Saturday, May 28, 2011

All I Have To Be

I was told to keep it a secret-

something might be wrong

with my child.


I was told to wait for the assessments

before we exposed our fears,

exposed the nightmares

unfolding in our minds.


I could not bear to hide

the inward panic,

the fake smile

as my eyes, my heart, my body

cried to know the truth,

to share,

to be supported,

to not be so alone.


Hand in hand,

we walked into our mommy and me class.

I couldn’t breathe.

I could feel the wall collapse

as the tears began to fall.


All eyes turned on me,

and I heard myself say,


all I ever have to be is Graham’s Mom-

whoever he is,

whatever this is.

I can

and always will be

his Mom.


Jennie Linthorst is a therapeutic writing coach and the founder of LifeSPEAKS Poetry Therapy. She works privately with parents and caregivers of children with special needs helping them tell their stories and heal through reading and writing poetry and personal essays. Jennie coaches clients all across the country and around the world via phone, Skype, e-mail, in addition to in person meetings. Her book of poems, Autism Disrupted: A Mother's Journey of Hope will be released this summer.  Her family’s story is captured in the award-winning documentary film, “Autistic-Like: Graham’s Story.