MBA Mommy

Part MBA, Part MRS, Part MOM…..All ME

Angels Among Us

Posted by mbamommy on October 27, 2011

Last spring, I had the honor of being a judge for the Autism Society of Colorado’s Faces of Autism event.  I had the pleasure of being on a team that interviewed finalists and then had the difficult job of choosing just one winner.  The awards went to professionals in the field, volunteers, citizens of distinction and children who have made a difference.  So it was with enormous pride and quite a bit of choking up that I attended last night’s awards ceremony honoring these individuals who have made a lasting impact on the autism community.

On our way back home, I tweeted this:

Wonderful event. Caught up with friends. Good reminder of our challenges and our angels. Thank you #autismcolorado for a fantastic evening!

It was a wonderful event.  The ASC team did an amazing job with the silent and live auction, the awards presentations and the food was delicious.  But, here’s the thing, all evening long I could barely hold back the tears.  Both J and I wanted to congratulate one of the winners, who was seated at our table, but neither of us could at first.  And then, when we finally got ourselves together enough…we realized HE was as choked up as we were!

Since we came to Colorado over a year ago, J and I have been active with the Autism Society.  I’ve volunteered on their marketing committee and as a judge and J ran the Colfax marathon to raise money for them.  Not necessarily by choice, mind you.   We do it because our son is on the autism spectrum and we have a vested interest in generating awareness and supporting any organization that is there to help him.  We’re involved because we NEED to be.  Many of the people who were honored last night are involved because they WANT to be.  Because they recognize the desperate hole their support, money, time, and love fill.  Knowing that there are people out there willing to help us moves me to tears.  There are angels among us.  And they were out en masse last night.

Autism is not a sexy cause.  It’s scary and weird and most people want to ignore it.  Heck, half the time I want to ignore it.  People are terrified of autism and the mysteries that surround it. But it’s SUCH an important cause.  I won’t bore you with the stats on autism, they’re all over the news and I’m sure you’ve had an ear full.  Forget about the fact that autism costs our society enormous amounts of money.  Forget about the fact that autism diagnoses are much more common now than 40 years ago.  What you should remember is that there are millions of people affected by autism.  And when you’re affected, you can feel alone, scared, isolated, hopeless and helpless.

At last night’s ASC gala, I had a chance to get dressed up and join other people who are living with autism every day.  I had the opportunity to watch an autistic young man perform a beautiful original piece of music.  I had the pleasure of seeing three young women receive awards for their volunteerism.  One of these women has autism herself.  And I had the pleasure of congratulating these young people and I completely understood why they couldn’t look at me in the eye and why they reacted a little awkwardly when I spoke to them.  And, I saw the pride they felt in being recognized.  And the pride in a mother’s face when she heard her daughter converse with me…..even as she was helping her daughter put on her coat and reminding her that there’s a tag in the coat she needed to be aware of.

Last night was a chance to be in a community that understands. That gets it.  It reminded me how important an organization like the ASC is.  And I proudly honor all the angels who, willingly or not, are out there supporting, loving, understanding….and walking this path with me.

So, thank you Betty, Robin, Gwen, Bridget, Justin, Kim, Darlene, Beverly, Angie and all the finalists.  You are my angels and I applaud you.

If you want more information about the Autism Society of Colorado, visit http://autismcolorado.org/.  And, please, consider getting involved and becoming an angel yourself. 

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2 Responses to “Angels Among Us”

  1. […] Angels – without whom I would be completely lost in this world of […]

  2. […] who, 2.5 years ago, told me something I didn’t want to hear. I am so grateful for all the angels who have gone above and beyond to truly see my son. I am so grateful for HIMAT and early […]

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