I had a Skype call with my son earlier this year. He hadn’t been home since February. I wasn’t sure how he’d react to seeing me after such a long absence. I was a bit nervous. There was a fine line between upsetting him and letting him hear my voice, see my face. My gut knew it was important to let him know I had not abandoned him, forgotten him. It was the only way I knew I could stay connected and had to try. At first, he seemed a bit stunned, looking at me through the computer screen. I could see in his eyes he was a bit confused. He looked away in the direction of a window. He must think my car is outside, I thought. He looked at me again coming closer to the screen. His curious look said, “How’d she get into the computer?” I said hello and asked him, What’s my name? How are you? Are you fine? reinforced by a few words in sign language. He smiled rocking back and forth in his chair. I was elated and relieved at the same time. He recognized me without being upset. I’m not even sure of his concept of time. It’s hard to communicate with someone who does not speak, does not understand simple conversation. This five-minute moment was the heart connection he needed, a mommy fix. I told him I loved him and blew him a kiss. He copied me back. The call ended.
I felt a visceral release, the tightness in my stomach let go. I exhaled. My eyes filled with happy tears; my heart felt full again. Our eyes and hearts moved beyond the physical. Separation could not break the bond between us, our energies connected. The vibration of my voice and the look in his eyes moved beyond our distance and connected our hearts. Message received; I have not forgotten him. In the midst of caring for his emotional wellbeing, I realized I was caring for my own.
My son is 27 years old; he is nonverbal and diagnosed with severe autism. Communication is always challenging with him. Throwing a pandemic into the mix magnifies this a thousand-fold. The virus has thrown us all into a whirlwind of chaos, of separation, fear and grief. In spite of deprived human touch and sharing of our space; my son and I broke through the distance. In this moment, the separation dissolved and we connected our heart energy through voice, a look and a smile on our faces. A true testament that no amount of separation in distance or time can break the bonds we create with love.