The word Mom could mean a lot of different things to different people. For someone like me who has autism, the word Mom means an advocate, a guide, a teacher, an understanding person, a loving person, and a very supportive person.
I was born a normal, healthy baby, but when I turned 18 months old, I lost all my language and got sick several times a night. Then I was diagnosed with autism and a seizure disorder. God knew before I was born that I was going to have autism and because of that he knew just the right family to have me be born into and who my mom needed to be! He gave me Marlene DeForrest. God was definitely right!!!!!!!!!!!
From the very beginning, my Mom has been there for me. She was the one who would always calm my meltdowns as a young child. She was the one who would bathe me and change my bedding several times a night, because I got sick to my stomach at the end of each seizure. When I was little, my dad was a truck driver and my mom was the one who always kept me safe and let me know that everything was okay.
When I started going to school, she was my advocate for everything. She was the one who would stand up for what I needed when the school didn’t meet my needs. Before I started fourth grade, we moved to Kentucky and she homeschooled me for two and a half years. She made it known that I could go to her with anything, so about half way through sixth grade, I was feeling very lonely and I asked her if I could go back to public school. She said only if the district would care for your needs so she went and met with the Director of Special Education and she came home really impressed. I started back to public school in 2009 and graduated from high school in 2015. I was a student in one of the best school districts in the world. If she didn’t say yes, I would not have my best friend, Dominic. I am so thankful she said yes. My mom still had to be my advocate for a lot of things and I am so grateful she did it willingly.
She is the one I can confidently share my feelings with. When I am happy and want to share some good news, she is there! When I am having a hard time, she is always there! During my senior year, I had to go into a hospital for five days because I was having a hard time. During this time, I had a list that was miles long of people who were praying for me that had my mom on the very top! All of the people on the list have been in my corner and still are. It was the hardest week of my life, but if it wasn’t for my mom, I wouldn’t have made it out of there when I did and I wouldn’t have made it through the week. There was just one staff member who understood me and my needs as far as autism is concerned. I didn’t like it there, so after three days my mom went to the hospital and told them she wanted me to go home. My sister, Mandy, who was on the prayer list, called our Uncle Jim, who was also on list, and told him, “Mom is going in!” She went in the next morning. When the nurse came to me and told me that my mom had come in worrying about when I was going to go home, I knew immediately that I was going home the next morning and I sure did! I talked and I talked to her about everything that happened because I was quite upset about how mean they were to me. She was the only listening ear I wanted and she gave me that. We talked for hours that night! I was so glad to be home and in my mama’s arms!
God gave me the best mom in the world! She has always been in my corner and always will be! Thank you Lord for giving me my mama!