[From May 4, 2013]
Reasoning things through and making connections do not come easily for Courtney. All of the obstacles that her autism and intellectual disability put before her make these seemingly simple tasks very, very difficult. But just last Wednesday, that all changed for just a brief moment in time, and I soaked in every minute of it. My pilates instructor had come over to help Courtney get some exercise, and just made it a really fun, social experience for her. I think the combination of moving her body, feeling good about herself, and just having a “girlfriend” to hang out with brought about a focus and clarity that we rarely get to see. She was animated, and engaged, and we had a CONVERSATION. I was in heaven, just loving watching her, and listening to her, and interacting with her on a whole different level. At one point she made the connection that homeless people need money, we have some money, so why couldn’t we give them some of our money to buy groceries. I know this may not seem like a monumental thought to a lot of people, but for Courtney, to think about that, reason it through, and make those connections was HUGE! She has had her moments of clarity and reasoning in the past, but they have been brief, maybe a half-hour, hour or two if we really help her to maintain it. But this time, I had my girl that I know is inside there, just waiting to come out, for at least 4 hours, until she went to bed. I have to admit that when she woke up the next morning, and that piece was gone, locked back inside, I was disappointed. My enjoyment that previous afternoon had been so immense, it was hard to let it go. But I quickly put that disappointment aside, choosing instead to focus on the memory of our afternoon together, and knowing that if it happened this time, it WILL happen again, and once again, I will stay in that moment with her, enjoying every last minute of the special time.