Saturday, January 19, 2013

Grieving the Possibilities

There's one report card that never fails to bring me to my knees. You can know all you want but when it's in front of you, when the tangible proof is in your hand, you have to admit it. I said before...

"Knowing isn't the same as admitting and admitting makes it real and real hurts."

and let me tell you, it hurts. I can't even say what it is that hurts. It's not whether or not he makes progress, it's bigger than that, even though seeing the word "progress" does give you a sliver of hope. Hope in the possibilities. which is a double edged sword... those "possibilities".

"you have to consider the possibility that he may never go beyond where he's at."

and my chest aches so bad I can't breathe. Hearing those words was a reality I needed to face. They are words I needed to hear and words that I'm grateful she had the courage to speak. Those words helped me though a dark time by grounding me solidly in the real. They have helped me adjust my expectations, they have helped me accept what is. but that doesn't make them hurt any less on the days I "hear" them again, even though they have never been spoken out loud since that long ago day. Every time his report card comes in, I face the reality of those words, and I mourn the future Alex was supposed to have and I worry about the future he will have. What if he never goes beyond where he's at? Most days I'm ok with that, most days it doesn't make a difference. But some days, when I get that prognosis handed to me again... on those days, it's like hearing them again for the first time and the scab is yanked off the wound.

The scariest possibility for me is... will he know? When his brothers are grown and gone, living their own lives, will he know and feel the loss? Will there be a day that he looks at me and asks, "Mom, why can't I do that?" why can't I drive a car or get a job or live on my own or get married or have babies? What can I say to him? or even worse, what if he knows and feels the loss and wonders the why but doesn't have the words to ask?

and then there are my losses as his mother. The milestones I should have in my own journey as his mother. The future I should have been able to share with him. These experiences were not stolen from me, I was not robbed. I do not feel as if I have been shortchanged. I feel that it is what it is but I'm sad just the same. There is no absence of life here, we have a future of life together in abundance. We have joy and wonder and excitement and tears and laughter and sorrow and love ahead of us but I can't help but hurt for the possibilities of what may never be.

Report cards come in and I see the possibilities and the realities and I grieve. It's not the autism or fate or God or anything other than the one thing that should be pure hope... Possibility.

 "you have to consider the possibility that he may never go beyond where he's at."

and fearing more than anything the possibility that he just might understand what that means.

Alex is Alex, always has been and always will be. I am proud of him, always have been and always will be. I love him, always have and always will. Taking a few days to grieve the possibilities does not take any of that away from him. My grief does not define him or tell him anything more than his mama loves him and wishes the best for him. My grief is my emotion. an emotion that I am entitled to as his mother. as a person who loves him.

So, I take my time and I grieve the way I grieve and then my aunt, my sweet, loving, wonderful aunt gets ahold of me. She wants to listen. I'm not really in the mood to talk but how can I refuse the offer of family to do what family does? So I start talking and she starts listening. and she says, "I don't want this to sound (mean), blunt but... can you miss what you never had... what is his perception to what he's missing? the loss of what will never be... he always seems to be happy living in the minute... as you said, wonderful." and she's right. so very right. He is happy today and that is enough for me. Every day that he is happy today is another day that my wishes for him are fulfilled. I love blunt. I get blunt in a way I've never gotten the "there, there" of people too afraid to say what they are thinking. According to my aunt, we got that from my grandma, another very special woman who is very much missed. and then she tells me, "now take a day cut off from the world..kick scream unfair life is fall down on the ground if you want...but then get up dry your eyes put on you big girl panties & do what you do his mom & blog on it :) make a difference!!!!" Yes, ma'am. I'll get right on it.

So, I took a shower and washed away my tears, I put my big girl panties on, my makeup, painted my toe nails, gathered my husband and my babies to me and went out.

Every one who has sent me messages, telling me you understand, offering to be there if I need you- thank you. You made a difference for me.

Aunt Susan, I love you. Thank you for caring enough to be (mean) blunt. ;) You are just as special as your mother, I hope you know that.


  1. such heart and raw emotion here! Hard not to tear up! Emotions suck, and always seem to knock us on our arses! I'm glad you took time for yourself, and then went out with your family.

  2. Youre amazing! Thanks for sharing! Love your honesty. Glad you're back! :) hugs Mac

  3. “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”
    ― Heraclitus

    Things may certainly look the same but it is impossible! Alex is constantly changing and growing even if the changes are microscopic. I am so sorry that grief has found you again. It sounds like you have a handle on it and have found a way to counter the effects. I certainly wish I lived closer! I would share my M&M's with you!!

  4. Hang in there, I wonder have you tried the coconut kefir water yet.

  5. Hang in there! Try not to get overwhelmed by the future. Just take it one day at a time. xoxo

  6. I bet he is happy in the moment a lot because you are cool enough to notice that farts are hilarious. Among other things. See you soon!