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Dear Wife, You Are the Best Mom to Our Son With Autism

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Dear wife,

No matter what people say or how they make you feel, it’s not your fault our child is autistic. It’s not your fault he has learning difficulties and struggles to communicate. It’s not your fault James has epilepsy. None of these things are your fault or mine; they are no one’s fault. James is who he was born to be, who he was meant to be, with all of the challenges that that brings along with all of the joys that we experience together with him as well. For there to be “fault” there would need to be failure, inadequacy, lack… there are none of those things regarding James, not from you, me, or anyone else. James has a mix of our genes, and those have formed him into who he is, but to be blamed for any differences that this blend has created would be as absurd as finding fault in parents whose child has red hair, or is shorter, or can’t sing in tune, or is left handed.

We didn’t expect James’ additional needs, but as his mother you shine!

You fight for him…

When things aren’t happening quickly enough to give James the support he needs, you are filled with a strong will to champion his corner, to call out poor performance in professionals, to challenge why things are taking so long. You are better than me at asking the hard questions, putting people on the spot and forcing them to act, bringing about positive change for James and our family.

You care for him…

There is a lot of care that James needs, care that would be much less for a typical 16-year-old.  Whether it’s sitting with James when he’s had an epileptic seizure to make sure that he is safe and recovering, or just keeping him company and watching one of his favorite films when he wants it, you are there for him. Whatever he needs, you are there — and you being there means that sometimes I can be away with work, which really helps. I know it means you are his carer 24/7 James’ sole carer at those times, yet you never complain.

You love him unconditionally…

No matter what you have to do to care for him, you love him. You love him because of who he is, not in spite of who he is.

You juggle like a circus performer

Caring for James, keeping the household going, managing to hold down your job, volunteering at church in the children’s team, being wife to me, mum to Phoebe as well as James, daughter and daughter-in-law, sister, friend and more… it’s amazing how you manage to keep everything going without dropping something, I’m very grateful for all you do and very proud of you!

So, when things are tough, when it’s hard to see the future clearly, when that future looks difficult and there seems no end to the demands on you; when you worry about the future for James and what that will look like, please remember this… I’m fighting for our family alongside you. I care for you as much as you care for James, that I love you unconditionally too. And when you are juggling and feel like you’re going to drop a ball, you can toss it to me and I’ll catch it. We’re in this together, for life and all that it can throw at us, and there is no one I would rather be facing life with than you.

Your loving husband and friend,

Mark x


Originally published: March 21, 2019
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