Get Outta Here, Guilt: Staying Close While Saying Goodbye

Here's my theory: moving is like throwing a stone over the lake of your life -- eventually, the ripples reach to every part of the water. I arrived at this idea as I talked with my mom this week. In the course of conversation, she said, "Your brother keeps forgetting to say "Alabama" instead of, "Washington, DC" when he prays." Every night at supper, Willie prays: "Thank you God for heaven and for prayers, and for food, and for my sister Caroline and Jonathan in Washington, DC ... " Remembering this, I felt a sinking sense of guilt; not only ...
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100 Posts on Disability, Caregiving, and Courage (and Why We Fear Public Speaking More than Death)

I stare down at the small pile before me: an outline of my talk (8 pages long), 2 books to read from, and 1 cough drop, just in case things get desperate. This is it, I think. There's no going back now. I'm standing in front of a small audience at St. Francis of Assisi church, about to give a talk entitled, "Not A Burden, but a Privilege:  Ministry Alongside People with Special Needs." And boy oh boy, am I nervous. I try not to think about the camera filming me, or the raw ache in my throat that had ...
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My Greatest Teacher in the Art of Acceptance: My Brother with Autism

This is the 99th published post here at A Wish Come Clear. With the 100th post around the corner, I'm thinking about another milestone that's coming up soon: my younger brother Willie's 25th birthday. (Willie has autism, as well as myriad creative gifts; he came up with the name 'A Wish Come Clear'.) Willie has been talking about his 25th birthday since, well, the day after his 24th. At regular intervals, he announces, "On May 10, 2012, Willie will be 25 years old!" And then, of course, we gently prompt, "I will be 25", and he says it right back, ...
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It’s Taboo, So Let’s Talk About It: Interacting With People With Special Needs

He was such a beautiful baby, I could hardly take my eyes off him. He was sitting in a booster seat at the restaurant, smiling and cooing, with his dad beside him and his older sister across the table. The father looked a little tired; he was wearing a business suit, so he'd probably picked up the kids right after work. Yet even so, he was speaking kindly, and I could tell that he loved his kids deeply. The little family was seated next to my best friend and me, and it was all I could do not to pull ...
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Hoping Against Hope, Lighting It Up Blue: World Autism Awareness Day

This past week, I experienced a new kind of homecoming. My family had the joy of being together, but we also had the sorrow of my brother Willie's outbursts. For the first time in a long time, he had multiple instances of out-of-control aggression in the span of a week. As such, World Autism Awareness Day is tinged with pain for me. It's the grief of watching my parents incur injuries as they try to protect their son from self-harm. It's the powerlessness of wanting to help and not knowing how. Most of all, it's the sound of Willie's weeping ...
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Overhearing that Argument (A Lesson Learned in Laughter)

Happy Monday, all! First off, I'd like to welcome visitors from Autism Key and I'm A Mom Too. I have two guest posts up this week; "Autism, Siblings and the R-Word Effect" and, "A Lifetime of Lies (And A Truth to Set You Free)." First-time visitors, be sure to check out the welcome video (to your right and below), and visit the About page. Finally, I'd like to offer you a gift: Your Creed of Care: How To Dig For Treasure In People (Without Getting Buried Alive). This book is about balancing the responsibilities of caregiving with the responsibility of ...
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My Brother is the Biter: On Smashing Guitars, Owning Hard Truths, and Coming Through with Love: Guest Post on Autism Home Rescue

Readers, I'm happy to share that I have a guest post running today! (The 2nd guest posting has been postponed.) My Brother is the Biter: On Smashing Guitars, Owning Hard Truths, and Coming Through with Love is on Autism Home Rescue. Thank you, Cathy, for allowing me to guest on your site! It's been a pleasure to connect with you and your community. Welcome to A Wish Come Clear, readers from Autism Home Rescue! This Valentine's Day, I'd like to invite you to consider giving yourself the gift of posts via email. When you do, you'll also receive a copy ...
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Launch Day: Love’s Subversive Stance is Here!

It's the day you've been waiting for; Love's Subversive Stance is finally here! I'm proud to offer you this ebook, which contains 90+ pages of stories to help you go deeper with your most challenging relationships. If you want to say YES to standing on the subversive soil of love, pick up your copy today! Some early reviews: "The more I read of this book, the more I love it. It's really a beautiful collection of stories." -Allison McGinley, Be Not Afraid "Congratulations! I love the book...beautifully laid out." -Arvind Devalia, Make It Happen "...All I can say that it ...
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How To Deal With Difficult People (Yourself Included)

This weekend, my husband and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. Thanks to a friends' invitation, we were able to spend our days at Stillwaters, a rural recording studio and bed and breakfast. The two days we spent at Stillwaters felt unhurried, rich and full. Though I usually spend weekends working online, I didn't touch a computer. Instead, I disconnected. I went without a cell phone, wrote in my journal, took walks and slept in. Likewise, Jonathan and I embraced the freedom of unscheduled time. We went exploring without a plan-- driving down country roads, stopping wherever we ...
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What To Do With Doubt & Discouragement

I don't know about you, but I'm in shock that it's September. Where did the summer go? The season is changing. School is starting, sweaters are on sale, and there are just a few months left of 2011. It's a time of transition, and it tends to make us question ourselves. Are we where we hoped we'd be? Are we doing enough for others, being enough? In August, my husband and I faced multiple stressors:  overwork, fatigue, illness, death, mourning, (minor) injury and car breakdown among them. It was enough to leave me weary...and when I get tired, doubt and ...
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