Monday, August 27, 2012
On our walk this morning I took a different route than normal and came across this most adorable hispanic grandma. She was a petite little lady with short curly hair and was sporting a big grin on her face. She came right up to us and was admiring G. I was trying to get him to say "hola" and use his few spanish words that he has learned from Dora. He was shy and wanted to leave. When she heard me prompting G in spanish she asked if I spoke spanish. Before I knew it I'd said "Si" and she was off talking a mile a minute and I could barely keep up. I'm still reasonably good at making out spanish if its everyday conversational and she used her hands to help talk which made a huge difference. I nodded my head and did my best to throw in a few words or horribly crafted phrases in Spanish here and there. All I know is that she couldn't get enough of G's curly hair and she was confused by my double stroller but only one kid. She kept asking, "¿Dos niños?", while pointing to the empty stroller seat. It made me a little sad because I often wonder about that empty seat. I didn't have to words to explain miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. I said them in English but I don't think she understood because she asked me about it one or two more times. That empty seat is in a way a painful reminder of the challenges we face, but I won't sell that stroller because its also a reminder of the hope I have in the future!
When I was praying this morning I was realizing that some of my trials in life aren't going to go away quickly. In fact, at least one of them will be a lifetime challenge. I realized as I prayed that patience for me is even more important (and lacking) than I realized. I really want to come to the point that I can embrace these challenges and see the good and blessings in them instead of those things that are lacking or those things I feel I've been cheated in this life.
I have a friend who has a son with autism. He is in his twenties. She commented the other day that while helping a friend shop for clothing she was placing some items over the changing room door to her friend. Soon after she started doing this her son started imitating her and starting throwing clothes over the door as well saying, "Try this," just as she was doing. Eventually he started chucking sale signs and what not. I really admired how this friend was so excited to tell me and how she seemed to find so much joy and laughter in that moment. I know that was only one moment, one glimpse into her reality and the past 20 or so years of her life with a child on the spectrum, but I have much to learn.
Before I had even met this friend others told me about her. She was enthusiastic and had a heart of gold. They felt that she was blessed with a son with autism because she was such an amazing woman. Every encounter we have had since meeting has proven that all true. The spirit of Christ shines bright in her eyes and she does have a heart of gold. She is patient, humble, kind, giving, creative, and willing. I have yet to find a way to embrace this defining characteristic of my life and truly see the joy and good in it instead of always first seeing the negative and then being humbled to recognize the good.
All of this for me is essential in no losing hope, in patiently waiting with faith in the future whatever it holds for G and his autism and for our other children. Amo a mis niños!