Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all
And sweetest is the gale is heard; and sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm...
~Emily Dickinson

Monday, May 16, 2011

The silence that follows you.

I had an introspective day yesterday.
Not that I don't mind them, but sometimes they get to be a little "heavy" and I don't like to go there.
I have been speaking of moments lately, and the past few weeks have been stuffed full of them for me...
Hence the introspection.

Mother's day came and went without much movement around here.
Not that I was/am feeling sorry for myself, but basically as a single mother raising 2 kids I wasn't at the spa getting a pedicure or massage.
Let me also clarify the single mother status...Kannon does have a father, he is a nice person that sees him every other weekend for 2 days, and that is that. He lives about an hour away, so there are no daily visits or surprise visits. Just the scheduled weekend time...period. At one point he referred to him spending time with his children as "babysitting", so that might be a good indicator to his personality.
I will say that the divorce has made him a better father though. He has had to accept things that he didn't before, and he is much more patient and compassionate with Kannon.
I guess I say single mother, because that is quite frankly how I feel. I don't, and did not receive much emotional or practical support from his father in regards to Kannon's diagnosis...any services or support Kannon does and has received is due to my resourcefulness and fighting. Sure, he pays child support so that Kannon can eat and have new clothes or shoes when he needs them, so yes it could be way worse...but do I consider him an equal parent in all of this...no I do not.
Unfortunately some, hell most of us are not equipped to handle what Autism will throw at you.
It absolutely knocks you on your ass and quite frankly takes a lot of time to adjust to...if ever.
So, I am not bagging on Kannon's dad.
He did the best he could, and Kannon adores him...enough said.

But now, all of my days are now spent alone with Kannon and Kalena.
And, yes it is very lonely at times.
I do have a very kind, supportive boyfriend that has been great with my kids, but there is an underlying knowledge and truth that these are not his children.
I have made it clear that they already have a father, and all I would like for him to be to my children is their friend...and he is definitely that if not much more to them.
Honestly, he has been my saving grace in many times and he has been an amazing friend to me as well.
He is scared of all of this too though...and I don't blame him one bit.
Sure it stings, but the plain fact that someone doesn't want to jump in head first into a situation that is so unstable and unknown is completely valid.
When we talk about our future together, it is never really discussed at length because of Kannon and his needs, situation, etc.
Basically he does not know whether or not he will be here in the future because Kannon's situation scares him.
I understand. It scares me too...
So, coming full circle it all leaves me with a very empty feeling at times.

Will I be 70 years old, walking hand in hand with my adult son back to an empty house with just him and I?
Will there be anyone there for me?
I know I will always have Kannon, god willing, and I am thankful for the life friend I have within him.
But will I have someone there to cry to, to talk with, laugh with...grow old with as my equal?
I don't know...I just don't know if it will be.

I do not feel sorry for myself, never will.
I love the moments I have with Kannon.
I love going on walks with him hand in hand, looking around at all the beautiful things out in the world.
I even love talking to him without getting a response...he just looks up at me with those eyes and smiles.
He has absolutely become a fixture in my life that needs me beyond anything.
He needs my time, my love, my fight, my compassion, my heart, and my hand to hold to keep his feet on the ground...

As Kannon's mother I may never have someone to grow old with besides him.
I would like to think I have accepted that.
There was a moment last week as Kannon and I were walking to the park I saw an old couple hand in hand walking, and I teared up.
Maybe out of missing my grandparents, maybe out of the joy of seeing such sweet people enjoying the day...
Or maybe it was because deep down something inside me knew it would not be me.

Kannon will need me forever, I mean really need me.
These are some of the things a lot of people don't understand about living with Autism, the emotional toll, the absolute necessity to put this child first in EVERY situation, the financial stresses, it is all very real...and it all takes a toll on any relationship in your life.

And my reality I face is that in 5 years I may still have to dress Kannon, bathe him, redirect his physical ticks, calm him down when there are loud noises that scare him, hold his hand when we go out in public...and right now because he is a little guy it is cute and sweet and socially acceptable.
But what about in 10 years?
20 years?
Will I always be his only true friend...will there ever be someone else to walk hand in hand with him and smile and truly enjoy the day?
Will either one of us find another person to hold our hand?

Overwhelming, yes.
The truth?
I just don't know.

My heart can only continue to have hope...for Kannon and myself.
And the silence...it will follow me for as long as Autism continues to follow Kannon.



  1. I think one of the hardest things about having a child with autism is not knowing what's coming down the road. With other disabilities, what you get is what you get. With autism, it's always in the distance and, try as you might, you just can't see the future. We worry for what might happen, but the truth is we just don't know what the future will bring.

    I'm glad you wrote this post, because I think you'll look back on it years from now, and smile, because it all worked out like it should. :) XO

  2. Hope springs eternal. This is what we, mothers living with autism, hang on to. The road ahead of us is indeed uncertain. We can only cope with the future living one day at a time. And yes, I agree with the first comment, years from now, we'll all look back and smile because we then see how it all worked out. :-)