Every year on your birthday I write to you with a secret hope that maybe one day you will be able to read my letters.My heart swells with sheer pride when I look at you. You have come so far and just like any mum, I am ever so proud of just how much you have achieved. I remember clearly that awful day when were given your diagnosis. You were sat on my lap staring in to space holding Winnie the Pooh, totally unaware of what was going on. The news I had just received, shattered my world. I remember holding on to you so tight. I had no idea what it meant for us or how I could help you! I didn’t have a clue how I was going to fix this? After all that’s what mums do isn’t it? They fix it, make it better but how was I going to fix this for you? My precious baby. My heart was breaking. No matter what I did I couldn’t make this go away, no matter how much I just wanted to make it disappear. That was just the beginning of the endless nights of tears, fear of the unknown and anguish, which would soon become a normal part of my life.
How would this thing they called, “Autism” affect you? I had no idea! No matter how many leaflets I read, no matter how many books I looked at, I couldn’t predict which way this was going to go but I knew one thing for sure! No matter what we were in this together and I would do whatever I could somehow to make this right! I just needed to figure a way out. I made a promise to you and myself that very day, that no matter how bad this got, I would never give up on you. I promised you that I would never ever leave. I vowed never to let you believe that I didn’t want you or wish that you weren’t there. I would not allow myself to get angry. I would not let Autism take over our life. Today I say the same thing to you my darling daughter Ayshy! I won’t give in and I won’t EVER give up on you! I won’t let autism take you from me.
Ayshy, if I have made mistakes along the way, I’m sorry. I didn’t always get it right. I had to try different ways because you couldn’t tell me which way worked, I had to guess. I Cried when I was wrong, I cried when I was right. So many times I wanted you just to give me a nod or the look to say, “yes mummy, this is working!” So many times I willed for a reaction from you. If I’m brutally honest the desperation to know what you was thinking drove me to the edge many times. Some days you wouldn’t even make eye contact. You wouldn’t let me hug or comfort you. Those moments literally broke my heart. I felt as though I had failed you. I felt as though my promises were falling apart. I felt I was failing you as a mother. I would pick myself up after these days, with a stronger resolve! I was determined that at some point we would make progress. Some day I know you will give me that nod and that reaction that my heart & soul needs so much!
It’s been such a long road, extremely painful, utterly heartbreaking and days were I believed that world would be a better place without us. If I couldn’t get it right for you who else would? But I truly believe God got us through it, after all, I only had faith on my side everything was against us. Slowly extremely slowly we started making progress. It wasn’t huge or life changing. It was slow but I could see a difference. The day you started school you looked so grown up in your uniform. We should have been talking about how great this was going to be, how you would make new friends & learn new things and how lovely the teachers would be that would look after you when I wasn’t there. Instead I was there with visual inputs, hoping you would understand. I wasn’t wrong about school though. Alexandar taught you many things, in fact they taught me many things too.
We learnt together and it’s be an incredible journey! I’m so blessed to have have walked this journey with my very own little tour guide, the most beautiful little girl that I ever laid eyes on, that was you Ayshy. So we have had good days, we’ve had bad days and let’s be honest we’ve had dreadful days. The reality that you wasn’t going to do all the things little girls dream off hit home. The first meltdown scared me more than it probably did you! I didn’t know how to react or what to do but we learnt how to deal with them too. In fact Ayshy we learnt to deal with everything that came our way. No matter how small or how big it was we dealt with it. We’ve had the same conversations that consist with a few words over & over again. We’ve learnt the same words for years at a time to make sure you fully understand it. We’ve repeated numbers, colours, shapes and anything else that would help you almost every day over the last 19 odd years!
Ayshy, you learnt words, you even learnt to tell me wether you like things or not. You learnt yes and no in the right context. You learnt to recognise your name and best of all you learnt to say “Mum”. You knew I was mum, I was your mum! I cried all day the first time you said it, you were nearly 6!! I’ve shed many a tear over the years but I don’t cry because I’m sad anymore. I cry because I’m so proud of you and everything you have achieved. Ayshy I know you’ll never know life like your siblings will. I know you’ll always need a carer. I know my dreams for you when I had you will never happen but guess what? What you have achieved is more than I dared to hope for, dared to dream about.
Ayshy, we haven’t finished yet, we will make more progress, we will achieve more, I will make sure we do. I promise to guide you, support you, push you & do whatever I need to do. I will make sure you get to experience as much as possible. I will make sure you never feel alone or sad. Baby, if at times I annoy you, nag you, push you into counting or repeating words, please don’t hate me. You see one day mummy won’t be here and before that day comes mummy wants to help you understand & learn as much as possible.
Ayshy, you have brought nothing but immense joy to our life. Ayshy, you have shown us the real value of life. Ayshy, you have taught us humanity & compassion that maybe we would have never understood. Ayshy, you have taught us patience & tolerance. Ayshy, through you we have experienced faith like you wouldn’t believe. Ayshy, you taught us the real meaning of unconditional love.
So you see Ayshy, just how amazing you truly are! It doesn’t matter how many birthdays you have. I know you don’t understand age & to me you will always be my baby, but Ayshy don’t ever forget how far you’ve come, how much you have achieved, how amazing your journey has been. Thank you for letting me ride this journey with you!
Mummy loves you very much, much more than you’ll ever understand & mummy will do everything she can to give you every experience possible. That my promise to you, today, tomorrow and every day, I will do all that I can simply because I won’t let autism take everything from us. It chose the wrong mummy! We’ve got you Ayshy and you’ve got us, together will see it through.
Happy Birthday Babygirl!! ❤️