Sunday, December 14, 2014



In two days, Alex will celebrate his twenty-third birthday. Twenty-three years ago, we were anticipating his birth, but we thought he would not arrive for nearly a month. Of course, predicted due dates meant nothing to him, and he was our early Christmas gift in 1991, making his entry into the world three and a half weeks early. Twenty years ago we were enjoying Alex’s toddler years, a little concerned about some delays and quirks but assured by professionals that he was fine. We would not receive a diagnosis of autism that would impact our lives for another year.

Three years ago, in the midst of major turmoil that would require intensive intervention for Alex, we could not see ahead to the peaceful and content existence we now savor, thanks to therapy, medication, and healing. When we look back over all the ups and downs of the past twenty-three years, three constants remain—our faith in God that sustained us, our hope that Alex would get better, and our unconditional love for each other. In tribute to Alex, our gift from God, I offer an adapted version of Martina McBride’s beautiful song, “In My Daughter’s Eyes, ” with lyrics by James Slater.

“In my son’s eyes I am a hero. I am strong and wise, and I know no fear. But the truth is plain to see: he was sent to rescue me. I see who I want to be in my son’s eyes.”

“In my son’s eyes everyone is equal. Darkness turns to light, and the world is at peace. This miracle God gave to me gives me strength when I am weak. I find reason to believe in my son’s eyes.

“And when he wraps his hand around my finger, oh, it puts a smile in my heart. Everything becomes a little clearer; I realize what life is all about. It’s hanging on when your heart has had enough. It’s giving more when you feel like giving up. I’ve seen the light; it’s in my son’s eyes.”

"In my son’s eyes I can see the future, a reflection of who I am and what will be. Though he’ll grow and someday leave, maybe raise a family, when I’m gone, I hope you’ll see how happy he made me. For I’ll be there in my son’s eyes.”

While being Alex’s mom has taught me many important lessons, one stands out as I look back on the past twenty-three years. Although we don’t know what the future holds, we do know who holds our future, and we are thankful that God holds Alex and us in the palm of His hand. Happy Birthday to our precious son!

“Yes, You have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb You have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising You!” Psalm 71:6


Mom said...

Absolutely beautiful, Pam.

marjorie said...

Happy birthday to Alex, and cheers to you for doing such a fabulous parenting job.

K. C. Wells said...

Happiest of birthdays to Alex, and happy birth-day to you and Ed!!

V ickie said...

A very Happy Birthday to Alex!

Dawn Marcotte said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Alex.

Pam Byrne said...

Thanks, Mom, Marjorie, K.C., Vickie, and Dawn, for your kind comments and good wishes for Alex! We believe that 23 will be his best year yet. :)

Laura said...

Hi Pam, Happy Birthday to Alex
And best wishes for you!
I helped a woman who blog shares how she struggles with her child's autism. Her site in my nickname.

Pam Byrne said...

Dear Laura,
Thank you for your good wishes!
Take care,