About 5 years ago, I had a lot hit me at once. My parents separated not long after my grandmother died. We were gearing up for a meeting with a pediatrician who we were sure was going to diagnose Danny with autism. Then, my mom was told she had cancer.
It was devastating. Those months were the very hardest of my life. I was completely shaken; my confidence in the world was broken. If all these things could happen at once, I realized, I was no longer safe. Anything bad could happen and I would be powerless to stop it.
Before this, I think I thought that if one bad thing happened, I would probably be safe from another one for a while. Like, if my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I shouldn't also have to deal with autism or my parents' separation.
I still believe this should be true, though I know it's not.
This week, I found out that a bloggy friend's young autistic son was diagnosed with cancer.
The kid is three. And he has autism.
See, in my mind, the fact that he has autism should have protected that family from this sort of terrible, nightmarish tragedy. The autism should have filled that family's quota for mind-numbing, stress-filled, terrifying crises. At least for a while. I know autism isn't necessarily a tragedy to many people, but it does cause much in the way of stress and difficulty.
I know life is not fair, but sometimes it seems so cruel it takes my breath away.
And I just don't think it should be this way.