Today, the GIRL remembered…… and shared this story with me…. the Doodle. I had nothing to do with this story, but here is how it went………
It was the later part of 1992 when the GIRL jumped out of bed like a greyhound taking off at the sound of a bell after a rabbit. It was four o’clock in the morning and the loud screeching sound of her alarm had just woken her. The sun was still sleeping the night off and so was the two-in-a half-year old BOY. The air was damp and cold for Orlando, and the GIRL shivered as HER bare feet hit the ground. There was no time to crawl back into HER warm bed; SHE was on a very tight time schedule. The BOY and SHE had to be in Miami by nine-thirty in the morning. SHE knew exactly what had to be done to get out the door on time. The one thing that SHE didn’t know was that on this day, one six-letter word would change their lives forever.
Five hours and fifteen minutes later the BOY and GIRL arrived in Miami at the Children’s Medical Hospital. The BOY reached out and took HER hand in his as they entered the six-story stone building. The lighting inside was dim; crying sounds echoed in the halls, followed by brief moments of silence. Intravenous lines hooked to long metal polls on wheels were attached to some children as if they were an extension of their bodies. Wheel chairs rolled up and down the hall occupied by small frail individuals. If fear had an odor, the GIRL believed SHE smelled it that day. Parents lured behind their small fragile children, looking weary and worn in search of hope.
No one had a smile on his or her face nor did they look one another in the eye. The BOY started to cry and tried to wiggle his small delicate hand from HER grip. It was almost as if he sensed, something was just not going to be good on this day. Unconsciously SHE tighten HER grip on the BOY’s hand and continued down the cold hall towards office number 226.
The receptionist was a middle-aged woman with a tight mouth and a turned up nose. She peered over her glasses, gave a little grunt noise, and abruptly handed the GIRL a clipboard with forms attached to it. “Fill these out and return them to me,” she said in a stern voice. The GIRL took the clipboard in one hand, the screaming BOY in the other, and took a seat. SHE answered the extremely detailed oriented questions with speed and accuracy and returned them to the receptionist who simply pointed to a chair and informed HER they would have to wait to see the doctor.
After thirty-five minutes, a young nurse came over and escorted them into a small alcohol smelling room. On the wall hung a stethoscope, a blood pressure monitor and an otoscope. The main piece of furniture in the room was a long shiny silver table covered with a thin piece of white crisp paper that you could almost see through. The BOY seemed frightened as he tightly wrapped his arms around the GIRL’s neck like a baby monkey would to its mother. The doctor came in; shook the GIRLS’s hand; and briefly introduced himself as Dr. X. He then asked the GIRL to leave the room in a somewhat polite tone. Outside the small room the GIRL sat like a statue. The only thing moving was HER chest from HER heart beating heavily against it with anxiety.
Dr. X came out of the room with a frown on his face and beads of sweat on his forehead. He simply asked the GIRL to get the BOY calm and meet him in his office.
Dr. X continued to ask a series of questions about the BOY’s three years of life. He placed his glasses on his desk, wiped his forehead, and said; “I don’t know how to say this, except to be up front. Your BOY has autism.” He proceeded to inform the GIRL that autism is a life long disability and what sorts of options are available for individuals with autism. SHE didn’t hear a word the doctor was saying. The six-letter word autism kept echoing in HER head as if it had just been shouted from a mountaintop.
After explaining everything the BOY would not be able to do in his life to the GIRL and suggesting that the BEST place the BOY could live was in an institution, he bade his farewells and wished them luck. The GIRL picked up the BOY and held him tightly in HER arms as if someone was going to take him away from HER and entered back into the busy cold hallway. It was clear to HER now why no one looked one another in the eye in this stone building. HER eyes started to swell with tears. The BOY put his small hands on HER face and gave her one of his beautiful innocent smiles. Suddenly something happened, HER tears stopped and SHE knew at that very moment that HER life with this atypical child would forever be blessed with treasures that many individuals would never have the pleasure of discovering so SHE looked in the BOY’s little face and said, “BOY, I promise I will make it better because I know you can and you will.”
SHE then undersood she was given a special child because on the day the Boys’ time came God knew an out of ordinary child would strive with the GIRL.
Her promise held.
support autism peace hugs love a doodle