Last week we were frantic and terrified as we heard news that Mikaela Lynch, Drew Howell, and Owen Black were missing. We sat, thousands of miles away unable to do anything but pray, around our TV’s, computer’s and phone waiting to hear the news that she had been found. Unfortunately a tragic end to the waiting and praying. Our worst nightmare had come to pass, they had in fact found each of them, just not they way we had hoped. I sat gripped with sadness and despair for a little girl and two little boys I had never met and the families that I had never known.
While we live in different states, miles and miles apart, there is a tie that binds us. A connection because we are a part of the same community, the Autism Community. There have been speculations and remarks that are unnecessary and down right rude and uncaring and I want each of these families to know that there is a multitude of people across this nation that are thinking about them, praying for them, grieving for them. These kids and my son live on the same spectrum, albeit different spots. Their strengths and weakness’ are different but their struggle is the same – trying to fit a square peg in a round whole.
He has always had an attraction to water since he was little. We used to live very close to Navarre Beach in Florida, and I would take my boys aged 5 and an infant to the beach everyday. When Roo started walking and a new infant, Sissy, came along I had to stop going by myself with the three of them. Before I could get the baby and our belongings sat down Roo was stark naked and in the surf! Unbelievable fear! When we moved here to Missouri, he was 3 and I had to install locks at the top of all our doors. The kind they have in hotels at the very top so he couldn’t escape, because he would. When we moved out to the farm, I didn’t even think about the pond till I saw the look in his eyes when he saw it. Again Fear!
Roo has gotten away from us before on several occasions and the sheer panic that overwhelms you is indescribable. You can’t think straight! All you can process is fear and what if.
Because my Roo is so big on rules we have made it very clear that he is never, ever, ever to go to the pond without Daddy. It is a rule! And in the 3 or 4 years we have lived on our farm with a 40 acre pond in the back yard, he never has. Not that he hasn’t wanted too! He “reminded” me on more than one occasion “We can’t go to the pond with out Daddy, it’s a rule!” It’s his way of saying I really want to go to that water.
I guess what I am trying to say is my heart is aching for each of these families. They are not bad parents, they didn’t neglect their babies. Each incident in an unimaginable and tragic event, but It could have been any one of us at any given time. Our worst fear played out in reality! There is nothing I can do to ease the pain these families are feeling right now. All I can do is pray that they find comfort and peace, that people will surround them with love and support and hold my own boy a little tighter.