November 6, 2008

“Please Don’t Cry.”

I just finished reading today’s article for GMA’s OnCall+Autism entitled The Dangers of Autism.

The article begins with a former college student, Lianne Willey, recounting a time when she sought out the assistance of an officer, only to have that trust betrayed.

GMA’s Radha Chitale goes on to discuss the many dangers people on the spectrum encounter due to their failure “to recognize warning signs”.

But visible harm isn’t the only danger Radha speaks of.  There are other dangers, lurking about, hidden from view.

One of them is seizures.

{The following is not an anti-vaccines piece.  It’s just me taking a moment… to remember a child.}

According to Gina Tembenis, her son, Elias, began having seizures “after receiving 4 shots that contained 9 diseases all in one day”.  She also attributed his autism to the vaccines.

We were in the ICU for two or three days and when we finally left, what I had stated to the police officer, to the people registering, to the emergency room staff about the vaccine injury never showed up in any paperwork.

Nowhere was it noted that it was a vaccine reaction.  When we went back to our pediatrician and told him that we believed it was because of the shots Elias received that same day, he told us there was in no way any correlation between the seizures and his vaccines.

Elias suffered several seizures in his short life, and because of the seizures he was on a lot of medication.

GMA’s piece wasn’t solely about Elias.  The piece goes on to discuss when “people with autism grow older and begin navigating the social world on their own, they are naturally in danger of falling victim to physical danger, crime, or social exclusion.”

But I’m not going to talk about that… at least not in this post.  I’ll save that for another time.

Back to Elias…

The loss of a child is something no parent wants to experience.  Especially when that loss occurs while the child is still… a child.

I can’t imagine bringing a child to the hospital for a sore throat, only to lose that child to a seizure a few hours later.

I can’t even imagine what went through Gina’s mind as she held her little boy for 8 hours until she felt the life leave him.

I can’t imagine.

In McCarthy’s Mother Warriors, Gina Tembenis is listed as the final Mother Warrior. The reason?  Unlike the stories of the Mother Warriors before her, her “child warrior” has crossed over.

This poem is for Gina and Harry Tembenis.  May your hearts find peace.

Please Don’t Cry

Publisher: Dawn Glenton

Please don’t sit round my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die.
What makes you think that I would leave?
I’m with you mum, so please don’t grieve.
Our bond on earth was much too strong,
Our love will carry on and on…
I’m with you as you go to bed,
I plant sweet kisses on your head.
I’m in the wind, the rain, the snow,
I’m with you everywhere you go.
Please don’t cry mummy, can’t you see?
I’m safe my spirit soars, I’m free.

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