Abby · Down syndrome · LDS

nooooow back to me.

  I’ve spent some time talking to Melissa (the awesome). I’ve wanted to tell her that everything with her baby is going to be okay when he’s born. But I just couldn’t do that. Why? Because I’m awesome at second guessing matters of the Spirit. For the past little bit I really thought that the reason I took everything so “okay” when we found out that Abby had Down syndrome was because I was in denial. Stupid psychology courses. Then this thing with Abby happened. It was Heavenly Father’s way of reminding me that I’m not alone. That I never have been. What got me through that first couple of weeks after Abby was born? The comfort of the Spirit and the prayers of the masses. That hospital experience was AWFUL. I hate hospitals. I hate the way they smell. I hate the way they make me feel. But more than that, and more than anything in this world, I hate when my kids are sick. I hate seeing them in pain.  It tears my guts out. Just thinking about it stirs massive amounts of anxiety.
So, there I sat watching as the nurses repeatedly dug around under Abby’s skin trying to find a vein. The nurses told me that they were amazed at how calm I was. To be honest, I was too. It was because I had been praying. Praying since we got in there. It was because the VERY DAY BEFORE the members of my family had had a fast for me and for Abby.  I don’t know if they got together and said, “lets have a family fast” or if they all just did it on their own because each and every one of them are that way, but I’m SO grateful for the faith of my family.
I should back up. The Price family has it’s own little website where we post stuff that is too sensitive, too vulgar and too awesome for other sites like facebook or our personal blogs. I had been really really down and when I prayed for guidance the answer that I got baffled me. It was to post what I was feeling on this site. It just seemed so weird to have a prompting to use electronic media. That’s never really happened to me before. So I did. I said everything I had been keeping in. My family is awesome. They all said the best stuff and walked me through those feelings. No one was judgmental. I love that about my family. I think we learned it from my mom. She was always good friends with the gay kids, the kids that wore dead rats around their necks to school, the druggies. They all felt like they could talk to her because she would never judge. I’m grateful for that. So, going into Abby being SO sick, my family had already been praying for me. I had already for the most part gotten past some of the bitterness and sadness I was feeling. But I also felt so much support. Heavenly Father knew I would need that going in to this short time of Abby being so sick. 
The entire time Abby was in the hospital I felt the most amazing peace. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t sad. I just took things as they came. It was such a needed experience. Things just fell into place. So that when I got home I could tell Melissa that things were going to be okay. That she was going to be okay no matter what. Her little boy is going to need heart surgery a couple of days after he’s born. I could not imagine that kind of fear. But I do know that the masses are going to be praying for her. I know you don’t know her, but I hope that you’ll pray for her, too. There is a real power in prayer. There’s a power in many people raising their voices to Heaven on behalf of others. I have felt that power. 
Just yesterday a friend came to me and told me that she was having a rough time. They had found a mass in her daughter’s abdomen that could be cancer. She didn’t know what to do and asked me what I do to get through though situations. This situation is MUCH tougher than what we’d been through this week, but I knew the answer was the same. They hadn’t told many people because they didn’t want people to worry. I told her that she needed to tell everyone. Ask for prayers. It helps SO much. On the Down syndrome board whenever a baby goes in for surgery, whenever a Mom is having a rough time, we ask for prayers. This site is diverse in it’s religions, but I know that we are all praying to the same loving God and I know that these prayers are heard. It’s not hard to say a prayer. I’ve said so many sitting right here at this computer. For kids I’ll probably never meet. For moms who have just lost their babies. For people going through things that they wouldn’t be able to make it through alone. I do it because I know God listens. I do it because I know that these same women have said prayers, sitting at their computers, for me. Someone they’ll probably never meet. 
So, keep praying for my daughter. She needs it. Pray for Melissa. It’s easy. You can do it right now. Pray for Tiffany and her sweet daughter. Prayer doesn’t mean things won’t be hard. It doesn’t mean that everything is going to turn out the way you want. My friend Katie C. sent me this amazing quote: 
“If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity.  But if we look upon life as an eternal thing, stretching far into the premortal past, and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.
Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls?  Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
If all the sick for whom we pray for were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended.  No man would have to live by faith.
If joy and peace were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil–all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good.  There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency.
Should all prayers be answered according to our desires and limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, no success, resurrection, no eternal life.”
Heavenly Father knows that we need to have the full human experience. That we need to go through the crap that we have to. I learned SO much in the 30 hours we spent at the hospital.  Would it have been much easier to not have gone through it? Yes. Does it kill me a little that Abby has to be my spiritual guinea pig? It’s not fair that she had to go through so much and be so sick just so I could be reminded of Heavenly Father’s hand in my life. But I’m starting to understand more and more the feeling I had when Abby was born- that she’s here FOR us. I think about Abby already being perfect. That she’s earned her way into Heaven. She’s here to get the rest of us there with her. I think about the peace I felt, someone like me who’s so imperfect. Whose faith struggles. Then I think about the peace I felt. Then I think about how much Abby must have felt. Being perfect. Being as close as any person (I believe) can be to the Spirit. And I figure she had the same peace I felt times a million. And that makes me feel better.
                                                           
