They walked toward us across the marble floor and through the chandelier lighting shadows of the lobby. He about a head taller than she. Both smiling.
A difference in age was clear as they came closer. But love shone in both faces.
As they approached our guest table, conversation began about why we were there. We explained we volunteer with the local classical station, and at this particular symphony performance we were offering a chance to win one of three Christmas CDs. We offered each of them entry forms to complete.
She turned to him and said, “You fill it out.” He responded, “You fill it out.”
“No, you.” With a broad smile.
He took the pencil and slowly began to write as she said what each line required. Then a noise distracted him, and he lost track of his mission. She smiled, patiently reminded him.
Once again he took up the pen and began to write. Someone else walked up, another distraction. Another smile with a gentle reminder. This went on until he completed the form.
As they walked away, realization hit us. We had witnessed the grace and love of God between a mother and her son.
At intermission, they visited our kiosk again. She told us that her son is 22 and ranks high on the autism spectrum. This mother gave up her lifelong dream of teaching to be her son’s caregiver and companion.
His parents take turns making certain that they expose their son to as many classical music performances as possible. The strains of classical music are for him the equivalent of someone else’s antidepressant.
They also have a daughter for whom they insure has an equal share of their time and attention.
As I engaged with this mother’s son during intermission, I realized how genuinely easy it would be to love him. Although he speaks only by repeating what has just been said, he wants to be a part of what is happening around him. The music offered by a guest pianist was exhilirating. I asked if he had enjoyed the pianist. He kept repeating, “Oh, the pianist. Oh, the pianist.” His joy was palpable.
When we all left for the evening, I knew I had been in the presence of goodness, both on the part of this committed mother but also from the son who accepted me into their world for one night because he knew if his mother trusted me, he could too.
Can you understand why I can’t get these two people out of my mind and heart?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
~ Galatians 5:22-23 (KJ21)
- New study finds that individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome don’t lack empathy – in fact if anything they empathize too much (seventhvoice.wordpress.com)
- Personal Story on Autism (ktsw899.wordpress.com)
- Answers (http://autism.answers.com/behaviors)