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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Charity is for the giver.

I wonder how many people, like myself do not (did not) understand this concept. It's similar to the Christmas saying, "it's better to give than receive". With the exception of going to Sunday school when I was very little cannot say I'm a deeply Christian person. I'd say I'm more agnostic. I really WANT to believe that there is some Divine reason behind all this chaos and human suffering (and that's just my world and not Darfur). So I've got to say personally, when someone would say to me, "it's better to give than receive". I thought they meant giving would make you feel good. You giving of yourself, your resources, your time, would give you an endorphin rush. You felt good for doing good.

Well after my wedding post I began to think of something I learned about two years ago. I don't think that is the true idea behind the concept. Two years ago I had spent some time back in the work force. Dear Hubby had been laid off, and his line of work was scant. To make ends meet I immediately began to look for a job. I found one in my last line of work before I became Autism Mommy 101.

Like I've said before, I'm not deeply Christian but to make ends meet I had to work with a VERY Christian, Very right wing Republican type. I'm talking the kind of Republican who listens to Rush Limbaugh online....DAILY, shudder!

I don't exactly have a ton of time to refine my political views, what with being  super Autism Mommy, but I'd say I lean towards devil worshiping pagan in those types of peoples eyes. I have two kids out of wedlock, do not attend church and believe everyone should have the right to health care, craaazzy tree hugger!

So as you can imagine my manager and got into lots of heated discussions. Believe it or not, I quit and wasn't fired, lol. I would be lying to say that some of the ranting republicans didn't having some interesting points and I'm willing to hear the other side even if I do not always agree with them. I have great respect for the manager in question and though he had many interesting and intelligent ideas. I actually came to like Dave Ramsey.

The funny thing is I can't even remember the topic of discussion that brought up this particular thought from his end. He said to me "charity is for the giver, because that means you are fortunate enough to be able to give". I'd honestly never thought of it in this way until he brought it up.

As far as a family with Autism goes, I think in many ways, we live a very charmed life. Our son on the spectrum talks, has many interests, is potty trained. He has a wonderful chance at living a very full life and with that we are blessed (yep, I said it, even though I'm agnostic). We've been able to secure many grants. Many to pay for his private education and bio-medical therapies. We have wonderful insurance coverage that is currently covering his Applied Behavior Analysis and other medical needs. We still do struggle with everyday bills, lots of Autism related expense's that I cannot begin to factor in but we've always managed to keep a roof over our children's heads.

Our family is extremely lucky that I can pull a sentence or two together. In the very beginning, when our son was first diagnosed, I was filled with raw rage and endless optimism. This potent combination of emotions seemed to pull in the grants and I always thought, "how lucky we are". May be it is the wisdom that comes from being a few years in but I'm sick of asking for help, for NEEDING it! I can no longer (with out being false) convey that cauldron of emotions. I finally understand the meaning of "charity is for the giver".

For our family that would ideally come in a positive long term outcome for both of our children. One not supporting the other, no strain on the "NT" child,  no group homes for the one on the spectrum. I'd love to give one dollar to the store clerk at Publix for premature babies but how can I do that when I struggle to pay the light bill or I'm busy worrying about placement of my adult child into a group home?

I think that's another thing that drives me crazy about the wedding. Part of me wants some celebrity to whisk us off and pay for this big grand wedding because we've worked so hard for our child with Autism. So feel free to forward this to Oprah or Jenny McCarthy, or both. Dang it if I don't feel ashamed about that desire. I hate using DS's Autism as a crutch. A part of me thinks we've worked so hard, shouldn't we get something back, something from a larger community that has helped to cause part of DS's Autism. The other part of me, knows that won't happen, part of it because I won't plea for it. I cannot put on a false face of Autism happiness and gratitude of "awareness" even for the wedding of my dreams. The best case scenario would be for us to be able to pay for everything ourselves. To never worry about pitting the cost of our wedding against whatever Autism may cost us, this year and in the years to come.


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