autism · Casey · confessions · LDS

Tradition.

Tradition. Every year after all of Valentine’s is over I cry. Weird, right? It get’s weirder. It’s because I miss my dad. On Valentine’s Day. Doesn’t make much sense, but keep with me.

All growing up Dad would be the one who would buy us a card and a bag of candy for Valentine’s day. He’d also buy my mom something thoughtful, I’m sure (I’m not really sure, I only know of a few stellar years- he might have been a total touche (I meant the ‘t’ there) but because he’s dead, he obviously did no wrong in his entire life).  He’d leave it on the table, and, most of the time, head out for work.  Even when he went in for surgery for the cancer the first time around, he made sure that there was stuff ready for Valentine’s Day- not knowing whether he’d be there or not.

I miss him a lot right now. I want to know what he’d say to me about my kids. I wonder what kind of encouragement he’d give when things get really hard on me.  I need his encouragement. I know he knows Abby and I have a feeling that he had his hand in her coming to our family.  I just wish I could hear it from him.

I have a letter he wrote to me while I was at Girls Camp the year before he died. My favorite part says, “Have you made any friends? Did you go on a hike? Did you find the fairy caves? I cant wait for you to tell me all about it!” and at the end it says, “I think a lot about you, Lex, and I hope you’re doing fine. It’s just not the same around here without you.”  I wonder if he thought it was just a letter that I’d eventually lose. If he had any idea that it would start to turn yellow and tear at the creases. That I’d run my fingers over the letters he wrote because it’s where his hand had actually touched. Or that I’d find so much meaning in his words.

Valentine’s WAS great this year though. Casey asked me if I’d be his Valentine. He had spent a couple of hours that day (after tricking me into playing hooky from school) coloring pictures. Then he brought me these:

I love that boy more than words. He is my sweetest kid. Every day he hugs me and tells me he loves me “so much”. I might not have appreciated all of this so much if he wasn’t autistic. Because I worried so much that he’d never read or write- but my biggest fear- was that he wouldn’t love or feel loved. Which is what that blasted holiday is really all about, right? Love? Yes? And if so, I had the best Valentine’s day ever. I’ve never felt so loved in my entire life.
(I love my husband a lot, too.)
drawings · LDS · nerds

Melissa, the awesome.



When you’re like me, wondering why the heck God has given you the trials you have comes quite naturally. Why not spread them out over a couple of families, not just mine? Why not give these heartaches to someone who can handle it so much better? How about someone who has better coping skills and doesn’t turn to food and caffeinated drinks to cope? Hmmm?

It’s because God loves me more than he does you.

Really. He saw how awesome I was in the pre-existence and hooked me up with awesome blessings in this life. But I couldn’t JUST have the blessings, so he had to give me a couple of trials to balance that all out. My Dad told my sister Melanie once that “God loves who he chastens…so he must love you a lot” ha ha sucker! He loves me more (and so did Dad, if you’re wondering). Juuuuussst kidding. You see the point I’m trying to make though, right?

I have a child with autism. Another with Down syndrome. I’m pretty sure I’ve made that abundantly clear. One of the hardest parts of this FOR ME (not for the kids…they have it a lot tougher) is how lonely it feels. I don’t have many friends that have even ONE kid with a disability…let alone two. That doesn’t mean they aren’t awesome and fun and HUGELY helpful to me. They do everything they can. But there comes a point where you just want someone else to know what you’re going through and be able to talk it through with them. I know that the Savior knows what I’m going through. I know that he’s felt this weight I carry. He knows, and He wanted me to have someone who I could talk to. He also knew that I’m a wackadoo and it would have to be someone AWESOME who could put up with me.

