I think everyone, at some point in their life takes stock of their lives by asking this fundamental question. I know I have many times and this is my answer: I would change nothing about my past. One must realize that if the ability to change ones past were available then the present would be equally changed as well. I for one am happy with the person that these past 47 years have turned me into.
It hasn’t been an easy life, and yet again whose life is ever easy? I think on things sometimes about choices that I could have made differently. These choices I speak to are ones that occurred from the age of 20 and beyond. And some of the choices were from things that were beyond my control. In 1985 I was involved in a car accident that netted me a bit of money and allowed me to purchase a mobile home a good distance away from where I was living when the car accident occurred. If I wouldn’t have been involved in that accident I wouldn’t have had the money to purchase the home. If I wouldn’t have purchased that home where it was I never would have applied for the job I did. If I wouldn’t have applied for that job I probably would never have met the man who would later become my husband. Without my husband I wouldn’t have the children I have today. And without the children I have today I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. AND that is the reason I wouldn’t change a thing.
Sure, life would be easier if JR didn’t have “autism”. But, I wonder if it would have as much meaning. I have said many times that JR’s autism has done more for our family than any other single event. And in the beginning it was hell on earth and I hated those days as most people hate adversity. Yet at the same time it made me more aware of what is really going on in this world. And all though a lot of bad is going on, a lot of good is also happening. My son’s “autism” has been a blessing in many ways. The hope (which to me is God’s greatest gift to man. However, that is a topic for another entry.) it has given this family for a better way can’t be measured. The love we have for each other as a family also came from “autism”. It has brought this family back together at a time when it was floundering to survive. “Autism” also allowed me to use the gifts, (personality traits of stubbornness, of getting things done, of fighting for what my son needed no matter the cost, things I never considered gifts before) that God gave me to benefit others as well as myself. When I first decided to start my group on yahoo, it was initially suppose to be a support/therapy group. Well it didn’t turn out that way and the group took another direction into an informational medium. But that was therapy; for me. As I informed others of the dangers of vaccines, coal burning power plants, Codex, the government, the drug cartels and the like, I felt empowered. I felt I was contributing something back, something I had lost sight of. An ideal of some kind. That group was a win-win situation. People got information and I got the therapy I needed in order to help my family and my son.
My daughter also benefited greatly from this experience known as “autism”. We could have lost her for all the time that JR required of us. For all the changes that came to our family she could have faded into the background. But her strong personality kept her strong and vibrant in all this adversity. She not only wasn’t lost but she found a purpose for her life as well and at a much younger age than I ever did. The sacrifice for this gift was pretty steep but damn the resulting young woman that has come out the other side of the fire reminds me of the phoenix. Being reborn from the ashes of the fire. Also to continue and never truly to die.
My husbands greatest benefit in all this I believe is acceptance and patience. I remember a time when he and I were considering adopting a child and I was looking into a special needs child. He said no, he didn’t feel he was equipped to handle a special needs child. Well, I think God was listening to him and decided to teach my husband just what kind character he really has. The man stepped up to the plate and never ever wavered. He could have ran, hell I could have ran for that matter. But we decided to stay strong, get our heads together and do for our children what they so desperately needed us to do.
I believe that JR has benefited from all this too. The research and choices we have made for him seem to have been the right ones so far. The bio-medical approach is working. The school placement is the best we could have ever gotten anywhere. He’s thriving, happy and has a love of family, life and school. His intelligence is so high that the words “cognitive delay” have been removed from his IEP to be replaced with “highly intelligent”. Everyday I thank God for all those that have been there to give us information to help him and all those who have helped him to grow into the young man he is becoming. The list is endless and I could take a whole other blog entry to thank everyone.
So would I change my past if I had the opportunity? No, not even JR’s autism. Too many gifts would be forfeited, for it truly is a domino effect; the changing of the past.