A reminder that things can change in a split second.
A reminder that we had gotten too comfortable, too complacent, too confident.
Thankfully, THANKFULLY, it ended happily.
And then yesterday, 48 hours after our ordeal, an eight year old boy with Autism went missing during school hours, lost for an entire day and night in the forest.
I could barely get myself to watch the news, following the story in tiny doses, just to stay informed.
And I prayed
And I cried
especially when I would see his beautiful little face flashing on the screen.
That could have been Andrew not two days before.
He has zero concept about dangers such as kidnapping, hunger, getting lost, getting run over by a car…..
He feels fear but the grave dangers that lurk beyond the safety net of family and friends are completely abstract to him.
It’s terrifying, knowing just how vulnerable he is.
I know there are a lot of gorgeous boys and girls gracing Autism Awareness posters and brochures, but PEOPLE!
This is what AUTISM REALLY LOOKS LIKE!
Heartbreak and HELL
and so what the #$%# are we going to do about it?!!!!!
Tonight I’m relieved that this little angel is safe and sound and ALIVE
but how many have to die
before people begin to look beyond the beautiful faces on glossy posters
start contributing to a solution
to an EPIDEMIC
to a growing NIGHTMARE
to the reality of what we, as a society, are up against.
I’m just so overwhelmed right now
and this is the first place I thought of to go
People read my articles, my posts
call me an “expert,”
thank me for bringing their stories to life
but honestly you guys
half the time I don’t know what the hell I’m doing
Though I hope you’ll stick around while I figure it out
In the meantime,
as I type this
I’m watching my Andrew asleep on the couch, safe, warm,
knowing that he’s passed out way too early
that he’ll be a tyrant in the middle of the night
that I will be exhausted tomorrow morning
and all I can think is
how freaking grateful I am right now.