September 12, 2021


by: admin


Tags: change, Ten, time, Years


Categories: autism

Ten Years Later: Change In Time

Something caught my eye a while ago when I looked at the word gift. I had a list of tasks that would be monumental to complete. I was so busy with some personal problems that Ronan’s daily needs became cumbersome. I got used to the intensity of some of Ronan’s grooming, but the frequency of them was starting to wear me down. I couldn’t shake some of the negative reactions I was having. My frustration grew and my heavy sighs were more audible. I wanted to be through with this marathon healing process that it takes to get Ronan to recovery. Why can’t he just skip all the tests, the setbacks, the exorbitant maintenance fees and go straight to recovery instead? I was starting to get angry about the work it took to make every day reasonably successful. I was starting to get annoyed at the cost of finding the right people to help him. I began to be angry about what was being taken from Ronan, me, and my family. Resent. It’s a very strong feeling. It is also part of that word present that I keep thinking about.

It was around the same time that I began to really get mad at how much work I do for Ronan when the 9/11 news aired. It is a haunting time of year for many people including me. I can barely look at pictures or videos of the Twin Towers and the other attacks. Our nation held its breath for what seemed an eternity as we watched the unthinkable unfold. I didn’t think I was ready to relive those terrible moments. But then something hit me hard about the personal stories of the 9/11 victims.

How trivial of me and my negative thoughts about taking care of Ronan’s! He is here. He is in front of me. He still has a chance to make it through life. The victims’ stories are filled with who they were, where they lived, what they did, and who they left behind. Emotional agonizing memories filled the stories while tears filled my eyes. Families and friends who were killed in the attacks only have their pasts. Old memories are the only memories. Your loved one is not physically filling out their present moment. They may continue to warm up the thoughts of their past, but it will always be the past.

The past. You cling to it. The gift. You are working on it. The future. You could easily get angry at how it was torn to pieces and taken away on that terrible day ten years ago.

The families of the terrorist attacks created tributes to remember life before the attacks. They remember how their loved one lived, how good life was, how it hopefully would be and what it was like, what they thought was their only one. I can’t believe the pain, anger, and emptiness that families go through every day. I can’t imagine how hard it was for these families because the pain they endure may never end. I wonder when, or if ever, they will be able to raise hope for the future. It also makes me realize that in every present moment I have with Ronan, I have a choice to make those moments permanent.

I want the present that I am living now to be so much easier, even as it turns out to be a test of my will and strength. I cried for what was done to Ronan. I cry in the present when Ronan realizes how difficult life is for him. I cry when I think of a future that I sometimes fear. Right now, Ronan is part of every moment of my life, for better or for worse. With so many memories this week of how quickly life can change in an unfortunate event, I want to make a decision to step out of the resentment I sometimes put myself into. I know I should leave parts of Ronan’s past behind, even though I still mourn it. I know I can have happier memories of his life before his struggles dominated many moments of my day. I should do this now and do it before I lose sight of why I was willing to work so hard for Ronan in the first place.

Who knows when our present will be interrupted or changed without warning. Who knows how this will affect us and whether we can deal with these changes. I have a past that I can leave behind. Some people weren’t given the chance. I pray that the September 11th Tributes will give families hope and support so that they can make it today and find it tomorrow. The unforeseen changed parts of their lives that they may never get back. I am happy that I got the chance to live in the present with my son. If I can remember keeping my strength, faith, and hope alive, I will continue to walk a path toward Ronan’s future.

Cathy Jameson is co-editor for Age of Autism.


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