“Ain’t got no cash, ain’t got no style
Ain’t got no girl to make you smile
But don’t worry be happy”
~Bobby McFerrin, Don’t Worry, Be Happy
“…for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things…”
I busy myself about the house and my eye catches her standing tall in the window, her feet prancing on the sill.
A knot forms in my stomach.
Will they let her dance in the window? When I’m gone, will they understand her need to be close to that light, to move in the warmth of the sun?
Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to meet with an incredibly caring public servant and some amazing mothers. I hope I’ll get a chance to write more about the night some time in the future.
Much of the conversation centered around the issue of housing and jobs for adults with autism. My heart was stirred as I listened to the needs for support, which seemed so great. Rhema is only almost seven, but I could see her in their stories, and I was momentarily overwhelmed.
We’ve just been trying to get through today.
I’ve not spent much time thinking about Rhema as an adult on purpose. For one thing, imagining her then as she is now would be a disservice to her. Daily, monthly, yearly she amazes us with her ability to learn and do more. I still want to believe that anything is possible for her. I will not let my limited imagination shortchange her.
I’ve also avoided thoughts about the future because it’s simply too much. Thoughts of my baby living without me? Cannot go there. Too many worst case scenarios.
Still, there are certain realities that exist and we need to be as prepared as we can be. And the conversations of last week and the passing of my aunt have forced me to think on these things…
It’s even caused me to stop and stare at her, to put my cheek against hers, to hold her longer, to memorize each strand of hair. Time is moving so fast, I can barely lift her in my arms anymore, and it just dawned on me that she won’t be with me forever.
In my parent’s home yesterday, I tried to put to words my fears.
“Rhema is such a content child. We have worked hard to give her good things, to help her know and feel that she is safe and loved no matter what. We love the way she trusts us completely; she doesn’t worry about her needs. Yes, I know most children who are blessed to grow in a loving home don’t worry about their needs. But with Rhema, it’s even more so. Never once has she declared, “Mom, I’m thirsty” or “My finger hurts” or asked “Can I have a snack?” She depends on us.
What’s going to happen to my baby when I’m not able to care for her?
Should I be freaking out right now? Am I a fool to just think it’s going to be alright? How can this possibly be alright? Should I be doing more to prepare – saving more money, adding more therapies, launching a non-profit?”
My father did not say much, only this:
“God is going to take care of Rhema.”
And then I remembered.
I remembered how we needed to get her into a special school, and God made it so. I remembered how we battled the Department of the Army so that she could continue to get the services and medical care she needs here, and God made a way. I remembered how I prayed for something silly – a velvet leotard for my girl – and God gave, just because He could.
If He can deliver a velvet leotard, I’m thinking He can handle the future and a little window-dancing requirement.
That’s why she can dance in the light, so free. Trust me like that. Depend on me completely. You know her needs even when she cannot speak of them, in the same way I know what you need before you ask. Breathe, love, I got this.
So again I lay her down, offer her up, and give her back to the One who gave her to me.
He will take care of her.
Yes, very good care.