The Last Day of the Last Year…

From where I sit on my make-believe mountain peak way up high, I can see sparkles of lights from the night of the valley far beyond. On this day marking the end of a year, those who live in the valley gather to celebrate. As always, I watch from afar. I wonder at their hope for what the new year may bring. I remember the past as I wait for what will come next…

I remember how I had arrived in the Land of A so many years ago. When One-of-my-Own, than a little boy with long blond curls and a belly laugh that could make the angels sing became lost in such a strange place. It was all Autism’s fault and I didn’t know what to do. I would spend a lifetime searching a way out for him.  

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It is cold on my mountain peak. The snow rings a circle around but does not touch where I sit. I wear a favorite pretend down coat to keep me safe and warm. It won’t be long now before the celebration in the valley far beyond begins. It does so at the end of each and every year. Those who have gathered are now together. As usual, I am alone. I think of the past and the present as I wait for what’s next…

I think about One-of-my-Own and the years of the tiniest steps forward and the huge leaps backwards. Despite it all, I always believed that I was moving closer to finally finding his way out of the Land of A. But that all changed recently when somehow Autism gained the upper hand. OCD and Tics took control, and One-of-my-Own went missing again. I think he is lost now more than ever.

Sporadic booms and bangs sound up from the valley beyond to interrupt the quiet of my imaginary mountain peak. A cold winter wind shakes clouds that will spill more snow. I pull on my pretend pair of black merino wool mittens, even though I lost the real one while hiking a volcano a while back. It is not time for the people of the valley’s celebration. Yet those who gather begin anyhow. From where I sit, there is nothing to be done. So I think about what I might believe of the past, present and future, as I wait for what’s next…

It is my belief that in the Land of A, these past months have been the hardest of the years living here. Every once in a while I will find One-of-my-Own and he will look at me with clear blue eyes and tell me that he hates Tics and asks if I can please make him go away. But there are other times when OCD tricks him into thinking he is cured, and right before he gets lost again, he says not to worry, that he’ll be just fine. I can’t imagine OCD and Tics’s hold on him getting any worse but I think I know now that there is always a possibility that it could…

I do not belong to the sparkles of light in the valley down beyond and the celebration is not my own. Those who live down there have never been to the solitude of my mountain peak. The snow is falling everywhere except in the circle that I have created in my imagination where I sit and silently watch. On this last day of the last year, I make a decision for the present and future as I wait for what’s next…

I’ve decided for the thousandth time to quit blaming Autism. Maybe Autism and I can understand each other again…become better allies. We could find a way together to convince OCD and Tics to free One-of-my-Own. We’d still live in the Land of A but maybe being back on the side of Autism, One-of-my-Own wouldn’t be lost anymore. I could believe that I no longer have to find our way out …

It won’t be long now. The booms and bangs are no longer sporadic but a constant rumble, and streaks of light begin to arc up and burst into fireworks in colors of the rainbow. The valley far beyond’s celebration will rise and fall and than eventually die down. I wonder again about the hope that those who gather to celebrate on this last day of the last year, have for what the new year will bring. The truth is, in a very different way, their hope is my hope and the reason why I am here. I look up to see the clouds part with one cloud that floats over just so, that the shiny-white sliver that is the moon jumps on and gently rocks on down it. I suppose right than, that anything is possible. My wait has come to an end and it is time to go. From where I was sitting in the circle where the snow did not fall, I step out and begin the hike down the side of my imaginary mountain to face the many unknowns of what’s next in the Land of A…

-Chris…

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