riding shotgun down the avalanche

*

Note to my mama-sisters yesterday afternoon:

So if you’re going to sob uncontrollably in your car on the way home from work, it really is a nice touch to have a torrential rainstorm beating down on your roof at the same time. Hell if you’re going to do it you might as well do it right. 

One of the many awesome comments in response:

Quit being such an over achiever. 

**

A work friend asked me how I was doing yesterday. Although his message was casual enough “How goes the battle?” I knew full well that it wasn’t casual at all. I also knew that his wife had put him up to it.

It’s been a tough week, my friends. A really, really tough week.

It’s been the kind of week where the only song running on a constant loop in my head is Shawn Colvin’s “Riding Shotgun Down the Avalanche“. And I haven’t listened to Shawn Colvin in YEARS.

It’s been the kind of week that makes me feel like a fraud. That makes me question every damn thing I – we – do. The kind of week that makes me wonder if I can really handle this – all of this. The kind of week where all of the anger confusion impotence sadness frustration eclipse the hope and the joy and the faith and the weight feels too damn big to move.

It’s been the kind of week where I write to a friend and ask, for the millionth time, “If God is all-powerful, then how – HOW can He let our kids suffer? I simply don’t get it.” And to her thoughtful response I say, “Sometimes it all just feels like bullshit.”

The kind of week where the answer to the question, “How goes the battle?” goes something like this:

“Well, I’m going to go with fine. Why? Because I have achieved the goals that I set for myself this morning:

To remain upright

To not $%*& anything up so badly that it would be irreparable tomorrow

To not curl into the fetal position under my desk

*That last one was revised from ‘To not cry behind my glasses when no one could see, which turned out to be WAY too high a bar.

So, all in all, thanks to revised expectations, I have to say I’ve pretty much kicked butt today. Thanks for asking.”

In looking back on the day later, I added ‘Kept some semblance of sense of humor’ to the list of accomplishments.

It’s been the kind of week where the gifts in this life are buried so deep that I see nothing positive for my girl in any of it. Nothing. It’s been the kind of week where as much as it usually makes me cringe, CURE feels like exactly the right word.

It’s been the kind of week that I haven’t had since the one surrounding the day that I first heard the word autism. I’ve thought a lot this week about that day. It’s over five years ago now – but it’s been with me like it was yesterday. The panic, the guilt, the fear. The bathroom floor, the cold, hard, unforgiving walls. The retching over the toilet. The silent scream. The fist shaking at the sky. The “WHY MY GIRL?” The abject terror.

It’s all with me this week.

I fell asleep in Brooke’s room last night. I was curled around her, my head on her pillow and hers on my side. I was dreaming.

All of us were together. You were there – every one of you with your beautiful kids. We were smiling and laughing. I was helping Jeneil (or was it her twin sister? I wasn’t sure in the chaos) to open a popsicle for Rhema. Hope and Katie came careening by leaving a trail of giggles behind. Miss M and Roxy were in hot pursuit. Gerry yelled from the den, ‘Hey you guys, wait up!’. The girls laughed as they dragged him into their game.

There was a sharp, pained cry from another room. Everything stopped. It was my girl. My Brooke was in trouble. I ran to find her and scooped her up in my arms.

I woke up panicked, out of breath. It took me a second to get my bearings, to figure out where I was and to realize that the pained cry was real.

My baby was yelling.

The damn demons wouldn’t even leave her to sleep.

*

I have no way to wrap this up. There is no box, no pretty ribbon. Just the reality of a mama who is hurting like hell for her girl and whose goals include staying upright and not #$&@ing things up irreparably for just one more day.

*

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80 thoughts on “riding shotgun down the avalanche

  1. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, Phil 4:13, it’s what I think about on the days when I feel EXACTLY the way you describe in this post. One love DOAM, xo.

  2. We’ll get up off the floor (after sitting there for a while), dust ourselves off and continue to push forward, redoubling our efforts, doing what we have to do.

  3. I wish I had words of wisdom for you. But some weeks just SUCK. I know it and you know it all too well. And it’s unpredictable sometimes, and that sucks even worse!

    If it helps, know you are NOT ALONE. We are fighting the good ( and not so good ) fight right along side of you. And if you need a few days to scream and cry and hate the universe and retch then go ahead and take them. It’s OK. You don’t need MY permission, you need your OWN, but I’m here to remind you that it’s OK to need it, to ask for it accept it. And I know you will recover and get back to doing what you do every day – being SUPERWOMAN ( just ask your girls! )

    It’s also ok to go from being the pillar of strength for so many to the one doing the leaning for a change. We’re all here – your village, your sisters, your friends, and the readers who avidly follow you and do their leaning even when you don’t see or hear from us. We’re WITH you. We’ve got you.

