Thursday, July 21, 2011

When I Can No Longer Walk With Conor


My buddy, Conor, 15
One thing about which I have no regrets is the time I have spent with my sons and, in the context of autism and  this blog,  my time with my 15 year old severely autistic son Conor. Many years ago I vowed to do whatever I could to make his life as enjoyable as his Autistic Disorder and profound developmental delays would possibly permit. To that end I engaged in autism advocacy in our province where, along with other dedicated parents, substantial success was realized. I have advocated specifically on his behalf to the best of my ability.  I have spent much time with my buddy cherishing each moment and conscious of the importance of enjoying my time with him.  We have had fun, lots of fun. What I have enjoyed most  is walking with Conor.  In part because walking is something I have always, always, always done.  
As a child I was a "wanderer".  I loved to just go "exploring" often before anyone else in our very safe military base community was up and awake. I loved to walk the roads of our town and more than anything I  loved to walk the trails and woods.  With Conor that has been probably my greatest joy just walking with my buddy along the beautiful trails of our community, along the rivers and in the woods. 
I have no regrets except that which I can not forestall forever ... the inevitable day when I can no longer walk with Conor and he must walk his own path through whatever wood, into whatever field, his life takes him.    I accept it as the reality that looms ever closer without regrets in that I have not squandered the time that I have had, and will not squander the time that remains, to enjoy his presence with us.  I do regret that some day my time walking with Conor will end. I will walk with Conor  until that day comes when I can not do so, the day when he continues on his own.

12 comments:

BLOOM - Parenting Kids With Disabilities said...

This is a beautiful piece of writing. Thank you for sharing.

Claire said...

No regrets indeed. Thanks for this Harold.

Lisa Jo Rudy said...

This is beautiful, Harold - but what would stop you from walking with your son for as long as you both enjoy the experience?

Lisa

farmwifetwo said...

Haven't quite mastered the guilt that maybe I could do more....

But in the end we do the best we can for all of us as a family.

So, no regrets either.

Lisa, I don't think he means physically walking with him but that one day he'll have to live elsewhere and decisions may have to be made without Harold's consent (age, illness, accident, death etc). I dread those days, but I've legally done the best I can to protect my son for when those days come.

Shannon said...

I have no regrets, either. Lately the isolation, worry and frustration have been getting to me much more than they usually do, but my children and their happiness mean everything to me.

Anonymous said...

Man, grab my heart and squeeeze...
Some day I won't be able to walk with Wulf, and I suspect that will be more my problem than his... What I fear is that Wulf will not be allowed to walk... on any of our hiking trails, or down by the beach... we walk now because I have given his Agency a letter that releases them from any and all responsibility should any "incident" ocur while he's out with his family. Otherwise, he stays in (a "community rights restriction") because they fear bad publicity, as near as I can determine. This is going to turn into a royal flying monkey parade legal proceeding as soon as I get the time, using the NYS Mental Health Legal Services...

Fielding J., Hurst said...

OK, thanks for making me cry at work! :-)

aasiyah said...

It was a very beautiful piece, and it made me cry. I do think about this a lot. My son and I walk a lot with his NT sister. We enjoy our outings, explore and have fun. many times I look at both of my kids face as they laughing and having a good time, and suddenly I start thinking will happen when i am no longer around or able to do what we do now. It is a very realistic question, but for now, i just try to enjoy what i have and not to spoil the fun, I do pray a lot, that he will be able to do fun things alone when I am no longer around.

autismandoughtisms said...

Lovely post, very special :)

Mommie that Gets It said...

Beautiful ... lovely piece. :) Heather

Bullet said...

I hope you get to walk with Connor for a long time yet, both literally and metaphorically.
Both my lads love walking and we are fortunate to live very close to a nature reserve, which easily provides at least a couple of hours amongst beautiful semi countryside. Jacob has no trouble with where we go and just needs keeping hold of to stop him running into the river. Thomas gets more anxious about the route, the time it takes, whether there will be dogs etc and so a bit more careful planning is required for his sake. But both lads are familiar with the route and the walk benefits them enormously.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words and thought provoking. On a lighter-side....Ican fix you up with some dandy gait-aids :)

Dawn(forever the nurse)