Autism Mom Meets an Angel

Do you believe in angels? I do. However, I don’t think they are beautiful androgenous humans dressed in flowing white, with feathery wings and golden glowing halos. I believe  angels are all around us: they are you and me. I believe we all are angels to somebody at some time in our lives.   And when it happens, most likely, we never even realize it.

I met my first angel six years ago, just after N’s diagnosis with autism. I was struggling to cope with the diagnosis, I was feeling very depressed and overwhelmed.  I remember vividly  the sunny winter day when I took him over to the local library in hopes of interesting him in books.  N did enjoy the library, not because of the books, but because of the reading area.  It had a wonderful high ceiling, it was round, and largely walled with windows. At the very top of the reading area was a single and gently circulating ceiling fan. N was captivated by this particular fan spinning up so high. Once underneath it, he could not take his eyes off it, nor could he move from the spot directly below. While watching it spin around and around, N would mostly jump up and down excitedly and flap his hands. Or he would spin around underneath it like the tazmanian devil, eyes glued to the fan, until he became dizzy and lost his balance.  Regardless of whether he was jumping or spinning, he was a visual distraction that made too much noise. WAY-OOO WAY-OOO. 

Nick and I were an unfortunate disturbance in the reading area of the library that day. 

My first efforts to divert him were low key and designed for a peaceful extraction from the circumstance – I plead with him:  Nick no sounds, Nick time to go! However he refused to leave this seemingly magical spot in the library on this particular day.  I tried distraction with a favorite toy, I tried to lure him away with food.  I was not up to handling a meltdown that morning, which I knew would happen if i tried to physically drag him away.

The usual glares and stares from other people in the area were not a surprise given the expectations for quiet reading behaviour in the reading area of the library. But there was one little old lady who was just sitting there quietly in the sun, oblivious to N and clearling enjoying the warmth of the sun on her back on a winter day.  She was tiny and tenuous like fine paper, and her frame was folded by age. He hands were thin and the skin on them was almost transparent. Her face, a wizened mass of wrinkles, slimply reflected an inner stillness.

Suddenly N noticed her and walked over to her, invading her personal space so that his knees were almost touching hers. She looked up at him with the most incredible clear blue eyes that I have ever seen.  Then without warning N reached out his hand and touched her wrinkly face. I felt instantly the red sting of embarrassment, but before I could open my mouth to issue my usual apology and explanation “he is autistic”, she spoke to ME “It’s OK my dear, I am 96 years old and I have seen many, many things go wrong with children. You have to love them just the way they are, you know?”

Her comment was so unexpected, so insightful; in a sense it released me. Moreover it stuck:  I have never forgotten her, or her words.  When it is tough to put one foot in front of another, I try to remember the library angel whose simple but profound words help me cope with the loss of my dreams.   For if it is true that our task is to love, then some of the burden of not knowing what to do, or not doing, period, is lessened.

Glad that I was so lucky on that cold winter day, to meet a special angel.

Quote I like from TWITTER :The angel is the person who gives without thought of reward, the person who walks through troubles to save a lost soul. Spiritual Truths (@TheGodLight)

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About lifewithautistickid

I am a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), with an MBA and BA. I have been fortunate to have had an extraordinary life with an autistic kid. I have learned so much from him about people and life in general. I want to make a difference by sharing my extraordinary experiences. Raising a son with severe autism and developmental disability has made me realize how we who are "normal" do not understand "disability". Instead of trying to "fix" people like my son by burying them in the community, I would like to see a society that respects and honors them for who they are. The potential is endless, in a world that can celebrate with sincerity, the dignity of the individual. Love and blessings to people of all "disability" . That includes you and me!
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Joys, Reflective, Totally not coping and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Autism Mom Meets an Angel

  1. Deb says:

    I have been touched by your whole journey my friend but this particular story. Simple yet truthfuland wise wise words from this angel really hit me. As you wrote back weeks ago JUDGEMENT. We all do it, we all have something to say. Unkind words or thoughts are easier to express rather then something kind . Just rememeber what your angel said and hold it close.
    You have had such a challenging journey with N. Yet clearly I her and feel your love and joy and wonderful expereinces watching him grow through your eyes. You are documenting it beautifully, truthfully .

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