The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. – Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
A love letter.
Before you, I was lost.
Before you, I didn’t know who to turn to in my time of need.
Before you, I couldn’t find the words to share my pain.
Before you, I thought I was alone.
Before you, the judging looks rattled inside me and left me in tears.
Before you, I stared at pages of paperwork and walked away.
Before you, I was overwhelemed.
Before you, I stayed quiet in the corner.
Before you, I didn’t know me.
Because of you, I found my path.
Because of you, I know that support is just a phone call, text, Facebook and twitter message away.
Because of you, I have a voice.
Because of you, I walk miles with a village.
Because of you, I can minimize the mitigating language.
Because of you, I ignore the judging looks and respond instead with a knowing smile.
Because of you, I can spell out the swear words and know that it feels so much better.
Because of you, I have learned how to be proactive and not reactive.
Because of you, I can sit at a meeting and say “It’s not my child who failed here. It’s all of us around this table that failed him.”
Because of you, I see the path ahead and know it gets better.
Because of you, I can turn to those just starting this journey and tell them that too.
Because of you, I can laugh through the tears.
Because of you, I found me.
To my friends and family, I thank you.
“There’s a new wind blowing like I’ve never known.
I’m breathing deeper than I’ve ever done.
And it sure feels good to finally feel the way I do.
I wanna love somebody, love somebody like you.” – Someone Like You by Keith Urban
If you happen to be on Twitter, there’s a great hashtag running on there right now #YouMightBeAnAutismParentIf. It’s community and compassion all wrapped into 140 characters. The tag has been running for over a week with some incredible comments. A few of mine were: