Several times in the last two weeks I‘ve run into an expression that I have a love-hate relationship with: “Cathy, I don’t know how you do it all. How do you do it?” Since it’s usually a rhetorical question, and I’m not really going to answer it, why love-hate? Because someday I just might respond. And it isn’t going to be pretty.
Here’s the hate version. And, fair warning. It includes some of the things I want to say out loud but don’t:
How do I do it?! Do you really want to know? You wanna wear my shoes for a day and find out? You wanna see what I see? You wanna discover what others are continuously trying to cover up? You wanna read my PMs from parents asking for advice? Or emails from a distraught parent who finally connects their child’s deteriorating health to a vaccine injury? You wanna hear the cry of pain that a vaccine-injured child cries when his body cannot do what his mind is telling him to do? Or hear the frustration that comes out of a child who was physically capable of doing everything but is now both physically and mentally frozen in a developmental stage from eight years ago?! You wanna know more about that child? That it’s MY child who suffers more than you’ll probably ever suffer over your entire lifespan?! No, you don’t want to know? Come on, why not? Am I scaring you? Oh, I am? Well then, please, I implore you; don’t ask me how I do it all because one of these days I am gonna unload all of this on somebody and tell them everything—the good, the bad, the awful. And the ugly, unbelievable yet 100% God-honest truth.
Told ya it was a little harsh.
And now, the love version:
How do I do it? Oh, I’m so glad you asked! You see, something terrible happened when Ronan was a baby. Sure I could have done a little bit of reading which might have prevented some of his ails, but I really didn’t know enough back then. Now that I know a thing or two, my mission is to help as many parents as I can. I want to save their children and the world! I want tell everyone to education themselves on the explosion of environmental assaults we’ve all been exposed to. Read, read and read some more. It’s really pretty exciting to share what I know and what I have experienced. It’s actually a blessing to see what I get to see. I’m amazed at what I get to hear. I’m truly honored to have the relationships I have now with so many other parents because we’ve learned just so much from each other. And Ronan? I get to see my child blossom, albeit very, very slowly. But, I get to watch him grow as much as he is capable of growing.
Hmmm, that version sort of reminds me of rainbows and unicorns.
If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “How do you do it?” I’d be a rich girl. I’d have large pots lined with all sorts of shiny nickels. I wouldn’t let them just sit there though. I’d add them all up and take those funds to share opportunities with others. I’d spread the love and I’d make sure no one was on a wait list for therapy or state aide. I’d make sure teachers were trained with our kids needs in mind. I’d help fund respite and peaceful getaways for every exhausted parent out there. I’d donate money to charities who gave back to families because so many are hurting financially. I’d pile loads of money into our kids’ health and into their siblings’ education. I’d buy out companies whose products destroy our bodies and our health. I’d do everything I could to turn our health care system’s focus into actually caring for our health. I’d make sure no one would ever go without ever again. Oh, to have all of that and more!
Back to reality.
It isn’t so much how I do things but why I do them—to prevent the epidemic that is stealing our children’s health, lives and futures away. Some days I wish the people who make that innocent yet sometimes annoying statement about how I do so much would instead remember why I do it: because what happened to Ronan could have been prevented. Because a generation of kids like Ronan might now forever be very dependent on their parents, their teachers, their therapists and their exhausted families. Because if we don’t provide help for these children now, their futures could be very bleak. Because our overcrowded school, health care and support systems will not be able to handle the growing number of children affected. And because, this did not have to happen.
I do a lot. I do more than I should some days, and I do as much as I can on others hoping that it was enough. In the long run it doesn’t matter how I do it; it's really only matter why. I do it for Ronan because he needs me to.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.