A Word Of Thanks

A friend of mine hasn’t been feeling well.  She had a cold or maybe it was the flu.  When she wrote me I could tell by the uncharacteristic abundance of typos that she wasn’t feeling great.  I thought about her, hoping she’d feel better soon.  And then yesterday there she was, so much better, her old self, witty, funny, silly, and I felt tremendous relief.  I hadn’t realized how concerned I was until she was better.

When I was nine my father went horse back riding.  It was a Wednesday.  He and my mother always went riding Wednesday afternoons.  I was home, sick with the flu that afternoon.  I remember staring out the window of my bedroom, the sunlight far too harsh forced me to turn my head from its glaring light.  My father told me he’d look in on me when he returned.  He never did.  At least not for a long time.  That afternoon he fell off his horse and, as luck would have it, he did not die as, those who administered to his broken body, predicted.  He did not die, but he was never the same.

Sometimes our lives change so suddenly it is impossible for our minds to keep up.  Sometimes it takes years to fully appreciate how one second can change so much.

When Emma was born, I could not have anticipated how completely my life would change as a result of her being.  It took years for me to process, to catch up, to fully appreciate the magnitude of one child’s existence and all that would occur as a direct result.  I could not have imagined how completely her life would change mine.   And now, today, in this moment I can say with complete and utter conviction, her life has made mine infinitely better, infinitely more enriched, infinitely more meaningful.  Her life.  Her existence.  Selfishly, and I do mean that literally, selfishly, I have benefited so completely from her being in this world, it takes my breath away.

In any given moment our lives can change.  Just like that.  And in that moment we have no way of knowing where we will be led.  Awhile ago I made a choice.  I didn’t think of it as a choice at the time, but I see now, that in fact it was.  I chose to view the things that have happened in my life as moments of possibility.  As long as I am allowed to live, each moment is a possibility to learn, to grow, to be open to new ideas.  I can say that easily now.  I understand this.  As lives go, mine has been a privileged one.  My perceived “hardship” is nothing compared to what so many have endured.  I do not say any of this flippantly.  This choice I made has been relatively easy to follow.

When my friend was sick I worried, when my father almost died I was devastated, when my child was diagnosed I despaired, but these things happened regardless of my response.  My response to them didn’t change their occurrence.

In this moment it’s raining outside.  Drops of water plop erratically on the air conditioning unit outside my studio, the clouds drift lazily along, skimming the tops of the multilevel buildings I see outside my window.  The red brake lights from the cars careening along the interlaced roadways create a moving collage as they speed off and on the exit ramps of the 59th Street bridge.  In this moment I am safe, my husband is safe, my family is safe, my friend is feeling better…  In this moment, in this brief moment, all is well and I am filled with gratitude for all I have.  I am filled with appreciation for the enormity of how one life has so profoundly changed my own in ways I could not have dared imagine.  I am humbled, knowing I will never be able to fully repay the gifts she has given me.

Beautiful Emma



29 responses to “A Word Of Thanks

  1. If not for autism we likely would never have met.

  2. ^^^^^^ what Judy said 🙂

  3. What can I say except…ditto. Thanks to you and Nic and Emma my life has changed so much, all of it for the better…except the sleep thing.

    Love you. Love our family.

  4. This made me cry…. it speaks to me so…
    I, too, would not be in this path, were it not for my son. It is a rich journey with opportunity to understand the infinite beauty of diversity… and to question, appreciate, wonder, connect, correct my course, and learn how much there is still to learn…
    Sending love

  5. Going to have to agree with those guys up there ^^^ I have considered autism a gift in our lives. It allows us to see two very unique worlds and appreciate the beauty in both. If not for autism we would have never met, Ariane – and that, most definitely is another gift. xxx

  6. What more can I add, except my gratitude and pride in being among those reading you today. Beautiful post.

  7. See, it’s all about how you choose to look at something. Something can be the worst thing ever or the best thing ever. I prefer having as many best thing EVER in my life as I can! 🙂

  8. Chou Chou Scantlin

    Sweet happy gratitude! Nothing better, and so beautifully put, Ariane! I, too, shall always count my many blessing, which include you, and the many friends here, and the wonderful souls I have met through this connection. I love you all, and send huge vitual hugs to each of you!!!
    Sometimes, I have so much I want to say, but the tasks at hand are many, and my stamina small, but, oh, how deeply I have adore all of you.
    My first husband, childhood sweetheart, and father of my son, also said goodbye one morning, and was in an accident that changed my world forever. Injured with severe brain damage, he lived five years more. I was 21, with a 6 mo. old at the time. My mother said the thing that inspired me most at that time. She said that, of all the people who go through major tragedies, most of them will be crushed and embittered the rest of their lives. But the small percent who make it, REALLY make it. I saw no reason not to be in that latter group. Thank you, for the reaffirmation, to always live in gratitude and joy. Can never have enough of that! Much love to you all!
    Now, I fly, getting ready for the next show! XXXOOO!!!

  9. it’s the same thing i realized when i took care of Therese, my special needs niece (who is by the way turning 15 today).. she changed my life to understand and be more aware of autism, as well as other special needs persons.. life is much more meaningful 🙂

  10. I am thankful every day for my son – just as he is – and thankful for all my friends I’ve made because of him. ❤

  11. Welcome home dear friend…

  12. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I really appreciate this.
    It made me think of this TED talk I watched recently: http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_love_no_matter_what.html
    He has interviewed many people who are parents of a child who is seen as ‘different’ – for whatever reason society currently decides them to be labelled as such. I found it thought provoking and challenging, and although you may not agree with everything he has to say I am so pleased he has had the courage to tell his tale. I am not a parent, but was one of those children. I found it very moving.

    • So funny, i wrote this post and had it as a draft as some other things came up that i had to write about, then someone sent me the link to Andrew’s TED talk and i watched it and said to my husband, “how weird is it at I just wrote this post about this!
      Yeah, it was terrific!

  13. Michelle Sutton (Amazing Adventures)

    Thankful with you all. For our children, for you all, for online friendships. Yes. Thankful indeed.

  14. Love that! “As long as I am allowed to live, each moment is a possibility to learn, to grow, to be open to new ideas.”

  15. Having been offline for a few days, I read this just now, and am also grateful for the insights you and others who have commented on this thread have brought to my life, and most of all to my daughter for having the patience and determination to connect with me and open my mind to new possibilities. We are indeed blessed always, and I thank you yet again for this opportunity to practice gratitude…

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