Sam was about three and half. He very much struggled with speaking and communication. It was a truly difficult and trying time for all of us. The ASD diagnosis was still so new to us. Out hearts ached for our son, for the unknown, for what might become of him. We were terrified. Sam was frustrated with no means to connect to others, to have his wants and needs known. The world had become a strange and foreign place for him. Where all things had once been right with the world, now nothing was.
We were outside. I was messing in my flower beds, something I love to do. As Sam and I walked alongside our home, Sam paused. He bent over and plucked a wild violet, from amongst the grassy abyss. He then turned to me and said, "fower," as he handed it to me. I recall being so taken aback that I had to stop and really think about what had occurred. He had so few words at that time. The vast majority of his words had long ago disappeared. We were working feverishly to try and gain them back. He was utterly disengaged with his environment, including us, his parents. He had long ago stopped responding to even the sound of his own name. We had no way of knowing if we might possibly succeed in helping him to regain those skills now lost to autism.
I was in awe......I know my heart most certainly skipped a beat. I may have actually stopped breathing momentarily. I cannot begin to accurately describe the pure joy that overcame me. Not only did Sam engage with me by giving me a "fower" from a weed patch, but he also called it by name, "fower." It still brings tears to my eyes the same way it did that Mother's Day so many years ago. It still fills my heart to overflowing. There was hope! There IS hope!!
To this day, I don't pull wild violets out of my otherwise meticulously manicured flower beds. They shall ne'er again be simply another annoyance to me. What was once readily thought of as merely an eyesore had now become a genuine treasure. They make me smile and give me great pleasure. They fill my heart as I trust there are better days ahead.......They symbolize HOPE! ♥
I still have that beautiful violet "fower" pressed inside my grandmother's Bible. And, I still very much have hope for my son and his future. Believe.........
Sam's MAMA (Mom on A Mission for Autism)