So it was no coincidence to me when Melissa and I found each other. I love the Babycenter community pages. I get to talk to other parents of children with autism or Down syndrome. But not both. There really isn’t a forum for that. So one day I had posted in the Down syndrome room about also having a child with autism. I got this letter from someone with the screen name “Melly…” about how she has a son with Asperger’s, OCD and tourrettes and is pregnant with a boy who has Down syndrome. I quickly wrote her back and asked her to find me on Facebook. She did and we became friends. I posted something about the Church to which she commented on. She’s a mom with a child on the spectrum who’s having a baby with Down syndrome and she’s a MEMBER?! It also turns out that she lives in Heber City- which is where Lance’s family lives.

It’s one of those moments where God isn’t simply
showing his hand in my life, he’s WAVING it.

We’ve been friends for a while now and we write each other several times a week. She already knows way too much about me and I have enough to hold over her head to force her to be my friend forever. She’s been SUCH a blessing in my life. I can tell her things that I wouldn’t tell anyone else. I’ve come to terms with a lot of the emotions I’ve been feeling lately. On top of that, she’s crazy funny and totally uplifting all at once. Things like this just can’t be coincidence! They can’t!

The Gospel is true. God lives and knows each of us personally. He knows what we need and stands ready to bless us. I know this.

You know what else? This baby will be Melissa’s SIXTH kid.
God loves her more than he does me.

Casey · confessions · Down syndrome · LDS

Yesterday was hard.



Before now, I wondered if there would come a point where I would be sad that Abby has Down syndrome. I hadn’t yet. Really. There have been moments, but for the most part, it’s always just been okay. Slowly, I felt the reality of it start to drag on me. Then yesterday it hit. I was standing in my garage when I came upon a little music box that my mom had given me. It has two owls on it and it plays the sweetest tune. It made me think of all the things I’ve done with my mom. How I call her as much as I can, now that she’s on a mission. How I used to tell her EVERYTHING. I’d come home from school and she’d hear about every piece of my entire day. And every day she’d act like she REALLY cared, even if the stuff I said was completely boring.

Then I started to think about my only daughter. How different it’s going to be. It’s definitely going to be its own kind of wonderful, but last night I was sad about the the things that wouldn’t be the same. I stood in my garage and started to cry. Lance was out with Abby and when they got back I picked her up and held her for the longest time. It usually helps. I cried and cried while we listened to the sweet little music box playing. A few minutes into it Abby started to cry. She rarely cries…if ever. I really think that little girl is so close to the spirit that she could feel my sadness. She couldn’t see my face-so it wasn’t that she was mimicking me- I had it buried in her neck. It was simply sweet. Maybe it was Heavenly Father’s way of telling me that I still get to have a mother/daughter experience. I may not get to fight with her about curfew, worry about her with boyfriends or watch her really go on dates- but I get to have a daughter that will be happy, will grow, will learn, and will need me. It’s funny being sad about not having the things most mom’s just worry about. I am a little sad that we won’t fight the way my mom and I did. That I won’t have to forgive her for all the crap she’d put me through- like my mom did me. Weird, huh?

Still sad, I set out to beat stupid Erin’s bejeweled score. This only made me sadder. So I posted the things to my blog that I did yesterday and kind of just sat at my compy with my head down. Then Casey came strolling in. He reached beside me, wound up the music box and slowly slid it until it was right in front of me. He looked up at me, and without saying anything grabbed my head and gave me a big kiss, then ran off. When the music stopped, he “snuck” back in, wound it up, grabbed my head and kissed me again, said “I love you so much” and ran off.

Heavenly Father truly showed His hand in my life last night. I love the scripture in the New Testament that talks about the Savior wiping away our tears. I find it interesting that our tears are not dried up by Him, or our sadness taken away. But that he’s there to wipe our tears away. It shows me that it’s not wrong, that it doesn’t show a lack of faith or even gratitude, to be a little sad every once in a while that things aren’t the way I planned. It’s nice to know, and I firmly believe, that His plan for me is greater than anything I could have planned for myself.