I was a child and she was a child
In this kingdom by the sea:
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee,
Annabel Lee, Edgar Allen Poe
I usually run all of my posts by my wife to make sure my occasionally occurring Foot-in-Mouth Disease does not rear its ugly head. Not this one. Look out gums, here come the toes!
I met my wife when I was 14 years old. It was love at first sight. We quickly became old-fashioned, old school style high school sweethearts-the kind where weekends hanging out with friends quickly became weekends hanging out together alone. It was the kind of love where it did not matter what we were doing, so long as we were doing it together. Our favorite thing then (and now almost 25 years later!) was driving in the car together. If there was an ice cream store 2 miles away, we would drive to the one 20 miles away, just to enjoy each other’s company.
I often tell my wife that I believe our coming together was planned by someone or something far more powerful than us. I think we met when we did for a reason. Her father passed away when she was only 17 – and I got to know him for about 3 years. He was a very special man – a gentleman in the pursuit sense of the word – and I am honored to recount his life to our children, who never had the honor to know him.
If there was ever any doubt in my mind about the existence of a higher power and that power’s role in bringing us together, that question was resolved conclusively when Autism entered our lives. All that I do, all that I say, all that I am, all that I have written, the smile on my face today and my optimism about the future are all possible because of her. She is loving, patient, caring, compassionate, intelligent, selfless and beautiful.
My wife is a tireless researcher and advocate for our child. If there is an article out there on Autism, she knows about it. If there is a story out there about a child with Autism, she has read it. If there is a treatment option, she has considered it. She sacrifices all of her time to ensure the well-being of our children. She sacrifices herself physically during those recurring sleep-deprived nights and days of flailing arms. When not putting out the Autism-induced fires, there she is on the computer, researching, advocating, questioning, reflecting, listening, volunteering and offering advice.
And, when she is not riding the roller coaster that is our life, she is there riding it with others- offering information to other families starting a similar journey and feeling their pains and sharing their joys.
When Autism is someday in our rear-view mirror it will be because of her efforts navigating us through it all.
How she does all of that and still puts up with me is a question for the ages!