    And, we’ve got the fight, too. Some just in our own homes, some in the larger community. But rest assured, we’re still pushing and shoving and whining and wheedling, and advocating and lobbying, and researching and innovating. so ALL of our kids, Brooke included, will have an easier time of it every day, SOMEHOW.

    Hugs and love!

  4. We’re having that kind of week too – for the third week in a row. Time off of work for me(considering a leave of absence), not able to go to school for her because they want her out of the building, emergency CSE meetings to modify the IEP. Wrapping it up today with a follow up visit to a pediatric psychiatrist to discuss the possibility of anti-psychotic meds. Scared. as. hell. If you’ve got shotgun, I’ll take the backseat. May God give all of us an extra dose of strength.

  5. I’m a puddle. I’m sorry.
    I want to take your pain and hers away. I want a place like that where we are all together to take on each other’s burdens and joys, just like in your dream.
    In reality, you know we’re here always. Not in the physical room perhaps but you, Brooke, Katie and Luau are in our hearts.

  6. I so wish I could help take the pain away for you, Brooke, Luau and Katie. I want to cry and scream with you and for you. I want your lives to be better. What mother doesn’t?

    All I can say, is I love all of you so much!

    Mom

  7. I have had days like you are having, I’ve heard it described as “Autism kicked my @#$ today”. I hope someone makes today better for you, I’m betting that it will be one of your girls.

  8. Ah I feel for you same sort of week here too – Can only say that I am very thankful that I don’t get a red face and puffy eyes from crying because I have been doing that to and from clients, getting out of the car and having to work/think really hard and then get back in the car and drive/cry home and get out with a semblance of a normal face to not alarm anyone – Have to say, it’s not the week to poke the bear.

  9. Thank you for being so brutally honest. I’m so sorry and am praying. Maybe it’s the change in seasons? My boy is having more trouble than usual, too. Ugh. Times like this just suck; there’s no other way to say it.

  10. Sending good feelings your way. One of “those” weeks here too. Finally made agonizing decision to medicate. Only effect thus far has been insomnia. But I try to think of it as a roller coaster not an avalanche. Coasters also gather speed as they go downhill, but they go right back up – albeit slowly – once they hit bottom.

    One foot in front of the other. Sometimes that is all we can do.

  11. This is the hardest time of the year for Wyatt and thus for my family.
    Every year without fail. The fear, the pain, the confusion I just can’t seem to understand, prepare for or shelter him from it. It erases all memories of progress, of triumphs and peaceful days. It leaves me fearing the future and not knowing if I can handle it. And then the guilt. Because if I can’t handle this then who can and if this is so hard for me what kind of hell must my son be experiencing?

    Sending you love and peace to Brooke.

    Sorry, I have nothing cheerful. But if misery loves company I’m all yours…

  12. You are not alone…we will, by the grace of God and hanging from our fingertips, beat this monster. I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but I WILL NOT give up my faith that together, we can accomplish anything. Take it by the minute if you have to…we are all there to support you…

  13. I’m a professor of theology who spends every semester trying to get my students to think about that question about our good and powerful God letting innocent people suffer, and I have no good answer. But I do know this: I’m having a week just like yours, and every time I saw a comment on this post where someone else was having a rough week, I felt a little better. The misery eases up a little when you realize it could be sort of normal. Thank you all, again and again…

  14. My mother always told me that you share your pain to share the burden of carrying it. Each one of us would gladly take away some of it if we could because of all of the hope and encouragement you’ve given to us. Keeping you and the family in my thoughts…

  15. Jess thank you for writing with such honesty bc all of us mama sisters know that some weeks just go like that but we get up and keep going

  16. Oh Jess. I’m so sorry things are so hard right now. It’s a cruel existence sometimes. All I can offer is love and understanding.. And the words of Dr. Dreamy to me yesterday when things were spiraling out of control for Jack and we were all trying to figure out what to do. He said , “You must remain hopeful. We will be here to sustain you.” That about sums it up. Love and peace…

  17. My son had one of those nights last night. The screaming…the panic…the anxiety. Weeks like this are awful. We have all had our share. Hugs and positive thoughts being sent your way.

