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Posts Tagged ‘God’

My daughter does not have a disease like cancer…despite what PETA or Autism Speaks might imply.

My daughter is not God’s vengeance…despite what Toni Braxton may have once thought.

My daughter is no more a potential killer than any of you…despite what the Washington Post might say.

My daughter, Brooke, has autism.

She IS autistic.

Is being autistic all sunshine and rainbows and unicorns?

Um, no.

Are there days that Brooke struggles mightily, in part because she is autistic?

Sure, no doubt.

Are there days when Brooke excels, in part because she is autistic?

Absolutely.

***

Words matter.

Stigma matters.

Demonization matters.

The way Ms. Braxton or PETA or the Washington Post or Autism Speaks talk about autism undoubtedly has led to unnecessary  tragedy.  I am not trying to convince a struggling parent that their autistic child is a gift from god, unless you believe that ALL children are a gift from god.  I am not painting a picture that is all rosy and “happily ever after” when an individual or family receives an autism diagnosis.  I am not trying to hold a scared parent’s hand and say, “everything will work out fine”.

BUT…

But individuals, parents, families and friends need to understand that autism and being autistic is NOT a death sentence like cancer can be…

Individuals, parents, families and friends need to understand that autism and being autistic is NOT a punishment of the parent for some imagined slight against his or her god…

Individuals, parents, families and friends need to understand that autism and being autistic is NOT an indicator of murderous tendencies any more than being any other member of the human race is…

***

My daughter is autistic.

She struggles a little more than others.

She also giggles and smiles a little more than others too.

She sees the world a little differently than you or me.

Sometimes that hinders…sometimes that helps.

As her parents, Jess and I do what we can to make the world a friendlier, easier place for her to exist in, while providing her with skills that will allow her to navigate it.

***

For the love of whatever deity you pray to, please stop seeing her as a diseased punishment, hell bent on hurting people.

My daughter is autistic.

She is different.

And that is okay.

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She IS driving…

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I sometimes wonder, what the Hell did I do?  What did I do to deserve this?

***

Oh, Luau…the Lord moves in mysterious ways.  We cannot know what his plan is.  We can only have faith that he has us on the right path and that he will only put challenges in front of you that he knows you can overcome.

Yeah?  Tell that to the guy who disappeared down a sinkhole last week.

***

Last night Jess, Brooke and I went to go see Katie in a school production of a musical.  Katie had been fighting a bad cold all week, but was determined to perform.  Little Brooke was even saying that she was excited to see the show.  Everything was going great – Brooke was singing along, watching, keeping an eye out for Katie – yes, everything was going along just fine…that is, until it wasn’t anymore.

Just before intermission Brooke turned to me and said, this show is too long. 

I hushed her and said that intermission would be soon.  She then said she needed the restroom.

Fine, I thought, no problem.  We slipped out of the auditorium and were back in our seats in minutes.  When intermission arrived, I went to get a snack.  I was gone maybe 10 minutes at most.  When I returned Brooke was in full meltdown mode.  She was done, cooked, finished.  Jess walked her outside to try to calm her down but to no avail.  About 5 minutes later she came in alone.  A friend was watching Brooke in the lobby.

Can you take her home, she asked.

I sighed.  I wasn’t going to get to see the second half of the show.

I wondered, what the Hel did I do?  What did I do to deserve this?  To be clear, this question wasn’t directed at Jess.  There was no way I was going to let her miss the closing act of her baby.  Those two have a bond that is beyond special, beyond your typical mother-daughter relationship.  No, my question was for the Big Guy Upstairs.

What did I do?

WHAT HELL DID I DO, “LORD”???

I took little Brooke by the hand and trudged out of the school, shoulders slumped, on the edge of tears.  Upon arriving home, Brooke wanted to draw.  I told her one picture and then it was time for bed.  I slumped to the floor feeling sorry for myself.

I again wondered to myself, what did I do to deserve this? But then it struck me.  Maybe I did do something to deserve this; maybe at some point in my life I treated someone poorly or used terms that were inappropriate – who knows?  It didn’t matter.

My question morphed.  My thinking changed. My anger at the Petty Guy Upstairs grew.

The real question I should have been asking is What the Hell did Katie do to deserve this?  Why does she have to suffer collateral damage?

The answer?

Nothing.

She didn’t do anything to deserve this.  This whole “sins of the father” crap is just that…crap!  Petty, Vindictive Crap!

7 miles at 11 o'clock at night while blasting Zepplin II helped my mood a little...but not much.

7 miles at 11 o’clock at night while blasting Zepplin II helped my mood a little…but not much.

 

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Proof of god

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A while back ago I wrote a post railing against the Almighty.  It was a dark time in the Luau household.

I was angry.

Bitter.

Lost.

Since then, I think I may have come around to the idea that god exists.

How else does one explain the phenomenon simply known as Tebow.

