Avery Grace

Avery Grace

Monday, May 30, 2011

The look of hope

It still amazes me how one single look can change my mood and bring excitement and joy to my heart. Everybody has noticed it. It's not just me. She is there, she really is. She is more "with us." She is LOOKING at us. And SMILING! A look. A simple little look. Those eyes sure can lift me up.

I'm not sure what it is. We are spending more time in the Hyperbaric chamber, and she is also doing The Listening Program with Bone Conduction at our beloved OT clinic... but who really knows why. I am just delighted. It may seem silly if you don't have a child like Avery, but for those of you who do, you know what I mean. It's the littlest things we hold on to, the smallest feat gives us hope and happiness beyond measure.

Do I think Avery will ever really overcome Autism? No. But it's gotta get better than this. Her progress over the past 3 years has been painstakingly slow... but she's still in there. And when she looks, and I mean REALLY LOOKS at me... I know we are never going to give up on her.

I can't imagine what it must be like. I know Avery has preferences, opinions, feelings and desires. But she can't talk. She can't tell us what hurts, what she wants, what she needs. The last few weeks, however, she has been able to communicate more than she has in a looooong time. She is leading us to things, signing a bit, and have I mentioned that she is LOOKING at us?! It's a reason to keep hoping. To keep working. To keep trying like hell to bring her back to us.

Three years ago, shortly after Avery was diagnosed, I began writing in this blog. Initially, I thought it would be excellent documentation of the amazing progress she would surely make. That we would be able to look back on previous posts and see how far she had come. Instead, it has been more about my personal journey with life, grief, perspective, and hope in the seemingly unfair circumstance of having a child with a severe disability and serious autoimmune disease. It has been quite cathartic to me, and hopefully eye opening to many of you. But all in all... even on the hard days, I know that Avery makes me better. She teaches me more than I will ever be able to teach her. Autism is the purest lesson in how to love. How to let go of expectations. How to not take anything for granted, and how to appreciate even the simplest of connections.... like a sweet glance.

We are so grateful for every look. Every smile. And every single attempt our precious girl makes to come back to us. Autism can take away so much. It makes simple outings nearly impossible, and can create heartache, frustration, and anger like you have never experienced before. But for us, it can also bring grace. And for that, we are truly blessed.

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