August 2nd marks four years. It is the four year anniversary of Trenton's diagnosis. It doesn't matter if I knew before he got the doctors official diagnosis that he had autism, the anniversary of the offical stamp is always somber. Someone once asked me, "If you knew before the doctor made it official why is that day so emotional on you?"
Well, it is kinda like this....you know when you meet and fall in love with someone and you know that you are going to marry them and spend the rest of your life with them. ..well the date that most couples remember is their wedding day. The day that made it official even though you knew before. Receiving Trenton's diagnosis is the same thing. Even though I knew before he had autism, his official diagnosis day still sticks out in my head. Each and every year I will remember that date but it's the opposite of celebrating a wedding.
I remember everything about that day. I remember what I wore and I even remember what Trenton wore that day. I can still tell you about my whole conversation with the doctor. I still remember where all 6 people were in the room and exactly what the room looked like. I remember exactly how the room spun when the doctor spoke the words that I so didn't want to hear. I remember the items that I brought to keep Trenton entertained in the waiting room. I remember the silence in the car ride all the way home from St. Louis. I remember the McDonald's that we stopped at on the way home and the people in the restaurant. I remember exactly where we sat and how Trenton did in the restaurant. I remember spoiling him with a great big chocolate dip ice cream cone and seeing the ice cream melt off of his chin and fall into his lap. I can still see his innocence.
I hated how the world kept on moving when I felt my world stop. I wanted the whole world to stop!! Mine did so everyone else should have their world stop....that was the feeling that was overtaking me.
I remember walking in to pick up Andrew from my mom's house when we got back in town. I can tell you right where they were sitting when I walked into their house. I remember how happy and scared I was to see Andrew." Did he have autism too?" I wondered when I picked him up and embraced him.
The tears that rolled down my face that night was enough to fill a river. The tears that flowed for the following months were uncontrollable. I hurt today just as much as I hurt then. However, through my faith in the Lord, I have learned how to handle the pain. I have learned how to cope with the pain of a having a child with a severe disability. I have learned to look at the brighter side and make the most of the life that God gave me and my children. I may not be able to take the autism away but I sure can make the most of our life. I can make a difference in the autism community. I can make another autism mom feel not so alone in her early dark days. You name it, I can do it!
Looking back over the past four years, it is amazing how much I have learned. Having a degree in special education helped but not to the extent that you think it would. It is a different ballgame raising a child with autism than teaching them a few hours out of the day.
Trenton soon became the best teacher that I could have ever asked for. He has not only taught me about his disability but he has taught me how to grow stronger with our amazing God. The progress that we have made the past four years is slow but it is progress!!! I would move mountains for him if I could. Because of him and his disability, I am a far better person than I once was. He wil never have the kind of life that I dreamed about for my first born son. If I could trade spots with him I would in a heartbeat. Life just isn't that way.
Instead of dwelling on the "what ifs" I have learned to focus on the "what are you telling me God" type of questions. It is simply amazing how positive a person can make their life even during the darkest of times.
The past fours years have been filled with therapy. Instead of t-ball and play dates, we focus on therapy. Therapy has led us to some amazing therapist and coaches that will forever be a part of our life. We will never forget them!
It is exciting to look to the next four years and to see where we will be at. The past fours years have been challenging, yet rewarding. I predict the next four to be the same way.
Tonight, just like every night, I look at him and think, "How did I get so lucky to be raising one of God's angels?"