Angels & Palm Trees #Autism

Sometimes we have experiences where it is truly a struggle to find the right words to describe them. My experience in Olongapo City is one of those.

Returning to the city I was born in for the first time in my life, after thirty-two years was nothing short of humbling. The journey from Boston was a long one, approximately thirty five hours including extremely long layovers. But it was all very much worth it.

When I arrived it was about to rain and it rained for nearly my entire trip. I remember sitting in the hotel restaurant watching the waves and palm trees through the large windows. I imagine I seemed strange to the hotel staff.

I didn’t inform them of my disability but I’m sure some found it funny that I ordered grilled ham and cheese for nearly every meal during my stay. Trying to create routine and avoid my shellfish allergy became crucial to avoiding meltdowns for me.

I got to reunite with the woman who once took care of me as a baby and I spent a couple of days with her as well. That was beautiful and I will keep those memories and photographs of the two of us now forever.

But the most amazing part of this trip was meeting the children at Gordon Heights Elementary in Olongapo City. When we arrived I was so startled to see how different the schools are there and sadly the heaviness how great the need is there as well.

We searched for the teacher’s name and instead found a banner with my name welcoming me to the school. There are no words for how beautiful that was to me. I was not anticipating any grand welcome. I was simply excited to read to the children and donate the art supplies I had brought for them.

I feel as though I may have learned more than the children that day. They put on a talent show for me. I got to watch as they sang their hearts out and danced before I read to them and spoke to their parents. I spoke of hope. I spoke of my struggles and of overcoming.

My mission with this school and my children’s books is far from over. I’ve asked for a list of what the school needs and I intend to send them what I can when I can. I have reached out to companies to ask for donations as well.

The need is great. But so is my ambition and my heart for this city as well. I was able to meet some other incredible teachers who traveled to meet me as well and I treasure meet them as well.

On my final morning in Subic Bay, I raced to the water just in time to meet the sun rise and I will never forget it. I was in awe. I stood for a moment with the breeze in my hair and just closed my eyes when the brilliant colors were almost too brilliant to seem real. But they were real and so was the hope I felt in that moment as well.

I have been writing children’s books and speaking for a few years now, and yet somehow, because of this journey, it seems like it has only just begun. ♥️

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Like Thunder #Poetry

Palm trees dancing

against slate grey skies,

I close my eyes

and dream of

my toes sinking

in warm dry sand

Before a roll of thunder

wakes me,

and lighting strikes

and shakes me,

To see this island,

My island- as it is,

& not as I once

dreamt it to be.

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Roots

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Subic Bay #Autism

It’s late and bed time and I’m here in rainy Subic Bay. So excited to read my children’s books to the children tomorrow and spend time with them in Olongapo City.

This is such a blessing. I am so thankful for this journey. It was the hardest trek I have ever made but it has turned out to be one of the most important I’ve ever made in my life.

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Loss #Poetry

When a star falls,

tumbling

& twinkling

down from

the night sky

and drowns

in the

waterfall

that pours

like old rivers-

from my tired eyes

I will always think of you.

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Healing #Poetry

I traveled down old roads

that used to lead to home,

Along this old & new journey

I discovered that the path

I was seeking was not a place

outside myself- but instead,

A space already within me –

I was seeking peace

& I remembered to breathe.

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Lavender Lemonade #Poetry

This old white porch swing

rocks and creaks-

cradling this moment –

locking the memory

like an old photograph,

Our bare feet side by side

dangling and touching-

Your smile makes

my heart squeeze-

as you lean back and laugh

The melody of it all spilling

like

a million

glittering

fireflies

into the breeze tonight

in this cooling deep

purple summer air,

I lean in just a little closer &

lay against your shoulder,

Just so glad to be home,

Just so glad that you’re there,

As melting ice cubes clink

in two frosted glasses of

lavender lemonade,

This love we share

is the kind that’s deep-

The kind that lasts-

The kind that stays-

It’s like the sweetest prayer answered

& inner peace,

That seems

to have all

started from

a spark within

& I’ll keep on praying that

this will one day be

more than a daydream.

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