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Giving, Receiving & Acceptance

With the holidays quickly approaching, I took a moment to reflect on all that has happened since 2020. Our world had been knocked out of balance and we lived in a state of panic and fear. Collectively, we’ve experienced the highs and lows of life, of survival, meeting our basic needs of food, shelter and human touch. In spite of it all, we reached out to one another to share our time, our meals and our innate response to care for one another. We led by example with acts of kindness, acts of community, acts of love. As we slowly emerge from the darkness into the light, I am reminded of my own personal experience of giving and receiving, of the heart of community, humanity.

Here’s an excerpt from my memoir, CHOICES - One mother’s determined search for the supports to meet the needs of her aging autistic son, about that time. It’s titled: ACCEPTANCE.

“It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding”

- Kahlil Gibran

“A gift card fell out of the envelope. Through eyes blurred with tears, I realized there were two, both from my local market. Our Christmas of 2006 was like no other.

My life had crumbled around me once again; another attempt to rebuild our family disappeared. My new husband had announced that he was leaving the marriage, without explanation, without delay. Left with two children to feed, bills to pay, no job and no child support, I was in shock. He had adopted my children as his very own only eight months before; what was he thinking? Had he gone mad? How would we survive?

I scrambled to get food stamps and stood in line for government food. There was no room for pride. After two months, child support was finally enforced, but with that came attorneys’ fees and more bills. I felt like I was drowning in legal documents and overdue statements. I was frantic, constantly moving, thinking, doing, keeping all the dishes spinning in the air, afraid to stop, afraid one might fall and break, afraid that I might break. I couldn’t afford to even think about it. I just kept moving.

Our divorce was final by summer. That autumn, I learned through legal documents that my ex-husband had remarried immediately after our divorce. He had moved on to a new wife, a new life, and left us in the dust. I was no longer in shock, but still digging out from the wreckage he had left behind, and Christmas was upon us. How was I going to conjure up a holiday for my children when we were barely making it through each day?” Read More

CHOICES- One mother’s determined search for the supports to meet the needs of her aging autistic son, J.M. Crawford, Acceptance, p. 75,

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