How Can You Just Leave Me?

Forever and a day have passed since I last posted a quote. Today I’m thinking about the lyric to which I clung when Martin was first diagnosed:

How can you just leave me standing

Alone in a world that’s so cold?

When you realize your child has autism and might never have a conversation with you, might never again spontaneously acknowledge your presence, it does not matter if you have a supportive co-parent, an extended family, a pastor to call on, friends who step up. None of that matters, because when you call your child’s name and get nothing, nothing, in response, you are standing alone, and the world is a place colder than you ever imagined.

Nor did it matter that “When Doves Cry” is a love song, not a parenting riff. I am grateful to the man who asked, “How can you just leave me standing / Alone in a world that’s so cold?”, because his words explained my own emotions. From alone in a cold world, I plotted Martin’s (and my) return to society, our escape from autism.

Prince lost two children, one to Pfeiffer syndrome and a second to miscarriage. I suppose we’ve surrendered them all to a place that isn’t so cold. In this life, things are much harder than in the afterworld. In this life, you’re on your own.

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