My Tears are Purple Rain

I was a young child the first time I saw Prince in concert. I had the great pleasure of seeing him several times throughout his career.  I was devastated when I received the sad news of his untimely death.

Immediately, I called my mother. She was the person who introduced me to the musical legend. I was deeply saddened and turned on his discography after hanging up the phone.

I put it on random play. The first song that came on was “Let’s Go Crazy” from his Purple Rain album. I began crying. The music spoke for itself.

I thought about an interview he’d done with Tavis Smiley. He spoke about having epilepsy in his early childhood. He spoke about a conversation with his mother. He told her that an angel told him he wasn’t gonna be sick anymore. At that time, my son having seizures. I recalled his disclosure gave me hope that my son would not have to live a lifetime with epilepsy when I listened to “The Sacrifice of Victor”.

Prince’s son, Baby Gregory, lived one week and died from complications of Pfeiffer syndrome, genetic disorder characterized by the premature fusion of certain skull bones, also known as Craniosynostosis. Preston had surgery for craniosynostosis just over 10 years ago. He was diagnosed with a different type. The night before the procedure, I was terrified. We decided to have a family night of dancing after I heard “1999”. We had a blast and it certainly helped ease my nerves.

I adored him for his music. I appreciated him for his humanitarianism. I identified with a few of his most personal trials. Certainly, his death has affected my life.

This blog could be too long if I talked about all the songs his Purple Majesty created and how they’ve shaped me. So many are a definitive part of the soundtrack of my life. I grew up on it. It helped me through a difficult pregnancy. It inspired me when I was down. It gave me new insights on life and sometimes it simply provided the background to a good time.

Prince, you will forever be loved and always missed. Thank you for helping “get though this thing called life”.

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Don’t Believe Him…Just Watch

When my son was diagnosed with autism, I was told to prepare for many things. Professionals said that the chances of him being independent in adulthood was slim. His ability to do daily living activities would be limited. His cognitive skills would be impaired for rest of his life.

Years later, I’m proud to say he’s on the road to independence. He recently learned how to tie his shoes(to those without children on the spectrum, that’s a big deal). He can articulate his thoughts and feelings more than ever.

I’ve been teaching him how to count money, budget, and pay bills. Also, he’s learning how to cook, wash his own clothes (which he has a strong dislike for), and clean up after himself.

We are practicing filling out job applications and have done mock interviews.

I’ve learned that obstacles can be a determining factor to succeed. A victory is much more sweeter. He has no idea that some are certain that he’s limited in acquiring skills. He knows I believe him and that, in turn, has helped him believe in himself.

I have faith that he will accomplish his goals. Yeah, it’s gonna take extra preparation but it’s not impossible. Yes, I still worry about him being able to live on his own but that’s why I teaching him now. I want to give him a fighting chance. If it doesn’t happen, I’m preparing for that as well.

Being a parent in the autism community, I know this does not apply to everybody. That’s why I’m driven to help families have hope (in any capacity) for their children. In time, I’ll share that information.