It was 2008. Marley was 5 and Skylar was 2. I left the girls with Chris so my friend, Jennie and I could attend a spa party in the area. An acquaintance of mine had this all set up in her house….massages, facials, manicures and YES…even a “spiritual counselor” there for our enjoyment. It was to raise money for a local charity, and lord knows…I needed a break. So after my facial, I walked into the dining room for my appointment to talk to the lady who supposedly could “see my aura”. I have always been interested in those who have a sixth sense so I was interested in what she had to say but I was completely unprepared for what happened.
I sat down across from her and smiled. She was not much older than I am and looked like everyone else you would see on the street. She let me get comfortable then looked directly at me said, “I know this is a day of fun for you and I am sorry but I see blackness in your heart. What is it that you are holding inside that makes me see blackness in your heart?” I was surprised by own reaction. I started to shake and tears immediately welled up in my eyes. It was like I needed to talk about this but no one had ever asked. Before I knew what I said, it was out. I had said it. I said, “I let my 5lb premature baby girl with a brain bleed get the Hep B shot and many other shots afterwards and now she has autism.” Wow….there….it was out. Did I really say that? Good God! How did I say that to a complete stranger and hadn’t even told my husband? But she was gracious and actually said to me ”Oh…so YOU were the reason I was supposed to come here today.”
I stopped shaking and smiled through my tears. And then she said something that will stay with me forever. She said, “Your daughter chose you to be her mother. You should be proud. There is no need to be sad. There is no need to feel guilty. These are life’s lessons and that is why we are here. To grow and learn.” The rest of what she said is a blur. But those are the words that I carry with me.
I know that the knowledge that Marley has imparted on me has saved her little sister and brother. I am sorry she had to be the guinea pig. I’m sorry that I had to learn about out-of-the ordinary allergic reactions from her. I’m sorry I wasn’t aware enough to do my homework before vaccinating. But I do acknowledge that because of her, I am a better person. And I am honored that she chose me to be her mother. I am honored that she saw strength in me that I didn’t know I had. And I am honored that she thought me strong enough to share what I have learned with others. Maybe she chose me because she knew I would fight like hell for her. Maybe she chose me because she knew I would try to help other kids along the way. Or maybe, I just needed to grow spiritually. I don’t know. And I won’t until I cross over.
There are many people that tell me that they are sorry that they weren’t there for me during that really hard time in my life when Marley was regressing and… well…you know the story. But I tell them….it was my journey. I shared it with Chris and Marley. And we had to live through it to grow. And I am still living through it. And still growing and still learning. My heart is softer now and my words are kinder. But I have a fighting spirit that is stronger than ever. My daughter WILL heal. And Chris and I will be there to see her succeed. So there is no reason to be sad for us. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.