This blog was written by Margaret-Anne Irvine-Bowles and is the grandmother of a young boy on the autism spectrum. Margaret is a supporter of Autism Speaks Canada.
I walk for that day in November 2005, your parents brought you home from the hospital. My God, I was so in love with my handsome new grandson. I would spend hours just watching you sleep, I walk for all your milestones that came just a tad bit later than others. Your first smile, first laugh, first word, your first steps. I also walk for the many milestones you have yet to achieve.
I walk for that day in 2007 ...the day you were diagnosed with Autism. After a year of pushing, it was not only a sad day for the family but we felt a sense of relief as well. We finally knew what was wrong so we could start fighting.
I walk for that night, when you looked up at your mommy and said the most amazing word she has ever heard..."mommy". Mommy felt her knees buckle and the tears filled her eyes. I walk for the years I have to wait to hear "I love you grandma".
I walk for the sleepless nights, the stares and comments from others, the stubbornness and everything else that comes along with Autism.
I walk for your sense of humor, your funny little quirks, your unconditional love for everyone, your complete innocence, your strong will and especially your eyes and smile ...that can totally melt me.
I walk because like any grandmother of a child with Autism, I worry about what life will bring in years to come. I walk because I'm honored that you have great parents, two big brothers and a big sister who tell me not to worry because they support us and will always be there to help in any way they can.
Most of all, I walk because you have completely changed my life for the better. I am so lucky to be your grandmother and I thank God each and every day for this opportunity. I am truly blessed. I walk because I will never stop being your "Grandmother Warrior".
The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.