Autism Takes a Weekend Off – Part 1

Friday morning I woke up and did not want to face the day, did not want to get out of bed. I had yet to put a foot on the floor, and I was already overwhelmed.

People were coming to see the house. I had tried to do a little spring cleaning all week, but one of the kids had been sick. Now Friday was here, and there was so much to do. My one consolation was that last week I finished my final class for my Masters degree, so there were no assignments hanging over my head.

Brandon came home from work around noon to help me clean. I could not understand why he was not as stressed out as I.

Just before the people were to arrive, we decided the house was “passable.” I stole away to the computer for a few minutes of autism research online. (Don’t want to miss anything, you know.)

My friend Carrie, who lives in PA, called. Although we talk on the phone about once a week, we have not seen each other in years. We knew each other before we had little girls with autism, and now we share an irreplaceable bond.

“Hi Carrie.Gotta go.We have these people coming to see the house.Spent all morning cleaning.They should be here any minute.Oh!There’s the doorbell.Gotta go.Call ya laita.”

Hung up the phone and rushed to the living room. Brandon was standing at the door. Carrie was standing there and another dear friend, Melissa, whom I had not seen in years, was there also, holding flowers. They had gifts for my children.

I could not believe it. Confused. Overwhelmed. So happy to see them. Angry that they had inconvenienced themselves by leaving their families and driving hours to my house.

Turns out the whole story about people coming to see the house was a falsehood. Melissa, Carrie and Brandon had been planning this for weeks. They were whisking me away for a “Girls Weekend Out.”

My friends had come to minister to me.

I said something unintelligible and then started crying like a blubbering fool. Brandon shed tears, too.

(That man. After 10 years of marriage, you think you know someone. Days later, I’m still surprised that he can lie to me with a straight face act so well. He claims making up that story was the only way he could get me to clean the house. Hhhhmmm.)

We had the best time. I cannot recall a time when I have felt so loved by friends, so favored.

We went out to a nice restaurant for dinner. We went to Barnes and Noble and they bought me books that had absolutely nothing to do with autism. (To support my addiction, I had to buy at least one book on autism).

On Saturday, we went to the Museum of Fine Art in Boston.

We laughed. We cried (well, maybe that was just me). We reminisced. We prayed together.

A whole weekend with no perseverating on autism. I mean, I often dream about autism at night. I spend hours researching about autism, reading and writing in online groups about autism. I go to autism workshops and seminars and support groups. I talk about autism endlessly (- my poor friends and family!). And now, Lord help me, I blog about autism.

But I skipped out on Rhema’s weekend therapy appointments to go to a museum. Yes, this control freak mama left the husband in charge of all that.

(I’m reminded of a post by Judith where her husband quotes Mr. Miyagi: “You remember lesson about balance? Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?”)

In church on Sunday, another precious friend took care of Rhema for us in Children’s Church. It was the first Sunday in a loooooooooong time that Brandon and I actually got to sit together in church (-even other members noticed!). During worship, I cried like a blubbering fool again as we sang, “We are the broken, You are the Healer. Jesus, Redeemer, Mighty to save. You are the love song. We’ll sing forever, Bowing before You. Blessing Your name.”

I am so thankful that the Lord loves me like that.


As Melissa and Carrie drove away, Brandon and I stood on the porch. He asked me, “How do you feel?”

The only word I could think of was,


23 thoughts on “Autism Takes a Weekend Off – Part 1

  1. You go Brandon!!! What a great guy! (& the other two husbands as well!)

    So glad you had a refreshing weekend! His timing is perfect and fellowship is sweet.

  2. Hello,
    I wanted to thank you for your comment at A Teachable Heart.
    I read your beginning post and got tears in my eyes. What a wonderful blessing you received from your friends. So amazing how we are taken care of.
    I’m so happy for you that you feel refreshed.
    Remember to take good care of yourself. Have a wonderful Monday. Thanks for letting me drop by.

  3. Wow! that really blows me away, that he would do that for you and manage to keep it a secret besides. Your one lucky girl to have that hubby.

    Do you have a favorite autism book list?
    What forums or websites do you recommend?

    I too, read everything on autism I can get my hands on.
    Have you read “The boy who loved windows” or “George and Sam”? Those are two of my favorites.

    I do respite care for a couple autistic kids and also have an Aspie grandson.

  4. Fantastic!!!!! How wonderful that your husband knew how desperatly your soul needed refreshment. I already knew it, but you ARE blessed!! And good for you for allowing him to do his part while you were out having fun.

  5. oh darlin .. soooooooo well deserved! i’m thrilled that you had some time to breathe.

    hooray brandon – not just a hero abroad, but a hero at home!


  6. OH my gosh – what a Mighty God we serve! I don’t know you from adam, but I am sitting here with tears in my eyes for you. What awesome friends….. thinking of what you needed in EVERY aspect.

    I see so many similarities in you and I from the few posts I have read…. I need a fellow blogger who is also a fellow believer and a fellow autism momma….. Anytime you need some encouragement (unless this adds to your already long list of addictions) please email me.

    scott and briana at hotmail dot com

  7. jeneil, you needed this so bad! THANK YOU brandon, carrie, and melissa for taking care of jeneil. i hope it is not the last time you take some time off for refreshing!! (um, baltimore calls….)

  8. Jeneil-son, A weekend to remember. It was wonderful to see you, Brandon, your beautiful girls, home, and stomping grounds. and I’ve always known there was something a little shifty about that husband of yours… next time he suggests you grab a mop you’ll know to slip on some heels and lipgloss instead. 🙂

  9. That was so incredible! I’m so happy for you, and impressed by your dear ones’ thoughtfulness. Glad you were able to refresh.

  10. Jeneil, what a wonderful blessing! I am smiling at the love and thoughtfulness that went into planning that time of refreshment for you.

    On Mondays, I pray at Katy’s school with my dear friend, Traci, and other precious moms (including Shanda!). 🙂 This past Monday, I almost didn’t go because I woke up with a raging migraine. I drove to school and was actually texting Traci to let her know that I was going right back home again when I saw her in the parking lot. So, I purposed to go in and pray despite my pain.

    It turned out that no one showed up that morning except Traci and me. We had a sweet time of prayer, and then she took me out for breakfast for a belated birthday celebration. As we talked, breakfast turned into lunch, and before we knew it, we had been there for five hours!

    My head still hurt, but, when I got home, I e-mailed Traci to thank her for “refreshing” me. (So, this long story was just to say that I’ve been on the “refreshment” road with you!)

    These were the Scriptures that I e-mailed her, which I am delighted to share with you!

    “A generous (wo)man will prosper; (s)he who refreshes others will (her)self be refreshed.”
    (Proverbs 11:25)

    “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, (sister), have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”
    (Philemon 1:7)

    By the way, your blog is also refreshing, dear sister. 🙂

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