I’m a regular reader and commenter over at Respectful Insolence, the blog of Orac who is a cancer oncologist and proponent of Science- and Evidence-Based Medicine. Two recent comments caught my eye. One by commenter kruuth is a letter of reply to parents who refuse to vaccinate. It begins “Dear Ignorant Parent” and lets rip at the ignorami who think a few hours spent “researching” on the interwebz makes them more expert than the physicians who spend literally years studying to practise medicine. Catherina posted the letter on Just the Vaxx. My favourite part? “A cursory internet search on vaccines being bad does not make you an expert. Years upon years of medical training does, and that learning process is ongoing.”
The second comment was from Kelly M Bray, the father of a 14 year old with Autism.
“My 14 year old son has autism. He is geeky, gawky, dorky, sometimes skips when he walks, and runs funny. He is also intelligent, funny, tells horrible jokes, is kind, thoughtful, compassionate, and loves animals. He is a great joy in my life.
But there was a time a time when I was not so sure about what I felt. He was five and struggling at times. I wasn’t sure how he was going to do in life, how he was going to make it. I was in a great deal of emotional pain. I was talking to my mentor in a program, and felt like I was being torn apart. My younger brother was severely mentally and physically disabled. It tore my parents lives apart, and all I saw was life going down that exact path. I cried out “Why in hell did God damage my son’s brain, why him???” My friend looked at me with great compassion and said “ I don’t know”. He then asked me “Do you love Tim?” I told him “With all my heart”. He then said “ If I was able to give you the power of God right now…what would you do, what would you change?”. My mind whirled, but I was suddenly stumped. What could I change about him that would not change the parts of him that were unique and beautiful?
The little boy who would run down the daycare hall screaming “daddy” and jump into my arms.
The little boy who put his arms around me and tell me he loved me as “big as the sky”.
The little boy who would crawl into bed with me ask me to read a story with him and then curl up next me asleep.
I realized I loved him exactly the way he was, exactly who he was, perfect, and I would not change a thing.
That does not mean I won’t help him be the best person he can be. But it means I am not going to go around thinking he is broken and cursing the world for creating him. I truly pity [those] who are so busy being angry and resentful that they cannot appreciate the beauty of the child they have. I can and I am forever blessed by it.”
Thank you Kelly. Your attitude towards your son gives me hope.