Monday, November 30, 2015

An Autism Mom Named TaLesha

Many of you know that my passion is helping autism moms. Sometimes the dads. But it's usually the moms.

They message me from Brazil, and Egypt. Ireland and California. I message them back or give them a call, and answer their questions. Give them ideas and resources. Give them Hope. 

A while back I was working in Lafayette. After work I received a message through Facebook from an Indianapolis mom. I had met her once before at the conference I hosted. She wrote "please contact me as soon as you can, I need help." The message came up on my phone just as I was leaving work. So I pulled over (I'm not so good at talking and driving) right before the exit to the interstate. I gave her a call and we talked for at least an hour. She wanted to know if her concerns about her son's therapist were well-founded.  I told her that the mommy instinct is usually right. If she thought that something needed to change, then it probably did. She decided that she needed to make a change for her son soon. 

I don't remember if we talked about biomed on this occasion. We probably did.

I do remember talking about her cancer, which I had not known about prior, and how she wished that she knew a few years ago what she knew now. That cancer and autism had environmental causes... and if she had done some things differently, she and her son might not be sick. 

I told her that you can't know what you don't know. You have to move forward and work with what you do know now. You can make changes and you can heal. 

She told me that she was trying. Really hard. But that she thought for her it might be too late.

We ended our call with a promise to talk again soon. 

I didn't hear from her for a while. So one day I clicked on her name on Facebook which took me to her wall. Her wall had condolences from family members and friends, messages saying "we miss you."  And I realized that she was gone. 

Every time I drive to Lafayette now. Every time. I think of her. 

Her baby must've been about one when she died. Her son with autism maybe around six.

My thoughts of her are somewhat sad. For her family. For her babies. But mostly…

She reminds me not to take for granted what I have. To remember to have fun and worry less. To hug my kids tighter. To take better care of myself. To be happy for those I can help. 

To be glad that I was able to help her in someway. 

And most of all, that she was able to help me.

I drove to Lafayette today. On the way home I had to pull over. I had to write this post. 

And as always seems to happen, I finish writing. I look up, and the time is 4:40.  You can see why that's an important number to me by clicking here. Yes, I am in my car. And I am crying.

Thank you TaLesha, for reminding us to slow down. 

Until we meet again.

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