Friday, April 20, 2012

Reflections of My Father

I have never imagined my life without my Father in it, ever. I guess like many people I just took it for granted that he would always be right there for me, no matter what. As I sat in the hospital waiting room today with a slowly ticking clock and fast paced people, I found myself reflecting on my childhood with the first man that I have ever loved, my Dad. I was adopted as infant in 1964. Back then adoption agencies tried very hard to match adoptive parents with children that shared similar characteristics. When the Childrens Home Society matched me with my Dad they could not have made a better match. We both had thick wavy brown hair and the same nose. We are both quite opinionated, always enjoying a good debate at the family meal. We both love animals, love to read, love to learn, love the Lord and love our family. Unlike me, however, he doesn't like to show his feelings, but you can always look into his blue eyes and know exactly how he feels. I remember the long conversations we had when I was just a little girl of maybe five or six. I used to sit on the commode lid in the bathroom and watch my Dad as he shaved. I am sure we discussed deep things like all fathers and daughters do. Caterpillars, butterflies, puppy dogs and daydreams, we covered it all. As I grew older he participated in just about everything I did. I remember looking out into the audience when we had our school play and there he would be with my mom, looking as proud as a Dad could. Father-Daughter dances at school, trips to the beach, sitting with him in the recording booth at church on Sunday where he recorded the service for those who could not attend, reading together, working in the yard together, my first real date...Ahhh yes, that first real date. I will never forget the sadness in his eyes. I think he was realizing that his little girl was growing up. That was hard for him and me. I have always been a Daddy's girl and quite proud of it. I have always been so proud of my Dad. He taught me many things. Most importantly he introduced me to and taught me to love the Lord. He instilled in me his morals and values which have indeed served me well. As I reflected I became very aware of time and just how short it truly is. I was remembering us, my Dad and me, as if it were just yesterday. He is still the most handsome man I have ever known. His hair is still thick and a beautiful silver gray. His wit is just as sharp and he still knows how to make me smile just like he did when I was a tiny girl. He has always been my biggest fan, encouraging me, offering words of wisdom and giving big hugs that only he can give when I needed them the most. I wondered what he thought about today as he headed for surgery this morning. I wondered if he knew that I was praying for him, asking God to guide the hands of the surgeons and to perform a miracle on his ailing heart. My Dad made it through the surgery but still has a long way to go. I did not want to leave him in the Cardiac ICU alone but the nurses made me go home. Right now I am grieving for all the time I have missed as an adult with my Dad. I just took it for granted that he would always be here and suddenly, today, I was rudely awakened by the fact that he is human. My Dad, my hero, is human. I wish I had played tennis with him back when I was younger and he wanted to so much, but I was to busy. I wish that I had stopped by the house more just to say hello. I have realized today that things have to change in my life and in this world. We move to fast. We want bigger and better. We need to make more, buy more, go more..Not this girl. Nope. I quit. I want to live comfortably, trusting God and enjoying my family. Time is to short. I want to be with my kids, my Dad, the ones that I love. No more rat race, no more overtime, no more rushing... Please God, just a little more time...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Winds of Change (This is a Quick note!)

I walked into a friends office this afternoon and stood before his desk with a big smile. "Whooooshhhh" I said to him. He had been intent working on his computer, but stopped upon my loud entrance glancing up at me with that  all to familiar Robin you are crazy, look. "Do you know what that is?" I asked him. "That my friend is the winds of change!"

Ever have a day when you just need something, anything, good to happen? It could be as simple as finding a long lost $5 bill in your pocket or maybe just a smile from someone as you stand in line, forever, waiting for your lunch. When you work a job that is driven by how many people you can get through your front door and currently those people just are not coming, it can be extremely stressful. When you leave that job and go home to "work" your full time for the rest of your life job, also known as  Motherhood, it can be a little overwhelming, especially when you have a child that has his own unique perception of life. There are days where I tend to feel like "why bother" because neither job is going the way I had hoped or planned.

About six weeks ago I took , as best as I possibly could, gluten out of my son's diet. As a mother always researching and looking for ways to help my son diagnosed with Autism, it seemed only natural to do everything humanly possible for him. That's what we do. Although I could see changes at home I had not heard of anything getting better for him at school. School is our biggest challenge and where the difference really needed to happen. After changing his diet, we saw such a difference so quickly that we were able to start weaning him off of his medications. They did not seem to be helping him anymore. Of course we consulted our "Autism Team" of clinicians before doing this. Most did not think the gluten free diet would show much but did not discourage me with the plan.

Also over the last several weeks I have been working with Matthew on understanding things that I took for granted that he already knew, example, what room the "living room" is. He asked me where his Nook was and with my back to him as I was on the computer (again!) I told him it was in the living room. I heard quite a loud sigh of exasperation. What Matt? What's wrong? Again a loud sigh. Please tell me what the problem is. (This is usually when I start getting frustrated) He said to me in quite a matter of fact tone, "I don't know what that is, we live in every room in the house!" So, as you can see, there was more work to be done that I just did not realize until that moment.

All of this brings me to today and "the winds of change." I received an email today from my son's homeroom teacher at school. " Hi Mr. and Ms. Davis. I just wanted to let you both know how much of a noticeable difference we've seen in Matthew over the month of March. He has had little to no daily issues, and I don't think he has been marked for anything at all these last two weeks." (Marked meant that his "behavior sheet" did not come home marked with anything that he had to be warned or disciplined about.) "In addition we have seen a change in his tone....a more pleasant voice, asking questions instead of yelling at people, remembering his manners, participating  and interacting more with other students..." You get the picture. Wow! I was so pleased. It was so nice to know that something we were doing was working and that it was noticed and appreciated. I know Matthew had noticed a difference but the school was not aware of the changes we made at home, so this was like gold to me. Things are improving in our lives at home and that is the "winds of change" that made me smile today. Hopefully the winds will keep blowing away the old and ushering in the new...

Well, gotta go, my kids are hollering for me to come watch a movie with them...awesome huh?!