  18. maybe this will help (a bit, nothing really helps when your child is in pain) – often, before and after big leaps in skills, there is a period of seeming regression and upsetness – almost like the brain is fighting the changes. Brooke has been doing so well lately – and she will again, even though that’s hard to see right now. This may be the price for all those leaps and bounds she’s made, or may even be the pre-cursor to yet more progress to come….

    Other than that, nothing but hugs and prayers and letting you know that a lot of us have been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and all that….

  19. All I can think of is, “Miles to go before I sleep”, remember you are the thing that stands between her and the demons. It is your strength and love that she needs now and for the future.
    Unfortunately, this parenting stuff isn’t always pretty and it sure is hard work, but your girls have the best of the best…..
    Love dad

  20. sigh.
    sometimes it is all bullshit in the face of reality.
    and that’s when
    your community wraps their arms around you and just holds you tight, giving you the strength you need to fall apart.
    they will hang on to all the pieces.

    holding you tight, dear one.

  21. Your week fucking sucks and I am sorry and mad about it. If my words are against the comment policy delete them but I cannot find better ones. For me, this is the kind of week that I want to drop everything and everyone calling my name and run to you. I have no idea what I would do or say when I got there but I just want to be with you.

  22. Thinking of you, sharing your pain; we’ve all been there. When the storm clouds pass the sun will shine again. Wishing you sunny days again very soon. ((hugs))

  23. I feel that when the thoughtful responses just aren’t enough – that is when you know you must step away from it all for a spell.

    Numb it out until you can regroup and assess and act.

    Love you. We are all ready with whatever you need to chicken those demons again. When you are ready.

    xo

  24. Sometimes it all just feels like bullshit. I’m with you. There is a cloud of suckitude hanging over our circle right now. It’s bound to break, right? It has to get better. It has to.

    • I know it may be of no consolation to others, but somehow, knowing others are baring the weight of this cloud of suckitude along side me makes me feel a whole lot better. I feel less alone.

  25. First time leaving a comment, new to your blog. Here’s what two nuggets:
    1. October (usually starting mid-October) is always just wretched. I think out kids take every ounce they have to try to start off the new school year with a chance at change. And, then are thwarted with so much change and newness that they are barely able to hang on. After a month or two, they are completely exhausted and overloaded and things start to unravel. After a month or two, the staff that work with them also begin to get exhausted and overloaded and everyone loses that “new school year of hope” feeling. I think it was 5th grade when we realized it would be coming and were better able to prepare for the rough patch — and boy was it a rough patch that year!!!!
    2. It will get better. Because it will. All the work and seeds being sewn will take root, and school is just a rotten place for kids with special needs — I think life after school is better. In childhood we are asked to be good at everything, as adults we are allowed to make choices and become specialists — choosing how and with whom to spend our time. Then, there’s puberty. My sweet “Boo” is now 13, and can I say how much I LOVE puberty. I have only the data of me and a couple close friends and our naturopath’s claim that the hormonal changes are partly to blame for a dramatic change in sensory overload. Boo is so much calmer and more flexible and able to take things in. My neurotypical mom friends and relatives have always thrown around “wait until they’re a teenager” when I shared that things were hard. HA! I had been yelled at, screamed at, hit and had things thrown at me for so many years that I doubted their words — doubt them even more now. For us, the mellow teen attitude has been a calming blanket, slowing everything down and making everything just a bit slower and easier to take.
    Just my thoughts today — but boy do I remember the crying car rides. My song was “Everybody Hurts” by REM. I would scream/cry the chorus … EVERYBODY HURTS … HOLD ON, HOLD ON.

    • Hi Lara,

      we homeschool all year round. Fall still sucks. I think it is something in the air. Whatever it is that makes geese fly makes my son miserable. I think he wishes he was flying south with them. I know I do :)

      • crying car rides here too. crappy terrible week, so bad i get wrapped up in thinking about “it” and forget to “be” with this beautiful wonderful little boy in front of me.

  26. Wish I could hug you from here. I agree with Mrs. Sergeant Major, sometimes a break from it all can do wonders. Just “be” for a while. It won’t hurt anyone to take a break from it all. I don’t know how to tell you how we ever made it to jr. high, but we did and you will too. Just look at your beautiful baby and love her. Give her as much freedom of choice as possible to get over the hump. I have been know to cancel extra-curriculars and even take ‘sanity’ days from work and school when necessary. A good rainy-day movie in the dark quiet of her favorite room may be just the ticket (with jammies and critters to snuggle of course).

