Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The White Moth: An Autism Story

If you don’t already know, I have two sons with Anxiety Disorder, Autism and Learning Disabilities. Sparky, the oldest, was about seven years old when we went camping up around Paris, Idaho. It was purely a camping trip—no fishing, traveling, boating, etc. We parked the trailer amongst the pines, facing on open flat and stayed.

On the second evening of the trip, Sparky spotted a little white moth just outside the trailer window. He named him Whitey but called him Little Buddy. The moth consumed his thoughts for the next three days. Now whether it was the same moth or a different one (honestly, who can tell) that little white moth continued to fly around our camp.

I’m sure we used bug spray. I’m sure we had a campfire. Nothing seemed to send Sparky’s Little Buddy on his way. Sparky chased him around the camp by day and watched him flutter about his head while we sat by the fire. My husband and I were sure he would fly into the flames, but Whitey never seemed to leave and particularly hung around the outside of Sparky’s window. We were doubtful that it was the same moth. We also got a little tired of hearing about this moth for four straight days. When we tried to tell Sparky that it wasn’t the same moth, he promptly told us he could identify him. Yeah, right.

And so, our camping trip went, and it was finally time to pick up camp and head home. Sparky asked if he could take his little buddy home with him. Of course, the answer was no which lead to snot and tears. As we slowly rattled away from our camp spot, I swear I saw a little white moth in the rearview mirror…following us.

Spring went by and the Fourth of July soon came. It was time for hotdogs on the grill and a night of fireworks.  Who should show up at the party? Yes, Whitey. With much joy and happiness, Sparky was certain that the little white moth was his little buddy. He could identify him, you know. We tried to explain that there was no way Whitey could have traveled all that distance to West Jordan, Utah. Sparky wouldn’t accept that answer and danced around the yard with glee.

Now mind you, my husband and I didn’t want to share this story with anyone. We were certain it meant our son not only had disabilities but was also a mental case.  We certainly weren’t going to discuss it with his therapist. We didn’t want to know the answer. I also wondered if that moth had hopped a ride on the bumper of our trailer in order to stay with Sparky, but then I questioned my own sanity.

About a month later, we headed down to central Utah for another camping trip, about 200 miles away. Sparky asked on the way, “Do you think Whitey will be there?” My husband and I looked at each other and groaned.  Sure enough, as we setup camp, a little white moth appeared. Sparky was overjoyed.

To this day, and with Sparky in his twenties, we still try to never bring up the subject of moths…or Whitey…because Whitey lives, and he can still show up just about anywhere, especially out camping.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at: http://www.dragonflyromance.com

Copyright: relikten1 / 123RF Stock Photo (Dog added)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Stay Strong; Stay Happy; and Keep Moving Forward!


I had a good friend call me the other day and tell me I have received the spiritual blessing of long-suffering.

What? A blessing of long-suffering?

At first, I wondered if her brain had slipped a cog. Long-suffering certainly didn’t feel or sound like a blessing to me, especially when you were living it. It felt more like a punishment; a curse. I thought of all the physical pain I had suffered since being diagnosed with chronic health issues at the age of seventeen. I thought of struggling through college never knowing when a seizure would hit; always needing a bathroom or the side of the road to be sick; feeling endless pain; and my mind being constantly riddled with brain fog. And, that was only the beginning.

An extremely difficult marriage, a miscarriage, and two high-risk pregnancies (that lead to two special needs children) added to that long-suffering. The loss of my parents and my closest brother early in their lives had been distressing and challenging at best.

No. I couldn’t see that God had given me a special blessing. My road felt devastatingly hard, and I could only wonder what I had done to displease Him that He would shoulder me with this much tribulation.

I said nothing to my friend as all of this raced through my mind. She told me her daughter was preparing a lesson for church and together they were researching spiritual blessings. She had never explored the blessing of long-suffering before and when discussing it with her daughter, she immediately thought of me.

God had given me a special blessing—not one that many could withstand—she said. She told me I must have been very close to Him on the other side to receive such a spiritual blessing. I still scoffed. My mind associated long-suffering with hardship and punishment—not a blessing. Maybe my friend’s brain had slipped two cogs.

But as she continued to explain this special blessing, an overwhelming sense of love and gratitude filled me. She told me that despite my trials, I was living my life with a smile on my face and always doing for others during the most difficult of times. She said I was truly “enduring to the end” with grace.

It took time, days really, for the meaning of her words to sink in and to accept the blessing I have been given. I want to thank my friend for sharing this with me so that I can share it with all of you.

I know that I am not the only one here who has been given this special blessing. I know many who are dealing with much strife in their lives. May you now look upon it as a special spiritual gift and feel His loving arms around you as you journey through this mortal life filled with long-suffering. Stay strong; stay happy; and keep moving forward.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
Fly into a good book at: http://www.dragonflyromance.com