i remember the advertisement coming up if you took such and such while pregnant contact our office, you could be entitled to compensation. this was about the time we came to the realization that our oldest son, second child, was delayed in his speech. i remember him sitting on the floor playing with his men, and legos…his dark hair, broad face and shoulders, stocky build, just what i would have hand built had i been giving the clay and told to build my son. he looked so much like my father, and his older sister. he was a babygap advertisment, cargos, a beanie, his jeans sticking out of his laced up boots and his blue button down made his eyes look like the sky, which i could see just beyond this little person sitting on the floor. i felt a pain began in my heart that day that would suplant the great care i had taken to protect him, with guilt…guilt that i had done something to cause this delay, this, long journey of what i knew would be a difficult one, a journey of fighting for everything, until he was much older. nothing would come easy to him, outside of loving and viewing the world as place of kindness, generosity and friendship. i took great care while growing him in my belly, reading to him, talking to him, praying over him, that God would direct his life, and everything i put in my mouth i was keenly aware of. get your folic acid, eat plenty of fresh vegatbles, lean proteins, all the things i knew to do i did. he would be to us, almost as a first child, we had had a very difficlut time carrying before our oldest was born, we had lost 4 babies and now, 7 years later, we were preganant with a son. we couldnt be more thrilled. as i sat and watched him play, that day, in my heart i knew that something was differnt, not the norm, i had had a beautful baby girl just 7 years earlier, i had been raised in a family, my mom one of 10 my dad one of 6 , so in my soul i knew things were off, or at least not progressing in the normal schedule or path according to the way i had seen other chldren progress. but there was a uniquessness that was not the norm as well, an intelligence that books or graphs could not chart. the next week as my mom held him she said, sis wyatt isn’t talking. i think we need to be concerned. that was the first time it was out in the open, an attachment on my soul, he was my soul, there would be no going back. the advocating would start and i would be relentless for my boy, for if i was not his advocate, then who would be. we would see speech teachers, specialists, one test after another, he never fit into any box, he was just always lost somehow, he would write complete sentences backward, yet he was an incesant reader. he had food ticks, he had very limited taste and just would not eat if it was something he didn’t like, it was a textural thing, just “matter of fact” not a rebellion. honestly, he was a child that required nothing, just to be left with his things. so i, especially, and we as a family always made sure he was taken care of. in the back of my mind i began to hear a small voice saying, “this is your fault, you caused this, if only you had done this, or that” — and that SMALL voice became louder and louder. i’ve seen his siblings, in our suv, listen to classical music or let him choose the movie, because they knew he was sensitive to noise. empathy and compassion, a lesson hard to teach children, had been a life lesson they would learn through loving their older brother. i questioned, many times, the dilemma of him choosing the music, or the movie or getting special food, but when his older sister said, mom it has taught us compassion for those who are differnt. i realized it was our family, that would learn, “again” though living it, empathy, compassion, selflessness, thinking of someone besides yourself. i would see him gaming, his baby sister was maybe 5, she would take him a sandwich and slide it on his desk, worried that he hadn’t eaten. once his older sister took on 3 boys, almost the size of men, and a mom, in a split second, when she saw he was in trouble. no thought to herself, pure unadulterated love for someone who was defenseless and being hurt. as i would face dark times with him, as depression would set in, i would see him withdraw to a place of saddness a dry, barren, lonely place, a place that i couldn’t go with him to, i would feel my very soul die a thousand deaths, i would get in the shower and cry so hard i thought they may find me drowned. every wall would we would hit, the moments of despair over where his life would go, what he would do, who would love him in the purest of ways, all i wanted for him was happiness. to be happy. and somehow i had shorted him, not given him a fair chance, i had not done the best by this one that owned my heart. the pure one in my stomach, i had poisoned, thought of myself above him, and the guilt and the pain at times felt like it would choke the life out of me. when i was faced with the divorce of my parents, due to domestic violence, i had told a tibet of this story in a previous post, i had, due to the tremenous stress of my parents and the devastation of our family being dismantled, i started taking zoloft. i continued taking zoloft through out my pregancy. the doctor assured me it was safe, no harm would come to the baby. i would, in the back of my mind, blame myself for all the difficulties my boy would have. well, he is 17 now, and at best you would just think he was shy, through a mom’s relentless search, we would come to