” Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.”
I saw this on a cover pic of a Facebook page. It had a cute Stitch picture. It tugged at my heart strings. Because my oldest girl loved the movie and we watched it a billion times together what seems like a zillion years ago. It also struck a chord in light of the recent tragedy that has rocked our autism community and struck a great divide.
We are all a family in this virtual world of blogging and Facebook. I have met some of the most inspiring people through this venue. I have laughed, cried and raged at posts by friends. I have commiserated, I have reveled in your joys at the slightest of accomplishments, and I have worried, and wondered if you were okay; moreover, if life is getting to hard for you. I have messaged and cheered on this virtual family I have become a part of, and I really feel deep within my heart that others have done the same for me. Truly, that is what it is all about. The human element, the connection that we all so desperately need is prevalent within this community.
Collectively we can do so many things. We can bridge that great divide. We can advocate for respite care. We can make it known, if only within ourselves, where to look for help if you ever come to that point of no return. We can push each other to, “take care of you”. We can, like a family, look out for one another, and moreover we can refrain from judgement. God knows we get it enough outside of our safe place.
We need to be like the community in Marshall. When they were faced with unthinkable tragedy they solidified as one. Hence the saying, We are Marshall. We as the Autism community can do the same. We are Autism! We are one! We are a family! No matter how dysfunctional, we are a force to be reckoned with and a safe haven for one another to fall back on or into.
I leave you with this thought. When the unthinkable happens, and when it is your family, please remember Ohana. Family means no one gets left behind and no one is forgotten.
For you Bob and Mary-Catherine,
Mommy loves you