By Dr Debra Bartholomew
I stood at the edge and dove in
Oh my God, where are you?
The water swirls like millions of tendrils pulling at me
And I cannot see the bottom
I hear a voice in the distance, my younger crying out to me
It’s his brother….has he gone under?
We reach for him, we grab at him,
But he keeps slipping out of our grasp
Oh God, no, please don’t let him drown
Do not take him away from us.
We grab once, twice, three times….
He sees me but I’m not there
For he does not know me….his eyes are glazed over.
His body twitching now, muscles uncoordinated
Unable to create purposeful movement, he sinks, he cannot swim
We reach for him one more time…
He blinks….he calls my name….
His “Mommy” like the elixir of life
I smile….and together, we all wade to the shore,
Drenched, exhausted, spent but alive….aware….
I had hoped that autism’s grasp was starting to slacken, relax
But it seems it has an affinity for teenaged souls
And can even drag them close to this epileptic sea until they fall in
This new development fills me with trepidation
I am afraid of water….it terrifies me
But my child threatens to disappear….
I take a deep breath….
I stand at the edge and dive in.