Today, I watched something on a golf course in another continent bring me to my knees with tears. Ernie Els won the British Open, it was an exciting ending but not as nearly as exciting as why I was thrilled for him.
Ernie and his wife Liezl Els have two children and daughter Samantha, and a son Ben, and Ben is 9 and was diagnosed with Autism when he was 3, and watching Ben is much like watching my Franklin, he's severely effected by his autism. After watching this video shortly after we received Franklin's diagnosis of autism, I have silently rooted for this family to succeed.
I think I will silently always root for any autism family to do well. Because you have to know that once your life is rocked by this diagnosis and you are forced into a life that there is no preparation for and you are thrown for this big loop that you were never expecting, I think that it is hard to come out of that unscathed and successful. I have been chronically distracted since autism that sometimes I don't feel like I can carry a conversation because I literally feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants trying and doing (and failing) to make my kid better.
So as I sat there and watched this man get a win, a big win, who hasn't gotten a big win in years, I did cry. Because, you see autism has this way of taking over every thought, and the grief sometimes that you feel is too painful to participate in the fellowship of life. Sometimes you want to put yourself in a cocoon because your kid is different, and the looks, the stares, the pointing and general ignorance is beyond annoying and sometimes unbearable. To pull it together and win a tournament, not just a little tournament but the British Open, that's just unfathomable!
I think its amazing that he was able to focus and make this happen, and I'm happy and proud for him. I love to see wonderful things happen to families that are touched by autism, nothing makes me happier.
Congratulations to the Els family and thank you for sharing your story and helping others.