Always Will Be

Down that long white corridor. Slivers of silver moonlight streamed in to the very end which is where it all began and I slowly passed endless glass rooms filled with scenes like bad dreams.

These glass house memories- like fragments of black and white snapshots of time. I stood before a younger me, I pressed my face, my ribs, my hands to the glass that’s slowly fogging, as she pressed hers back to mine.

My heart was beating wildly, calling out to her (to me), As I slid against the glass to my knees as she cried for her daddy, and I frantically tried to save her, I could feel your hand on my shoulder and sudden peace.

I saw your entire being glowing before me in the moonlight, “That was a long night”, you said with a sigh as you gently lifted me so that I was standing.

“You were there?”, I asked you with surprise. I watched as you rolled back your sleeves to expose your wrists. And I remembered. “Of course I was”, you told me, as your eyes filled with tears, “I always will be.”

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You Were There

For Wolf

The Autumn leaves fell in my hair as I sat on that old wooden bench. I dug my sneaker into the earth and said a silent prayer. As though by magic, I had my answer and one day you were there.

Just like the night we met and I learned how to barter with pickles. We talked at that table until the stars came out and we found Orion’s Belt. Then you hugged me for the first time and I was home. You were there.

When we sat in your truck and I told you who I used to be and who I am today. I hoped the darkness would hide my tears until I realized you were crying too. You held my face and told me everything would be okay and you were there.

When I crashed my go-cart into the wall and froze like a deer in headlights, you slowed down and lost the race. But you didn’t yell. You were there.

When I first learned how to climb and started to fall, you let go too and we laughed on the mat together even as other people stared. Neither of us cared. Nothing else mattered because you were there.

When we both played Baby Princess Peach in Mario Kart at Dave & Busters and I kicked your butt, you got your revenge (okay maybe several times) but you were there.

When I forgot to bend my knees on that cold snowy day, you may have laughed as you packed my wrist with snow but you told everyone else we would meet them later, just so you could teach me. You held my hands down the bunny hill and you were there.

When I freaked out at the amusement park when we went on the mini ski lift and closed my eyes and held on to you for dear life, you leaned in closer and rolled your eyes and sighed. But you were there.

When I stomped around while we hiked, you were the one who fixed my shoe and gave me a piggy back ride like I was a kid again. This was after I had cried about the same thing for the millionth time and yet you just you sat with me. You waited for me to breathe again and you were there.

And as I sat on that same bench beneath that tree and stared up at the pink spring blossoms, I realized just many seasons of life had passed. I closed my eyes and said a different kind of prayer. I was no longer alone and just felt peace because when I opened my eyes you were there.

And one day, double doors will open and people will stand. The music will begin and we will walk that long isle together. I’ll probably trip over my feet once or twice. But your arm will be there to steady me as you remind me to breathe before you say “I do” and then let me go…and I will step forward to hold hands with someone new. But I will never forget that you were there.

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Butterfly #Poetry

We are at a stand off

in my truth and light,

My truth is rooting

deeper into the rocks

Into the core of the Earth

like the familiar

knives of grief

Like an epic rebirth

of my inner child

and

every

bit

of

me-

An intricate pattern

Dripping and

weaving swirls below

My deep green eyes

Dried tears have become

my war paint –

glittering like pure snow,

Becoming a tapestry of light

that my wounds have etched

to tell my story, of all I know,

The butterfly inside of me-

And you stand there staring-

Watching me grow

Watching me rise,

Rising like the woman I am,

Because I finally can-

Rising like a star from dust,

Rising to right here right now

& because I must

I rise to this very occasion,

To fly.

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Open Letter of Gratitude

The past couple of months have passed in a blur of sorts with my Christmas project and my move back to Massachusetts. A single mother of a special needs son who is also a friend of mine had shared that she couldn’t afford a Christmas tree or to really give her son a Christmas this year as a lot of her belongings were lost in a fire and my heart broke.

My mother was also a single mother and most of my readers know I have Autism Spectrum Disorder. For those who know special interests can work- there is quite an advantage to it at times. I felt inspired to act; to do something to give this young boy and his mother Christmas.

It began with dozens of phone calls to tree farms and florists all over the state of New York trying to find a place that would donate a tree. I was in tears when the local Home Depot stepped forward and donated a tree and decorations. But it didn’t stop there. I had made dozens of inquiries to companies all over New York and my email inbox started filling and my phone started ringing.

Words of kindness, donations to a GoFundMe fundraiser, and more gift offers came pouring in. I feel blessed and it wasn’t even for me! An enormous shout out to American Eagle, Miller’s Toys, The Home Depot, Mamaroneck Flowers, and Bloomingdales for what you’ve done for my friend. I cannot even express my gratitude in words.

Your kindness gives me hope back in humanity. 🎄♥️

Sincerely,

Gretchen Leary

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The Snow #Poetry

This poem was written while listening to the Prelude to Ave Maria by J.S. Bach.

The snow; it falls so softly,

Like the tender notes of Winter-

I stand watching a symphony,

of gusts of swirling glitter-

Like ice forming; a lullaby plays

& I stand in a daze// in awe

of the wonderland before me,

Among a million

crystallized sparkling butterflies

dancing until they drift to sleep

in blankets so soft and white,

to welcome the holiday’s Eve.

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Dear Keala & Hugh @KealaSettle & @RealHughJackman #Thankyou #Autism

Dear Keala ( & Hugh)

Where do I begin? The expression “thank-you” does not feel big enough to express my gratitude. While I know you did not write the song “This Is Me”, it’s begun to change my life and it is your performance of the song itself that I remember during moments when I feel like I stand out and feel alone.

It is then that I remember that I was born to stand out and I remember the way you walked while you sang that song. I recall how you danced with every ounce of confidence and oomph I’ve ever witnessed and I aspire to walk, sing, and live my life just like that.

It is a dream of mine to meet you and the cast from The Greatest Showman one day even just to thank-you in person. I channel my inner “Lettie” any time I feel like I’m stuck in the dark but need to be a powerhouse and a lighthouse instead. If I never get to meet you all, I hope you at least get to read this. I am forever thankful to all of you for reminding a woman like me with a disability that it is my differences that make me the most beautiful.

Sincerely,

Gretchen Leary

gretchenleary@yahoo.com

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Down By the River #Poetry

Those eyes of yours

told me stories,

As your strong hands

gently guided me-

down to the river,

Your fingers laced with mine,

& Autumn breathed-

a smooth crisp breeze-

& almost a shiver

to anyone listening,

& stirring the heat-

Between soft words

and a beautiful silence //

Swirling my hair in the air,

As my forehead pressed

against your chest…

And we danced.

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