The song Ronan shared from this memory came on the radio last week. Besides remembering the connection my non-verbal son made, I instantly remembered the sadness that came over me the day that Dolores O’Riordan died. A long-time fan of The Cranberries, I was devastated.
This bands’ music was part of my life long before autism and vaccine injury rocked my world. The day O’Riordan died happened to occur during a time we were struggling to control seizures.
Already crying because of how helpless I felt as I tried to help Ronan, I cried a bit more thinking about the tragedy of losing her voice. I’m grateful that it still has a way of creeping into not-so-random moments, like last week and in the memory I’ve shared below.
Sometimes, I can't believe the music selections that Ronan chooses. Other times, I realize that the songs he picks are spot on. I shared one of those amazing discoveries years ago. The one I'm sharing today was, I thought, totally random. Thinking that it was so totally random, I'd shared the link with some friends:
"Ronan's choice of songs tonight. Little dude's music is amazing."
He'd picked I Will Always by The Cranberries. And it really was amazing.
A friend offered some insight later that night. She said that when kids like our non-verbal children open what we believe are just random youtube clips, they are actually communicating with us. The more Ronan's done that, including with that Cranberries song he'd opened and played for me, the more I wholeheartedly agreed with her.
Thinking back to when Ronan found that song, it made me pause. When I listened to the song by myself, it made cry. Ronan played it for me before a rash of sickness and seizures hit him.
I will always
Go beside you
You will always
Knowing that I'd never leave his side while he was beginning to not feel well must have given him comfort. Through the illness, through the sleepless nights that followed, and through the worrisome seizures he later had, I never did leave his side. I'd promised him that I wouldn't. It took quite a few days for Ronan to bounce back, but he thankfully got better.
Ronan's played other songs for me since then that I know are not so random. When I hear those songs now, like when I heard I Will Always last week, I'm reminded of a few things:
First, Ronan has really great taste in music.
Second, he is communicating loudly and very clearly via that music.
Finally, and most importantly, he knows that, no matter what, I will always go beside him.
How could I not? He has been, and always will be, my biggest inspiration.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.