Before it was ever August 18 2014, I was zipping across the rainforest in Costa Rica when suddenly…. I was married and rocking our Goldi to sleep listening to Kathy Lee Gifford lullabies.
With everything in its place and the house was a palace of hospitality when suddenly, baby dribble drops splattered on the couch pillows and the baby swing or bouncy seat crowded out the oak piano with candles on pedestals.
Grunting and crying, shrieking, and pointing filled up Goldi’s talk. We waited for the right time to vacuum the house. We said her name and she never responded. We cut tags off every item of clothing and I winged it when washing them. We scratched our heads and sought to wait and see. But suddenly, we were in a Pediatric Office and we heard the words “Autism “.
Suddenly the record player arm made one hard scratch that stopped the beautiful , dreamy music of my life. Suddenly every dream, goal, and picture perfect day was floating farther and farther away into the shadows.
Suddenly Goldi was starting school well before I ‘d planned. Suddenly, there were numerous professionals observing, studying, and testing our Goldi. To me others would see Goldi not as our pride and joy , but as a label.
Autism in my mind, almost poisoned Goldi’s very being. No cure for autism. Just a life sentence. Suddenly all that mattered is how to live each day.
It’s funny how Suddenly comes and goes. It enters in when you least expect it and often paints an entirely different picture. And its funny how when Suddenly enters in , we soon forget the world it left behind.
August 18, 2014 has passed. It is over a month later. Goldi is suddenly seven. I’ve leafed through pictures of those days of “suddens”, remembering the bumps, and the turns and twists of Goldi’s younger days. Days when she lay in her bouncy seat and screamed as I vacuumed. Days when she just squeaked and nuzzled noses with her baby brother. Days when she ate nothing and drank only milk. Suddenly, those days are gone and the “suddens “of days soon painted a different picture.
Suddenly, she didn’t even plug her ears when I vacuumed the bedroom. Suddenly she was shouting out to a neighbor “You there! What are you up to?” Suddenly she tried chicken sausage and actually asked for more. Suddenly she drew a tree house with fairies in it. Suddenly she brushed her own teeth. Suddenly she did a show and tell in front of an entire class of kids. Suddenly she played for hours with her toys. Suddenly she grew as tall as a lamp post. Suddenly she’s seven years old.
Suddenly Goldi will be 8,9, and 45 . Lord willing, I’ll see the day. No matter how suddenly the years go by, there is certainty that the One who made her and brings about all the Suddens of life, is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And the One who never changes, asks me to stand and watch and be amazed. For I would not believe the miracles that will take place even if foretold. Goldi is suddenly seven and I am suddenly dreaming again.