  27. Jess, I’ve had these days so many times with my girls. I’m so sorry! Please gain comfort in knowing that we mamas understand and are there for you! Hugs to oyu and your family.

  28. @ Katie. I just put both of my daughters on anti psychotic meds- Abilify. Each of them is using it for a different reason, one to balance her overall emotions when anti anxiety meds didn’t work, the other for aggressive behavior. We’ve had positive results so far. I understand your fear! They’re powerful drugs with some potentially serious side effects.

    • Thanks Megan – glad to hear you are getting some good results. Our daughter also had mitochondrial disease, so they decided on Seroquel, which has been used with Mito patients. It means bloodwork monthly for a child with such high anxiety that she needs to be on it in the first place – I hope it’s worth it.

  29. So sorry things are so tough sometimes, most of the time actually. Last week, my coworker asked me how I was, I broke down in tears, poor guy was afraid to ask me this morning how I was, I told him “don’t worry, better week, you won’t have to puck up the pieces after such a simple question”. It is not that I don’t feel like crying today, it is that I can control it today. Just last night, I found my 9 year old boy crying in his room. Oh no, I thought my daughter did something to him AGAIN, but no, he told me “I just wished Jesus was alive” what????? “well, did know he was a miracle worker and cured the blind? if he was alive, he would be able to cure my sister’s autism” so it was there after I consoled him that I took a very long shower and let it all out, my pain, but mostly his pain. So this morning when my coworker said hi, how are you, I didn’t cry, I got most of the crying out of the way last night.

  30. Oh, lovie, it’s so damnably hard sometimes. First off, you are NOT a fraud; you are a human being with limits. Know that we are here, circling the proverbial wagons around you to give you a safe, loving space to do what you need to do for yourself, for your family, for your sweet Brooke. The storm will break, the sun will rise again, and you will push on with love, strength, hope and determination. But for now, rst in the shelter of the love and prayers of so many others. xo

  31. I agree there are no words.

    You give us all such strength. May some of my energy, and our collective energy, travel the miles and reach you today…

    And may this week pass on to more days where Brooke persists through though words, responds with novel language about an accidental fall, rides a caterpillar coaster, swings on monkey bars, approaches new friends, and experiences godspell live. May next week see the good days out number the challenged ones.

  32. Katie and Megan, after a lot of consideration and multiple meltdowns, we decided to start our daughter on Zoloft. it has been a week only, and results take a while, but I am happy to say, no meltdowns in the last days, one minor one yesterday, that lasted only 10 min and she recovered quickly. so far, so good.

  33. I have little to add, except more support. Your pain is palpable, I can feel it in my own chest. A pep talk from me would probably mean very little right now. I will say this. Sometimes when I was feeling like you are right now, a little miracle would happen. My daughter would answer a question, or speak to her brother without prompts, and it would restore my faith in our ability to handle this. Something will happen for you too. In the meantime, I hope you can feel the collective hug we are all sending you.

  34. an internal and external downpour kind of week, yikes. sorry to hear things are so difficult right now. i’m thinking about you guys, hoping for better days ahead, both internally and externally.

  35. Some times…what it boils down to is…it’s JUST. Not. Fair. And that’s all there is to it. The day I first heard that word offically diagnosed was almost a year ago. It’s been on my mind too. Standing in that parking lot. My baby in her car seat. Making the phone calls. The shock. The disbelief. The panic. The pain. The fear. Some times it all comes flooding back. It haunts, it taunts, and tortures. I’m right there feeling it with you.
    There’s a song I absolutely L O V E by my favorite artist in the WORLD. She is mostly unheard of…unless you remember a band called BELLY from the 90’s. Her name is Tanya Donelly. She packed up, made her own label, and went solo instead of selling out. That aside….she has written the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. One of them in particular is my song to my Cymbie. I’ve been wanting to share it with you for so long…and I don’t know why but now just feels like the right time. I don’t know that it will help you at all…but here are the lyrics, and I’ll post a link to the song on YouTube just in case you want to hear it. It really is beautiful. It has been my anthem to my girl since before she was born. It still makes me cry sometimes, even after all these years. Now I give it to you Jess. Along with all my love and hopes and prayers that things get better for ALL of us.
    You can watch it here :
    (I was AT this show, btw….balling my eyes out at hearing it live for the first time)