realize my sweet boy has aspergers. he would not only speak, and write, he would read well beyond his years, understand concepts that are meant for minds that are schooled and sharp, not slow or delayed. his mind learned in a way that wasn’t traditional, wasn’t ordinary, we just had to have the tenacity to push through, stay on course until he found “his” fit. he is a old soul, a unique, genuine one that has broken my heart more times than i care to recall, but, in the moment of pain, i also realized a calling, a destiny…my destiny, had i not been his mother who would have seen him, who would have been his advocate. the differnt one, the one that doesn’t fit into the mold that we think everyone should fit into, now that is who i want to see, it Is who i see. truth be known that zoloft had nothing to do with the path my son calls his life, but, through my son’s life i would find myself back at a place i had found as a little girl sitting in my grannys garden. i would hear her say shug, you have to love people, you have a gift, a gift that you have to share with everyone you meet that has no one. honestly a gift that had began to develop in my family, as i would see my father advocate for the one no one would stand up for, or my mother love on the neighbor kids, or stop and pick up a dog with mange and nurse it back to health. even what i had been living with, the guilt of what i thought i had done was nothing more than an avenue back to where i was meant to be. and how beautiful to take that journey with the one who is so deep in your heart. i don’t think anything is happen-stance, i believe everything is meant to be. i believe we just have to be open our hearts and look for the true meaning, the purpose. my boy’s life is meant to be full and good, and it will also have pain and heartbreak, but, what beauty in the thought of his life leading, guilding my life to where it should be. the saying “you don’t truley understand until you have lived it”, this is so true of life’s burdens and joys, what if, because of my son’s pains i see the pains of others, i see the one who has no one, i can help that someone for just a moment in their life get reprieve from what they’re going through. what if, through my pain of losing my home i can comfort the family who may be losing theirs. because here’s what i think, if we just go and hide, ashamed of the pains in our life, what purpose or sense could we truley make of that pain. i am a person that is not one that hides, i love openly and deeply, if my mistakes, or the pains of our past can join me to a friend or someone who has no friend, what shame is in sharing or being honest about things i had no control over. here’s what it is —- pride, hauntiness or just being self aborbed. we all have social media accounts and see things from afar, often seeing them so differently than they are, but when we all go home at night, in the privacy of our homes, we know the truth and have to live with ourselves and what we have done with our lives, and the “truths” we know. have we been posers, fraudulent, fake or have we shown ourselves to be open to each other, transparent with our lives. the joys as well as the pains, the joys of life can sure be an encouragement for those who are facing tough times. i love to share in good news with those around me. i put outfits togther and take pictures of those outfits and post them on social media. i get them from thrift stores and Salvation Army and, by my pictures, show women what to pick out. i have been called, self centered, self absored, asked, who do i think i am, what do i think i know about fashion, gotten quite a bit of ugly email. i made a decision when we went through our crisis back in 2010, that i would not change who i was, i love clothes, i love heels, you will catch me any given day, at the grocery store in heels. so i thought why not share my love for clothes, with those who can’t afford the high ticket items, but still love fashion and looking nice like the rest of us. yes, it got me out there, it exposed me, but the reward was great when i would get too many emails to count thanking me for making a women’s life a little easier…one who had very little or was living in a shelter or a single mom raising two babies. it was worth it, even with all the nasty messages. my place of pain, of loss had given me credibility, a platform to reach these women. we all want to control our lives and live the life we see on the screen, when often the one we are living has so much to offer if we open overselves up to transparency, to authenticity. my son, has touched my life, touched many lives, God has a destiny for his life that i am excited to see unfold, i, also, have a destiny, that would never had been revealed had i not felt the pains of where i’ve lived the past 5 years, for that i am grateful. if you are in a sad barren land that you feel is hopeless, i have lived that life, and it wasn’t fun, but i had a source of strength, the giver of life, the one who felt immense pain Himself, met me in my lowest moments, touched my heart, helped me to continue. share your pain, use it to helps others and in some moment you’ll find that pain is the link that joined you to someone that becomes a part of your heart, and somehow, i don’t understnd how this works, but your pain will become a gift to that person, a blessing, and you will find a place of peace and the strength to find the next link. don’t be afraid, take the leap, your life will be fuller for it.