Saturday, April 7, 2012

If you're going through Hell, keep going.

The title today, was stolen from a quote by a United States President, but is relevant to parents in the throes of dealing with a new MH/MR diagnosis. I recently wrote an Autism Awareness article for Main Line Parent Magazine ( ) which stirred up a lot of old memories of what life was like for our family pre-diagnosis and in the years following.

The lack of affection, the temper tantrums, the sensory sensitivity and consequent was a nightmare, especially when we didn't know what we were dealing with, or where to go for help.

I remember driving up the road toward a specialist appointment, and being in tears. The frustration, the helplessness,feelings of being alone, and all came to a head, and I began crying out to God: "When do I get a break?!"

It was at that moment that I stopped at a traffic light near a very old cemetery. There's something soothing about seeing those old stones, with antique script work under those shady trees, and I noticed something that particular day. Something significant.

God had answered my question in that moment.

My eyes rested on gravestones belonging to a husband and wife. Both had passed in the 1700's, and much of the writing was weathered away, except for their names, and "at rest," and "sweet rest" respectively still being visible.

Put your hand over your you feel that? That's called purpose. As long as we are living, even when it is difficult, even when it feels like another dead end, DON'T GIVE UP!

My grandfather was big on reciting Longfellow's Psalm of Life, but one of the last stanzas always stuck out at me:

"Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate.
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor, and to wait."

As parents of special needs children, this is especially true for us. Don't give up.