she was a respite worker for his parents. I admired him from a distance. I sat and watched him with tears of sadness and empathy. It is so saddening to me that there are so many people that suffer from autism. While I was watching him I couldn't help but think how amazing and beautiful he was! As many people in our society would look down upon him and run from the "strange" grown man but I looked at him with an open heart and saw the beauty that lied in his unique life.
After I was done admiring and crying it was time for me to leave the park. I got in my van and as I drove out of the park I saw a van unloading disabled people in the park. The van was from a facility in town that housed disabled people. The two grown men that stuck out to me were walking in circles, flapping their hands, and one was wearing a helmet. Again, I knew they had autism. The one that I could not take my eyes off of was a man in his thirties with dirty blonde hair. I felt as if I was seeing a glimpse into my future. I literally spoke the words out loud, " It looks like a grown Trenton." I instantly started crying and needless to say I could not watch him for very long. I felt like I was watching my future with him. Sometimes I think God gives us glimpses to what our life ahead has in store for us.
I keep thinking back to that morning. Our life is rough now. Trenton's life is very rough but these are the good times! As they get older comes more worries and more heartache dealing with legal guardianship of your disabled children, etc. Then comes the worry even more then that I am older and one day closer to my own death. Who is going to take care of my children when I am gone? Trenton will always need to be taken care of......who is going to do that when I am 6 feet under? To often the homes for adults with disabilities do not have the most loving and passionate workers working for them. Will someone abuse him knowing that he is disabled and can't express what happened? Do I really need to go in more detail of what mothers like me worry about?!?!? I find comfort in other special needs parents because they admit this too.
Here are some of the many sleeping positions of Trenton the past week.