It’s my boys’ third birthday today and it’s time for me to write my letter to both of them and let them know just how amazing they both are and what I have learned from them this year.
Nolan – my sweet amazing survivor. This past year the word autism came into our vocabulary. At first I was advised that you were “at risk for autism” and through a number of appointments, evaluations, questions that was changed to a full diagnosis of autism in May. One of the hardest things for me in this process was to talk about what you could not or did not do. That was the absolute opposite of how I choose to see our lives, your life. I choose to live life in the terms of what you can do, what you have overcome and just how accomplished, bright and sparkly you are. And - being the mother I also know that the world, as it is now, needs that diagnosis so that I can get the extra support, guidance and love you deserve to help you to become the amazing person you already are. So I allow the diagnosis but I will never allow it to discount you, your abilities and your light. I have seen you grow in your understanding of the rules of the world as you gain more experience and trust in this place you have landed for this lifetime. I have watched you reach out to your teachers and therapists and have seen their eyes light up with excitement and joy at your continued growth and development. Your smile sets hearts afire, truly it does. I have seen it. I have felt it. You started preschool this year. You started playing on playground equipment. You went down the slide! Your future is unbound, full potential, joy, excitement, growth and success. This I know to be true. I promise you that anyone who knows you or knows of you will also know that this path that you are on has an ending that is beyond anything we can imagine. I love you my beautiful boy.
Birthday morning before school.
Eli – my shining star. First I must say that I know you are close to us. I know that you hear and see Nolan when he looks at your picture and says “E”, or when he sings “Eli, Eli, Eli” for no apparent reason. I know you are the reason and you are very apparent to me. In February John left this earth unexpectedly too. I know that you were there to meet him after he transitioned. The two of you are connected in my heart. Please tell him I love him and give him a hug from Nolan and I. It has been the through the wisdom that I have gained in being your mother that I have the understanding to offer support to my clients who are looking for connection with their loved ones who have transitioned. It is the depths of my grief over your death that has opened me up and allowed me to support others in the depths of their grief. I have seen your hello’s to me in the Eli skies; the sunlight streaming through the clouds in lines of light, numerous times this past year. I finally received the Molly Bear I requested in your honor. He is beautiful and brings a smile to my face. Also, finally, I put together and ordered your memory book from Shutterfly. I smiled and cried as I created it. I smiled and cried when I opened it. I smile and cry when I remember you. I love you my sweet son. I miss you. I know that I will see you again and until then I promise to continue to care for your brother to the best of my ability and to use the love I have for you to help and love others. Happy birthday my Eli.
Nolan kissing our Eli Bear. He has just started doing this recently.