Thursday, August 22, 2013

To "One Pissed Off Mother"

By now, I'm sure most of you have seen this rather nasty letter that was slipped under the door of an Ontario, Canada family's home. When I first read this letter, I was pissed off. Actually, I was more than pissed off, I was thoroughly enraged that someone could be just so mean to write such things. Telling a family to donate the "non-retarded parts to science" and to "euthanize their child"? How cruel. To top it off and to be so cowardly as to do so anonymously? Do they really think they won't be found out? As most know, we too, are a family that lives with Autism on a daily basis. While my own son doesn't have the same behaviors and characteristics as the child referenced in this letter, my heart breaks for this family to have been exposed to such hatred and vengeance and yes I'll say it, flat out ignorance and stupidity.

But now, a few days later, I'm filled with pity for this one pissed off mother and filled with happiness and peace knowing the community has rallied around the family and their amazing child. But I ask, why does it take such a heinous act to bring out the good in people? I know there are good people in this world. We've been blessed ourselves with an amazing group of people who not only support our choices for our son, but accept him for the incredible human being that he is and want only the best for him. They worry right alongside us when he's having a bad time, and they rejoice in every milestone reached, no matter how long it's taken him to achieve such milestone. They understand his quirks, his mannerisms are just a part of what makes him who he is.

To One Pissed Off Mother,
I can only hope that your children (if you are really, indeed, a mother) have been sheltered from the hatred and ignorance that you spewed in your letter. I hope that despite having such a vile human being as their mother, that they turn out to be amazing individuals who seek out those less fortunate and those with special needs and do everything they can to understand and live beside these people as a community. I hope they learn to accept that no one person is better than the next, and that their life is not to be valued any more than anyone else's. We are all humans living on this great planet, and everyone deserves a chance to be understood. Everyone deserves to be accepted. Everyone deserves a chance to be loved.

I wanted to hope that you'd get a chance to walk in this family's shoes, for just one moment. To live life as they have to, worrying about their child with Autism. Worrying what the community around them thinks. Worrying about the educational worries that goes along with having a special needs child. Worrying that your child may never fit into a world not meant for them, but knowing that they have to learn. Worrying about what happens when they themselves die? Learning to live with the mantra that "I need to live one day more than my child." But, you don't deserve that chance. You would throw away that blessing like a used up paper towel without ever realizing that your life would have been forever changed, for the better

Being the mom of a child with Autism, I can assure you, that this life is not always an easy one but we are infinitely blessed to be given the gift of raising our child. He's the biggest blessing we could have ever hoped for or been given. I love my son more than life itself, and I hope that he knows that. I also have what you would probably consider a "normal" child (I hate that term with a passion, by the way). My "normal" child is far wiser, far kinder and far more understanding of special needs than you will ever hope to be. He is one of his big brother's biggest fans, and he will do anything for him. He has gotten upset when people have stared and made comments directed towards his brother, as he understands just how wrong it is to do so. He's the younger "big brother" and he plays that part very well, without ever being asked to. He just does, because he knows that without us, our son wouldn't have the support system that he has. His family is the most important part of that support system and if we fail him, than so does that support system.

I hope only that with time, you will learn to feel remorseful for the hatred you spewed. That you will come to see how ignorant and vile you were. I hope you will apologize to this family and that you will truly mean it. I hope you will take it upon yourself to learn more about Autism. You need to be educated. You need to be aware. Most of us never asked to be the parents of special needs children, be it Autism or anything else. But most of us will also tell you, we have learned far more from our children's courage and dignity than we can ever hope to teach that child. I can promise you that your life will be infinitely blessed and enriched if you can rid yourself of the hatred that you have deep inside and learn to accept those with differences.

Come forth, accept the consequences of your actions and then let yourself be free to acceptance and forgiveness.

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