January 28, 2011

Letter to Myself (August, 2009)

Dear Jennie,

A blizzard is coming. It is a storm of epic proportions, one that was not predicted nor one you could prepare for. The blizzard will knock out your power, blind you, keep you snowed in for months. Don’t get me wrong, you’re still in California. The sun may even be shining.

You will be hit by the storms that follow an autism diagnosis, the blizzard of early intervention. You will be trapped inside your house. Therapists will come and go, three times a day and you will not be allowed to leave. They will leave your house, your schedule, your emotions, in chaos. You will watch them interact with your child, but you will not participate – not much anyway. You will be sick with cabin fever for months.

You will also have a newborn to care for.

This will be one of the most trying times of your life, but you will survive. You will write and you will share survival tips with others who are also snowed in, living off cans of soup and the last crumbs of their emotional reserves.

In time, the sidewalks will get shoveled and the streets will get plowed. Your autism storm will not end, but snow and ice will gradually turn to rain. When your son starts school, the sun will peek through the clouds and it will be safe to go outside. There won’t be any rainbows, and memories of the blizzard will continue to chill you the bone. But you will live through it.

You will survive.

Written for this week's Red Dress Club prompt: to imagine you are trapped alone or with others at a single place during a ginormous blizzard or its aftermath.


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