Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Half My Life Ago

Half my life ago.

Half my life ago, I was a college co-ed, a biology major, determined to graduate from medical school so that I could then foster greater care to those living in Third World countries.

Half my life ago, that was my lifelong dream.

Half my life ago, I knew that I had it inside of me to better the quality of life of a population that I had decided must live across the ocean from me.

Half my life ago, my vision did not include the care of people inside my own home.

I was barely twenty when I realized that I was not well suited for  pre-med course work. So, I changed paths, and, in doing so, I soon let go of my dream.

Half my life ago, I started down a different road, never imagining that I would find myself where I am today.

Mom to an eleven-year-old with severe autism, I look at our son and think that, half his life ago, he was not toilet trained.

Half his life ago, he was a three-year veteran of a 30-hour therapy work-week in an effort to bring him out of his world and into ours.

Half his life ago, he said with regularity less than ten words.

Growing up beside of him, with his ever-present smile and cheerful laughter was Little Brother. When I think of Little Brother, I remember that, half his life ago, my parents and I flew him across the country for surgery to reposition his left arm. That surgery was the journey of his young life.

Half his life ago, he had yet to be diagnosed with autism, but he spent his days alongside his older brother in therapy of his own.

Half his life ago, what became a normal childhood to him was a house with locks, windows with Plexiglas,  and chasing after his brother in public.

I have sat in the surgical recovery room for my children more times than I can count, and I have looked in the eyes of doctors while having difficult conversations about mental illness, dependent futures  and the question of what will their lives become when I die.

I have pinned my children down to administer medications, brush teeth and to keep them from violence.

Yet, as unexpected this path to parenting has been for me, I can't help but note that, while I'm sitting in the surgical recovery room,  I am sitting next to children.

When I am face-to-face with their many doctors, it is not lost on me that these rough conversations are about my children.

These are young lives.
This is their childhood. 

These will be their memories.

Half my life ago, when I quit following my dream because I thought I didn't have what it took to succeed, perhaps there was different course work I needed to learn in order to fulfill that dream in a different manner.

With hope, the quality of life that I am working to improve is that of my own sons.

Half my life ago, I had yet to learn that there is so much more to life than just me.


This entry was written in response to a writing prompt issued by the Group Blogging Experience 2 (GBE2): Half My Life Ago.


  1. Half your life ago you were, in so many ways, a child yourself. You were a young adult looking for a purpose. Who ever could have guessed how valuable and how enlightening and how completely overwhelming your purpose would be.

    Half your life ago the dreams were, indeed, all about you and what you might give the world. Now, you have given the world insight, knowledge, hard earned enlightenment about life with autism. You have given 2 boys the opportunity to live in a world that doesn't fit them. You are giving them the tools to move forward and maybe more importantly, you are giving the world the tools to understand how we might make the world fit them a little better.

    That's a wonderful beginning. That's a well spent second half with a bright and hopeful future. So very proud of the woman you have become.


  2. You sure have ridden the roller coaster of life many times over. I guess you couldn't have imagined your world today while barely twenty. Thanks again for allowing us a peek into your world.


    1. Thanks for taking the time to visit, Joyce!

  3. The perfect post. I love how your strength and determination to make a difference helped arm yourself for the day to day battle
    of providing love and protection for two busy boys. I'm always in awe.

    1. Thank you, Kelly! Isn't it interesting how life works sometimes?

  4. I think you are an amazing mom to your sons!

  5. DITTO the above and geeeeeeeeeeeeesh............another preface for YOUR BOOK, not a shared soup! :) Yes you were hand chosen by God himself missy, sure we all are, some abort the mission.....isn't it AWESOME to know...despite the whole crazy exhausting haul...you forge on you warrior woman!!!!! and a GOOD LOOKING ONE TOO!! imagine that!

  6. so true, amy... life isn't about us.. it's about our selfless selves.... nice writing, as usual...