Dan Olmsted: The Amish All Over Again
A Mother’s Day Letter - From One Mother to Another

Remembering My Best Mother's Day Gift Ever

Wild flowers
By Lin Wessels

Remembering my best Mother's Day gift ever......

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.........

Lin Wessels
Sam's MAMA (Mom on A Mission for Autism)

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)



Not long ago I told my now 13 year old son my favorite memory, and it happened on Christmas day 2002. You see, one year earlier it took Daniel seven hours to open his Christmas presents because he was overloaded with the sensory of tearing paper. It was more than an ordeal for him and us. Within two weeks we started IVIG, which eventually led to his recovery. So one year after that awful Christmas, Daniel took my face in his hands and said "Mewwy Kwismus, mommy. I wuv you." To this day that memory causes instant tears. It was by far the best Christmas gift I have ever received. I got my son back.

Marie-Anne Denayer

I had a wonderful Mother's Day. My daughters took me out for a lovely day trip to the shore. Marie was driving and Stephanie in the backseat behind Mom was an angel. As always she made sure we had our seat belts on and that Mom's reading glasses were tucked away in their pink pouch inside Mom's purse. My son, big brother to his sisters even managed to call me from the Naval Base where he is an Officer Candidate.
We had had a rough week. In the midst of divorce and business bankruptcy proceedings, my car was destroyed thanks to a distracted individual who decided to make a U-turn right in front of my SUV. Trying to avoid the collision, I veered sharply to the left aiming for someone's front yard. Unfortunately there was no avoiding a mailbox that had to be set in concrete as it ripped the front wheel on my side, right off the axle, along with the front bumpers. Stephanie who was strapped in behind me screamed until the car finally came to a stop while leaning dangerously in a ditch. By some miracle no one was seriously injured. I had always feared finding myself in that kind of situation, alone with my daughter and her autism. My car is her kingdom. All her treasures, her baby blanket, favorite books, musical toys, markers, Sesame Street coloring books, play dough, snacks and seltzer cans are stored in my car. Needless to say everything went flying at the time of the collision, causing further distress because nothing was where it belonged. Yet Stephanie was a trooper! She allowed a patient EMT to check her out and gave him a kiss after he helped her on the ambulance stretcher. How we managed to get her out of my car without a major tantrum is beyond comprehension. She let the ER nurse and doctor check her out, before being discharged.
My youngest daughter took us home. As soon as Stephanie realized that "Mommy" (stands for "Mommy's car" while Stephanie calls me "Mom")had not made it back to our garage all hell broke loose. She carried on for 3 days calling for "Mommy" until today. With prompting from her sister she wished me a "Happy Mother's Day" and gave me the card she made. Not only did she sign it, she drew a heart and wrote "Love" next to it.
After a crazy week, we had a beautiful Sunday. I called my Mom in Belgium and thanked her for having made me the mother my children love so much.

Jessie Hering-Brooks

Oh Lin, I'm forever blessed to know you. God bless you and Sam and your family. These moments are precious gifts. I treasure them each and every time they rarely occur. Thanks for sharing this.


What a great story. I love violets!


Have a wonderful Mother's day, my friends.


A Wonderful and FUN Celebration of MOMS:

"The Mom Song" sung to the William Tell Overture


Anne Dachel

Those simple things are such miracles!
Thank you.


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