I Just spent the last hour and a half tackling my son’s closet….a void of lost and broken toys that I have been avoiding for a while now. After moving the dresser that I had shoved in front of it to keep Him out of there, I opened the door and was taken back about three years. All those fancy dress clothes, nice sweaters, Leather Jacket, things He refused (es) to wear, and I started to cry. That is when it hit me, there were other reasons I had been avoiding This task besides just not wanting to deal with the meltdowns caused by toys that frustrated him, or the monumental job of sorting puzzle pieces. His Closet symbolized something more for me….more than broken toys and lost puzzle pieces…..I had locked away a mother’s grief…broken dreams, fears, all the things He may never do…..Don’t get me wrong, I Know that He is a blessing, and a gift from God…but the diagnosis of Autism was a blow I didn’t plan for…..wasn’t prepared for, and it Hurts on levels I don’t have words for.
As I sat there on the floor of his room surrounded by broken toys and a mountain of assorted Puzzle pieces and looked up at the closet rack full of practically new ( as in never worn) clothes, I cried. I realized at that moment that I had not really dealt with the aches of my heart….just shut them away in a closet and shoved something heavy in front of it. Yeah I face the day to day. I have learned his warning signs to avoid a meltdown ( MOST of the time)…..I have gotten good at re-directing when He wants something he can’t have…..Have taught myself to understand His own form of speech. I Have gotten good at putting on a brave face and a smile…ignoring hurtful comments from strangers and family alike…but I had not really cried in a LONG time…..no time to…..have to keep my emotions in check because He picks up on the slightest change. That closet full of clothes symbolizes for me the son every parent hopes for…..the athlete….the one all the girls adore…..the strong leader….the son I didn’t get.
So today, I cried, as I sorted broken toys…..I found myself also sorting broken dreams. The Closet still holds the rack full of unworn clothes…..but I threw out three bags of broken toys….The Puzzle pieces are in a box, waiting for the kids to help me sort….and I feel a little stronger knowing that I opened a hidden place in my heart to begin letting God heal wounds I locked away. With His help, I will go on, because without His help…I will just lock the hurt away again, and shove the dresser back in front of the closet door.