    KEEPING YOU

    I’m keeping you
    I’m keeping you
    I’m keeping you

    so realize your fate

    I’m keeping you
    I’m keeping you
    I’m keeping you

    so settle down now

    You landed here
    from inner space
    You landed with that screwed-up look on your face

    I wanted you from way back when
    I wanted you for years, then years again

    I’m keeping you
    I’m keeping you
    I’m keeping you

    so settle in now

    My return to wildlife
    by satellite
    By beautiful moon-shining girl

    Whether by hard ground
    or splashdown
    We’re safely back in the world

    My heart’s not newI’m not like you

    I’ve loved and been loved well and badly too

    My body’s been through everything
    I’ve used and been used

    I got over it

    There’s something that you learn on a tightrope
    Just outside the spotlight there’s a big net waiting for…

    My return to wildlife
    by satellite

    My beautiful moon-shining girl

    Whether by hard ground
    or splashdown

    We’re safely back in the world

    I’m keeping you
    I’m keeping you
    I’m keeping you

    

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    so realize your fate

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    so settle down now

    You landed here

    from inner space

    You landed with that screwed-up look on your face

    I wanted you from way back when

    I wanted you for years, then years again

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    so settle in now

    My return to wildlife

    by satellite

    By beautiful moon-shining girl

    Whether by hard ground

    or splashdown

    We’re safely back in the world

    My heart’s not new

    I’m not like you

    I’ve loved and been loved well and badly too

    My body’s been through everything

    I’ve used and been used

    I got over it

    There’s something that you learn on a tightrope

    Just outside the spotlight there’s a big net waiting for…

    My return to wildlife

    by satellite

    By beautiful moon-shining girl

    Whether by hard ground

    or splashdown

    We’re safely back in the world

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    so realize your fate

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    so settle down now

    You landed here

    from inner space

    You landed with that screwed-up look on your face

    I wanted you from way back when

    I wanted you for years, then years again

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    so settle in now

    My return to wildlife

    by satellite

    By beautiful moon-shining girl

    Whether by hard ground

    or splashdown

    We’re safely back in the world

    My heart’s not new

    I’m not like you

    I’ve loved and been loved well and badly too

    My body’s been through everything

    I’ve used and been used

    I got over it

    There’s something that you learn on a tightrope

    Just outside the spotlight there’s a big net waiting for…

    My return to wildlife

    by satellite

    By beautiful moon-shining girl

    Whether by hard ground

    or splashdown

    We’re safely back in the world

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    I’m keeping you

    

  36. A friend of mine once spent a month in China while in graduate school. On days when nothing went right, when cultures clashed, or the day’s events were just too awful and surreal to describe properly, he summed it up with 3 little words – “Bad China Day”. I have stolen this to describe the days we all have sometimes – “Bad Autism Day”… although sometimes it becomes “Bad Autism Week”, unfortunately. Been there, done that, cried in the fetal postiton plenty of times…. Hang in there, Jess, much love and prayers coming your way!

  37. I’m sorry, sweetie. That is where I was a few weeks ago. You describe it perfectly. Every day feeling like the day I got his diagnosis. Knowing there are blessings, but not being able to feel them. I’m still recovering a little. I’m back, but not completely.

    I wish I could help you. But I’m not sure how to help me. Sounds like you’re doing what I’m doing. Trying to ride it out, trying not to eff anything up too badly, trying not to do or say anything too awful that I won’t be able to take it back when the sun comes out again.

    Because it will. It always does. Every package of progress comes with a little hell. My boy did some great things, great strides. But there always seems to be a cost. It doesn’t feel like it’s worth it right now. But I know I’ll see it differently once he’s better. Once the progress becomes commonplace and his anxiety episodes becomes a horrible horrible memory.

    We love you, Jess. We understand. And we are all hurting a little with you.

  38. Oh the days seem so dark but rejoice, the light still exists, it is in you, it is you, don’t cover it up, put it out, Let it shine. My prayers include you daily. God Bless-watw

  39. I wish you peace and strength. We are moms–if we muck something up, we can call do-over tomorrow. Just hold on tight, and know that people you’ve never even met in real life are praying for you.

  40. Jess, I’m so sorry you’re struggling. There’s nothing anybody can say or do to fix the sucky weeks in life, but I hope you can’t help but feel surrounded by all the love and prayers and good wishes coming your way. All the reasoned thoughtful answers in the world might be bullshit, but those feelings, the power of the connections you have with people you know and the thousands more that you don’t — THAT is not bullshit. That’s real. That’s what you can hold onto while you weather the storm.