Here is a young man who, by all accounts, is exactly what he presents himself to be – a devout follower of Jesus who doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in his body.  For those who somehow have missed Tebow-mania, he is the 2nd year quarterback of the Denver Broncos, who, against all odds and lack of sound throwing mechanics, has managed to save the season of his team – the team started the football season 1 – 4; since taking over the starting job in Denver, he has led them an 8 – 5 record and has his team sitting in first place of their division.

That’s 7 – 1 as a starter – with poor throwing skills and a simplified offense.  His performance during the first three quarters of each of his games has been dismal, I mean “you should bench this guy” dismal.  Yet, somehow, at the end of almost each of these games, during the last minutes of regulation, Tebow is simply magic, dare I say, divine – enough so that his mid-contest prayers have led the Global Language Monitor (the online equivalent to Webster’s) to acknowledge Tebowing as a word – Tebowing, the act of  ’taking a knee’  in prayerful reflection in the midst of an athletic activity.

But it hasn’t only been what Tebow does on the field – it’s the weird things that are happening to the opposing teams late in games.  Defenses that were tight vises though 58 minutes, suddenly loosen over the final two minutes; offenses that simply need to kneel on the ball, run plays that leave time on the clock for Tebow to work his magic; fumbles; interceptions – all unlikely happenings in the final minutes of a game played by supposed professionals.

Yes, there are angels in the backfield and they are being led by the Mile High Messiah.

The thing is though, this doesn’t help me in my rant from so many weeks ago.  The fact that “g”od is helping the Broncos win and propelling one of his favorite sons to victory only goes to solidify my doubt in “G”od.

While god lifts Tim Tebow, He continues to allow autism to torment my little girl and millions like her.  While god helped Franco Harris catch the immaculate reception, He continues to allow savage acts of violence against the fairer sex, all in the name of religion.  While god led Curt Shilling and his bloody sock to victory in game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, He allows disaster upon disaster to kill hundreds of thousands of innocents.

Maybe god really did make us in his image – sports fans who think the Red Sox winning the World Series after 86 years was a bigger event in 2004 than the election of our first African-American President.

And so Tim Tebow and god face their first real test this weekend when Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots travel to Mile High Stadium.

A win for the Broncos will only go to further Tebow’s messianic following, but a loss will, in my opinion, do him no damage – everybody knows that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are football deities in their own right.

Maybe the Greeks and Romans had it right.

What does this have to do with running? I’m not sure, except for maybe the fact that before my next race and maybe at one of the water stations of my next marathon, I’m going to Tebow and pray to Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher.

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I cannot put into words how overwhelmed and supported I felt from your responses (both on and off line) to my #FAIL post.  Whether it was from those who felt the same way as me, those who had made their way back to God or those who had never left Him/Her, I felt the love and compassion from each and every one of you…thank you.

Last weekend Jess and Brooke went to New York City to see Brooke’s favorite movie on the stage – Godspell.  To really understand how Godspell has intertwined itself into our lives would take several blog posts – wait! —>there are several blogpost about that over on Jess’ blog<— (I suggest going to the beginning).  Suffice it to say, if you don’t have the time to read them all, Godspell is big, BIG in our home.  We knew she really wanted to see the show, but when you have a child with autism, you just never know how they are going to react to a new environment.  The experience could be a big hit or could end in disaster…

So it was with bated breath that I waited, here in Boston, to see how Jess & Brooke’s trip went…

*on a side note and a nod to the late Steve Jobs, the pictures, video and editing were all done on an iPhone.

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#FAIL

Dear Lord,

If You did this to test me, then I believe I have failed.

Not because I have given up on my daughter.

Not because I have given up on doing what is right.

Unlike You, I will never stop doing those things.

I failed because I have given up on You as an all-powerful, all-loving God.

You are cruel. You are sadistic. You are uncaring. You are vain.

How else do You explain what we see in the world?

A test?

Your test is flawed.  It tests those who do not carry love in their hearts at the expense of those who do.

How many mothers do You make cry themselves to sleep at night? How many fathers do You leave powerless to comfort their wives? How many little children, the very essence of purity, do You make suffer by chasing them with demons and dragons – those innocent children who have no weapon to defend themselves but the love of their parents?  How many Brooke’s do you torment with unyielding anxiety?  What did she do to deserve her fate?  I may not have walked the righteous path all of my life, but that gives you no right to punish Brooke, and in turn Jess and Katie.  If you have a problem with me, then you should take it out on me, not them.

I am angry at You.

I choose no longer to believe in You.

And don’t give me the “that’s the point of Faith” crap again. It’s crap and You know it. If You really cared, You would make the wicked suffer and comfort and heal to good.

You wouldn’t send the world preachers who tell the poor and the sick and the hurting that they just aren’t praying hard enough, they just aren’t giving enough, they just don’t believe enough.

Shame on You, Lord!

Maybe You did make us in Your image. That would explain why we have people like politicians and bank presidents – masters of the universe that don’t care about the poor, the needy, those in pain. Just like You, they say they care, that they want to help, but in the end, all they care about is their glory, their wealth, their fortune, their comfort.

Maybe You are deaf.

I think You just don’t care anymore.

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