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Autism At The Foot of the Cross

Easter angelBy Cathy Jameson

I know that our readers come from many different backgrounds – both religiously and politically, but today, today is a day that Christians around the world celebrate new life, new hope, and a new beginning.  It’s Easter, and I’d like to take time today to reflect on why it’s a special time of year for my family. 

My kids are still young enough to want Easter egg hunts.  After Mass, my youngest is planning on spending the entire day in an old bunny costume she’s worn for Halloween.  But first, before the candy and the toys, we celebrate the holiness that comes with this feast day.  In order to do that, the kids start to quiet down.  They actually started to do that a few days ago.  Reflecting each day on what Jesus was doing this week thousands of years ago, they imagined Him in the upper room on Thursday evening and in the garden on Thursday night.  They imagined Him carrying the cross Friday morning.  Then, they remembered Jesus being nailed to the cross at noon on Friday.  From noon – 3pm on Friday, they watched The Passion.  I didn’t direct the kids to do any of this, so it was quite impressive that they encouraged each other to be so quiet, thoughtful, and reflective! 

Watching them prep like they did, and hearing them talking about the crucifixion, got me thinking about an expression:  Bring it to the foot of the cross.  You may have heard that before.  Christians will sometimes say it to a friend during times of trouble.  Confiding that something is wrong, they’re told to take the problem to the foot of the cross:  Don’t go it alone, friend.  Bring it to God.  He’ll help.  I have been telling myself more and more to remember to take my troubles, my worries, and my fears to the foot of the cross.  

CJ easter 1

The older Ronan gets, the more worries I have.  I shouldn’t worry as much as I do because, most of the time, problems we’ve had have worked themselves out.  But on the days where I find that I can’t see beyond what’s right in front of me, I become overwhelmed and will mentally fall in a heap.  When that happens, that’s where you’ll find me calling out for help.   

Like when Ronan’s pricey medication was no longer covered under his insurance plan:  Lord, this is so hard! 

Like when Ronan started having grand mal seizures:  God, what is happening?

Like when I’m just so tired and have no energy left for anyone:  Jesus, please help me. 

Pausing, reflecting, asking for help – it’s not an uncommon practice for anyone to do that.  In fact, it’s one thing that all people can do no matter what their religious background is. 

Last week, after a few tough weeks that had finally turned around for the better, I started to think about times when we, Ronan’s family, could be at the foot of the cross.  Was it when I had to tie Ronan’s shoe for the millionth time?

CJ 2 easter

Or when brother was asked to read the same lines from one of Ronan’s books out loud all afternoon?



CJ 3 easter

Was it when I once again had to redirect Ronan to first take off his clothes and put down his precious Black Fish picture before getting into the shower? 

Cj 4 easter

Has it been when Daddy has to scoop Ronan up on his shoulders to carry him on a family outing?

Cj 6 easter

Did we bring our frustrations to the foot of the cross at a doctor’s appointment that took extra time and extra people to make it go better? 

Cj 7 easter

Or later at a dental appointment when little sis had to keep singing a favorite song over and over again so Ronan would cooperate? 

Cj 8 easter

Did we bring our frustrations to the foot of the cross when we all had to tiptoe around the house after a seizure? 

Cj 9 easter

Sure. 

If we think that what we’re doing is a burden. 

But we don’t. 

The kids had no school on Good Friday.  That morning, we spent some time thinking about ways that we could be at the foot of the cross for all that we’ve been called to do here at home for Ronan.  But by the time that conversation was over, the typical sibs said that nothing they do for their brother is too much for them.  They want to help because they can help, not because they feel like they have to. 

Cj 10 easter

They help by holding their brother’s hand when we’re out, but taking turns doing seizure watch, by teaching Ronan how to play, and by singing songs that he likes to hear even though they’ve long grown tired of that song and may want to go do something else. 

Thoughtful, kind, and giving.  These kids were more than prepared for Easter this year than I was!   

I am not 100% hopeful 100% of the time.  I have flaws.  I have misgivings.  I have feelings of regret and even resentment.  When those moments of sadness, regret, and worry pop up, I do my best to remember to take it, whatever it is, to the foot of the cross. 

Take it to the foot of the cross. 

It’s better for me to bring it there, and to leave it there, than to let it hang around in my home.  Home is a safe place for Ronan.  He thrives here.  Here, he’s encouraged, loved, guided and given the chance to be exactly who he is.  He’s given us the chance to be better than we ever thought we could be, too. 

Cj steve

Today, our family will celebrate and give thanks for the new life, new hope, and new beginning that this Easter season brings.  I hope and pray that you have the chance to do that with your loved ones as well. 

Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor of Age of Autism. 

Comments

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Cathy Jameson

Sorry I'm late in responding to the comments that were left last week. Thank you for them! The kids enjoyed their day and I enjoyed some quiet time. Joanie your post was a wonderful read. I'll be back to read more of your writing!

My heart aches for those who do not have the family support like we have. We have our own share of tough moments that'll bring me right back to the foot of the cross ( including some you'll read about in my next piece). It stinks. Bigtime. For those who need it, I'm sending love, respect, and hope-filled prayers to you today...xo, Cat

Hdelay

I lay it at the foot of the cross every day and night. I do worry. My son has no siblings. I have no family I would trust to care for him. Those we would trust are older than we are. I lay it at the foot of the cross: "Dear Lord, who is going to watch over him when we are gone? who will love him as I do and do for him as I do? I cannot bear the thought of him being mistreated or harmed, used or abused. He has only ever known love and compassion."

Thinking about what could happen to him without me around to protect him is my own private hell. And then I move forward in my resolve - to get him to independence, and my prayer becomes for god to let me live long enough to accomplish it. Or never let me die until he does.

You are so blessed to have other children who love and I am certain will always watch over him.

I do trust in Our Lord. He's carried us through so much, so I know somehow that he will lead me to the answer of this constant worry I have somehow.

Your beautifully written article reminds me to stand firm in my faith.

Jennifer Horne-Roberts

Thank you, Cathy, and God bless you and your family this Eastertide, and always.

Jennifer Horne-Roberts, UK Counsel for vaccine-injured young people, and Keith Roberts, Architect,
parents of our most beloved Harry Horne-Roberts RIP., victim of MMR Pluserix and then the anti-psychotic drugs which took his life, aged 20. Harry's Story featured in Aof A. a few years ago.
We stand with you at the foot of the Cross.

Bad Penny

Cathy,

My words can never fully express the nourishment and comfort your words give my soul. On this day of all I must say you and your family are such a light to so many. Your families unfailing dedication to Ronan is an inspiration, and renews my faith almost weekly. Praise God! Your humble grace and the loving example your children display are changing lives. God keep you always, in the palm of His hand and carry you just as Ronan's dad carries him when you need it the most.

God Bless- Bad Penny

Jeannette Bishop

Happy Easter to all of the Jameson family and all here!

https://youtu.be/kCJtfBR7T9E

Gayle

Cathy-you always write such inspiring stories about how difficult it is for us families raising children with autism. You have a beautiful family and Ronan is very fortunate to have such caring and devoted siblings and parents. "Bring it to the foot of the Cross." Very inspiring. Happy Easter to all.

Rosamond McDonel

What lovely tribute to Ronan and his siblings and to all you and your husband do. Humbling to read as I have no real idea how difficult each day is for all of you. What a testament to the meaning of Easter. Thinking of all of you. Rosie Olmsted McDonel

MamaBear

To Joanie: "...when I consider miracles as “highly improbable or extraordinary events, developments, or accomplishments that bring very welcome consequences” I realize that we have been living a life of ongoing tiny miracles."

I have witnessed my grandson's "life of ongoing tiny miracles" and thank God for his family, their friends, and those who advocate for him.

Happy Passover to you!

MamaBear

Enormous gratitude for this posting. I am sharing with those who have sorrow & sufferings in their life. Easter blessings and love to all your family.

Gary Ogden

Cathy: Your voice is always heartening. Such a lovely family. I'm agnostic, but in honor of Easter, I'm listening to Bach, E. Power Biggs on the organ and Glenn Gould on the piano.

Margaret Jaeger

The goal; to attach more to God than to the constant troubles and problems presented with our disadvantaged loved ones we take care of in our own home. It's the most worthy goal for our daily lives and our souls of us and our cared for charges. Not the easy road when it's a 24/7 directive but it can be done. We know because of the testimonies in our Holy Book... All religions have one.

Joanie Calem

Cathy, I wrote a very similar blog this past week about Passover miracles and Autism....here is the link:
http://joaniecalem.com/wordpress/autism-awareness-passover-easter-and-miracles/

Joanie Calem

Teresa  Conrick

Happy Easter, Cathy and family! Always inspiring and appreciated!

ilovjp@aol.com

Thank you Cathy for a beautiful reminder of our Lord's sacrifice and of yours as you follow Him in faith as a whole family. He is Risen! Brooke

John Stone

Happy Easter Cathy! John

bob moffit

"Today, our family will celebrate and give thanks for the new life, new hope, and new beginning that this Easter season brings. I hope and pray that you have the chance to do that with your loved ones as well."

Amen to that Cathy ..... God bless you and yours

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