  41. I’m so sorry–and sorry, too that I know–that all of us know–how “those weeks” can feel. I keep imagining my life as the endless performance of the spinning plates on sticks routine. Dashing from one to the next, keeping them going, needing to calibrate just the right touch to keep things moving at the right speed so they don’t slow and falter or speed up and spin out of control. On “those weeks” all the plates are on the floor and I can’t imagine how I’ll get them all back up and spinning again.
    Karin

  42. I’m so sorry you are stuggling. The phrase that always runs through my head during hard times is “Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug”! You will be the windshield again soon.

  43. I’m sorry it’s so hard for you guys right now. I do love reading how much this community loves you and hopes for easier days ahead. Induldge in this difficult time for a bit, and when you get your strength back, rise above it as you have done before. I believe in you!

  44. I’m so sorry for what you are going through as a family right now, and I’m sending all positive thoughts your way. And I’m reading these comments, every single one of them from people who you have personally touched and helped. Please know we are all standing side by side.

  45. I’m so sorry that the demons are getting to Brooke. I’m sorry for how much it must hurt you to see it. (Thank you again for writing about it. It’s been a long and hard road for me to realize that when we hurt, the people around us hurt so much too, and I need to be reminded of that sometimes.) Last week was my bad week; now things are looking up. Sometimes it is all bullshit, and sometimes it’s hard to have any certainty that things will work out for the best. I don’t have the benefit of faith. But what I do have is confidence in you, Jess. I know that even though you’re crying behind your glasses, even when you feel like you need to curl up somewhere dark for a while, you are always going to take care of your girls the best way you know how. You’re strong and awesome and, while you might feel lost and helpless now, you are an amazing mother. I hope that the people around you are coming together to help you and support you now. You will get through this, and so will your wonderful daughters. Just hold that certainty close and do whatever you need to do.

  46. Sometimes we’re strong, sometimes we’re weak
    Sometimes we’re hurt and it cuts deep
    We live this life breath to breath
    We’re all the same, we all bleed red

    I’ve been trying to avoid the fetal position for a few days now myself. I can’t even describe the hurt but it seems as though you absolutely know the pain and as usual you are able to put it to words so well. We are not alone and sometimes that is the only thing that gets me through. Better days ahead my friend….

  47. Dearest Jess…your pain and honesty touches me to the core. Please give yourself permission to do whatever you need to do to get through this…and know that we will always be with you and your beautiful family every step of the way.

  48. Jess, I am “catching up” reading your blog. I read this post and I my heart just hurts for you. I am so, so, so, sorry. Please know that you are not alone. I am attaching a post that I wrote last week. I hope with all of my heart that it is the right post to send to you.
    There is a village holding you now. As you lay on the floor crying with your face on the cold hard bathroom floor. Your village has their hands on your shoulder, your back. Your village-your people-they will not leave you. http://www.cheairsgraves.com/2011/10/12/where-do-i-look/
    Let me also share that every fall I grieve. Dawson’s birthday is in November and as sure as the leaves change color I will cry and I will remember that my son is not the typical little boy that I thought I would bring into this world. Like the cold wind on an autumn day it will sneak up on me. I will search for a jacket in the closet to protect me from this familiar chill,but even with the jacket on I will feel the cold on my face. It is during this season that the grief, the sorrow, the anger, and the doubt plop down on me like the acorns falling on the roof of a car. And I will cry. And I will bang my fists on the floor and reach my arms to the sky. And I will sit in the sad. I will sit in the pain. I will think that I will not be able to stand again- to walk again. But the hands that hold me will lift me up. So as sure as Halloween comes knocking on our door and the days get shorter I will be sad every fall. I will grieve. And then the next season will come.

  49. Oh Jess. Russ told me about this one and I should have known better than to read it. Sitting at my desk crying AGAIN as I pretty much have for the past couple of weeks. I, too, know the feeling. The utter despair we all feel sometimes, but also knowing that we can’t subcumb to it for our children. What a stuggle it is. I’m in my “fake’ life now. The one where I pretend all is OK until I am alone in the car or behind a closed door. There is nothing to say, but we all get it and understand.

  50. WE ARE HERE, WE ARE HERE, WE ARE HERE! Yes, I am quoting from one of my son’s favorite movies, Horton Hears a Who. But I really want you to hear. All your virtual Moms who read your posts and gather strength, ideas and yes, HOPE.
    Without hope we have nothing.
    Stay strong….WE ARE HERE!{}

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