Yesterday I had a calendar mix-up. I looked at an appointment card I had and it said Monday, 12/1 10 a.m. Problem was that it was Monday but the date was 11/29. So which was right – was it indeed Monday or was the appointment Wednesday, 12/1? I called but only got voice mail. I decided it was best to drive there to just be safe. My schedule was sorta flexible and a fifteen minute drive to the east side wouldn’t be too disruptive.
As I drove across the Morrison Bridge to the east, I saw Mount Hood glowing like a polished trophy, cast in shadows of blushing silver. To the north, Mt. Saint Helens popped like a dreamy bundt cake swirled with velvety white frosting. I felt my heart bump against my chest. How lucky I was to see this. Usually late November means that we are socked in with heavy gray clouds, smudged fog and the mountains seem lost to us until late spring. But not this day and I was surprised and happy to be able to catch this seldom seen glimpse. I felt lucky. Like this was a good omen.
At the same time I was listening to a song that I was really enjoying. When the mountains came into my view the words, “I am not the mistakes I carry. I am who I am” sang out from the speakers. It was a strange and serendipitous moment for me. I felt tears in my eyes and my fingers clenched the steering wheel. I have been trudging along these days, feeling overwhelmed and hurried through the holiday madness, watching the slippery sand free-fall through the timer and feeling panicked. And yet, in that moment, time stood still, worries melted and I felt real joy. As if something greater than my small life was saying,
“Slow down. Hang on. Look East. Look North. Listen to the words. There is greatness and beauty in your life and you are not your failures.”
I felt a stirring in my bones, maybe in my soul that this was a moment to be had, an instant to take pause and breathe – to bask in the undisturbed peace that exists in the natural world and to let all the synthetic noise and clatter of the holidays fall silent.
Sometimes I think I might be losing my mind. I am always trying to make sense out of this life of mine. Why things are the way they are. And I can’t help but to trust that grace and beauty and hope are within the distance of my tired, wrinkled fingers. That I can feel them like I can feel my boys heartbeats when they fall fast asleep in my arms.
And I don’t know what that “true” meaning holds for me. I do know that it has something to do with my children, especially Sean. As much as it has been a rough road with Sean, it has been one that has stretched my mind and heart like pulled taffy. He continues to shake me out of my comfort zone of a one dimensional life and pushes me into an ocean of tumble and salt and wonder. I don’t know if I would be as happy and fulfilled as I am with him as I would be without him. That means something, when I consider all the heartache and break we have had raising an autistic child. He is the sweet and sour in our lives. He makes the good days better because we have lived through the rough days and have crawled out on skinned knees and hearts.
When I arrived at the office I was told my appointment was indeed, Wednesday and not Monday. I didn’t mind though. I wasted “valuable” time but what I saw and what crept into my mind and heart was worth it. If I didn’t check on the appointment I wouldn’t have travelled in that direction, to the forgiving east and the vast north, and I wouldn’t have seen the muscle of mountains and shimmering sunlight tickling the horizon. I wouldn’t have heard the song that told me to let go of my mistakes, that they are not who I am but rather a small part of my history. I wouldn’t remember how lucky I am to have all that I have. I am lucky. Despite what others may think of a mother with an autistic child. I am one lucky person.
Sam Smiles Project
3 months ago