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#12: The Letter

It’s November 19th. Our sixth wedding anniversary. It snuck up on me this year.


Thanksgiving is in a few days, too. Normally by this point I would have the menu planned, the groceries purchased, and the house cleaned. I’d be gearing up for a couple of marathon days of baking and cooking – some of my favorite days of the year.


Growing up, the Thanksgiving weekend was always my favorite because it meant family time. Special memories made baking pies with Mom, peeling potatoes with Dad, and, on the day after Thanksgiving, pulling out all of the holiday décor and decorating the house together. Transforming the everyday into the enchanted.


My children deserve to have memories like that too. I can’t rob them of that because I don’t feel ready to move on with the normal seasons of life. Because I’m not ready to accept that “normal” may never be the same for us again.


My chest feels heavy. Almost crushed. The pressure is self-inflicted. I have to unload some of this pressure somehow.


Write a letter. I’ll write a letter to E, telling him how I feel. Pouring my feelings onto paper may make room in my heart. Space that is needed to move forward with new memories. Happy Thanksgiving memories. I have to try.


Retrieving some paper and a pen, I curl up on the couch to write as the kids nap upstairs. The emotions are in my throat already, before I even put pen to paper. I begin.


“Dear E,


Just recently you were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. You are too young right now to understand what that means – and honestly Daddy and I still have to figure it out too – but one day we will be able to talk about it with you, and I’m believing you will be able to understand better then.


For right now, baby boy, I want you to know how much you are LOVED. Daddy and I WANTED you, we PRAYED for you, and the day you arrived was the best day of our lives.


God chose you for us; He chose you to be the one that made us a Mommy and Daddy. You are a GIFT. I will never be able to thank God enough for entrusting you to us.


I’m crying as I write this, but they are tears of overwhelming gratitude for your life. Do you know how much joy you bring to my heart? How you light up my days? I was born to be your Mommy. You and your sister are my life’s purpose – my mission.


There are going to be hard times ahead, baby boy. There are so many unknowns right now. We don’t know yet all the help you might need or all the challenges you will face. But you won’t face them alone. We are going to do this together, as a family. And you are going to amaze us all, I just know it.


Why? Because you were born with a purpose. A divine purpose. You have a big mission to fulfill, and where God calls us, He equips us.


As we move forward on this journey, let’s cling tightly to the promise we read together every night:

‘Do not fear for I am with you.

Do not be afraid for I am your God.’


I love you with all of my heart, sweet boy. The greatest honor of my life is being your Mommy.


We are going to walk this journey together, and I can’t wait to see you SOAR.


With all of my love,


Mommy”


I drop the pen onto the completed letter, sobbing. This is a letter he can’t see or understand, at least not for years to come.


But at the right time, I will show it to him. I will explain how I felt on this day, and how my love for him has only grown in the intervening years. I’ll tell him how I mean every word that I’ve written, and how the passing of time doesn’t taint truth.


When that day comes, I will look into his eyes – praying he looks back into mine – and say:


“You turn the everyday into the enchanted, sweet boy.


You are my thanksgiving.”

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