The Garden Of Life

Yesterday afternoon I called a domain company. I had recently acquired another domain. I'm not quite certain how it's going to be used yet.

The domain is

But I don't have a site for it yet or anything. It was just open, and for $8, I grabbed it.

For you can get online and find all kinds of info about children with autism, but not much for adults. In fact I find more adult info from the UK than I do in the states, which I find a bit odd.

Anyway, I had some technical questions, so I called up the domain company. A young woman answered, and was trying to help me. In the midst of helping me, she told me to click something in the right-hand corner.

I told her it wasn't there. She kept repeating it. Finally I realized she meant the right corner of a box. Not the FAR right corner. I didn't want her to think I was daft, so I said, "Oh, I have Aspergers. I took you literally."

I'm not quite sure how the conversation then went in another direction. But she started asking me questions, asking if it was okay. I told her yes, ask away. 

Seems her young child has a dissociative disorder like I do, from an early trauma. She told me the child was experiencing some other problems that sounded a bit familiar. I asked her if anyone had mentioned possibly getting her child tested for autism. 

She said she'd thought of that, but just didn't have enough information. Well, if I'm anything, once I start looking into something, I'm a fount of information. 

Then the conversation veered to the young woman. Seems she had a diagnosis that I carried around for thirty years. I started asking her questions, and I began to see that she was much like me. And possibly, possibly, had been misdiagnosed as well. 

Just thirty years old, trying to make a living for two young children, I really felt for her. She'd been through a lot. I wanted so much to help her. 

So I sent her some information, and she's going to follow up on it for both herself and her daughter. 

She kept saying how glad she was that I'd called and she'd been the one to answer.

We said we'd keep in touch. I don't even know where she lives, and it doesn't matter. If she needs help and I can help her, I will. 

And if I hadn't said I had Aspergers because I didn't want her to think I was odd (well, isn't that a non-sequitur?), then we'd never have engaged in the long conversation we had.

Maybe that new domain is going to come in handy!

I think, in this world, we get so caught up sometimes in our own daily minutaie, that we often don't pause and stop to help others. 

Now I would never have done that in person, for that is not me at all. But I've decided, you do what you can, from whatever level of education or fount of knowledge you might have acquired. 

For we all have a talent. It may not yet be readily apparent. But it's there. Just waiting to be tapped into. 

I'd been feeling kind of down all week. I've been calling around for possible places to rent that might be more affordable, and so many of the ones on the list said only one pet. 

My daughter has taken it upon herself to take the reins and get with some organizations, put their heads together, and try to find some outlets for me that I'm struggling with. 

I'm really proud of her. She comes across as so professional and at ease, while I don't. 

When I told her what I'd learned, she said she'd already discussed that with someone. And I might be able to classify one of the dogs as a therapy dog. Thus not having to worry about all that. Which was weighing, of course, heavily on me.

I don't know what's in the near future. But we're looking at various possibilities, should I need to move.

Just this morning she took me for a tour she'd arranged at a place that works with the mentally ill. They often help with finding affordable housing, employment, etc. 

It's called a clubhouse, and the staff and members work together. The staff is on the same level as the members and they have meetings together to discuss issues and such.

They're looking at ways they might be able to help me. It's called Crossroads. I'm not sure how she found it, for it was never on my radar.

They help make sure members have nutritious food. Hence the garden they showed us that everyone takes care of.

I wasn't very comfortable, but I let my daughter do all the talking and I kind of kept in the background. 

Although they don't work with adults with autism, they work with those that also have Axis 1 mental disorders, which is often part and parcel of autism. One often comes with the other. With the anxiety autism brings, who wouldn't have other problems?

I guess I wrote all this to say: When I was a little girl, there was such shame over family members "being different." They were hidden away like they had a contagious disease. 

And though that was just how it was done in those days, that doesn't make up for the very evident fact that it is wrong to treat people like that. 

How are we going to help one another if we are close-minded and not willing to open up to one another from time to time?

I just think the world is a much better place if we take it upon ourselves to help one another, don't you?

We are, each one of us, flowers in the garden of life. But if we are deprived of the food and water and nutrients essential to grow, we will wilt and eventually fade away.

We need to occasionally be lifted up. Someone helping us. Us helping them. 

So that the garden flourishes. And the flowers stand strong in the sun and wind. And nature keeps rolling along with the seasons, as it's meant to.


  1. Hi Brenda, I agree with you. There is very little about autism in adults, as well as slow learning in adults, too! Children who are slow learners become slow learning adults, as well as autistic children. Your post is wonderful, and your photos are gorgeous!

  2. Brenda, I think it is awesome how you take the time to help others. You are a true inspiration for everyone. And for those who always want to say “I can’t”, all they have to do is look at you to see that they can!! You have such a wonderful gift and I’m so glad that you have chosen to share that gift with me and with others! Yes, each one of us is so different, but we all have something to offer one another, if we just take the time to stop to see what we can do. You have helped me so much during our conversations (therapy, encouragement and support) and with technical problems I’ve had with my blog. You have become a dear, sweet, treasured friend and I couldn’t be more thrilled with that fact!  Love ya chick!!

  3. Thank goodness for the support of your daughter, even if it is in her own way. Working with someone is always better and mire comforting than being alone.

  4. Brenda,
    I have always felt strongly about people in this world working together. For as long as I can remember, I have felt that way and I have never grasped why others don't. It takes so little to be able to give so much. A kind word, a card, a note, a call, a smile or a hug. Driving someone to an appointment, a few dollars here and there. Helping, contributing, offering is a mindset and far too often people forget to do that or I suppose don't want to. I am thankful your daughter is being strong for you and assisting you to find other possibilities for living arrangements. You have such a good heart, brilliant mind and your friends want the very, very best for you! Oh and your new profile picture is so pretty, you are a sweetheart.

  5. I love your analogy a end of your post. You took time with that young woman over the phone and she will grow and thrive with the new energy you gave her. And you will do the same with the help of your daughter. Don't sell yourself short---you may not do so well in public and in dealing face to face with people, but you are bright and informed and such a gifted writer. And strong.

    Jane x

  6. This is wonderful news, Brenda. Love your profile picture!

  7. People need people, and everyone can do something to help/encourage or lift others up.

  8. Brenda, I am so glad that your daughter is advocating for you. That must be very comforting. It's lovely that you were able to help that girl, of course you would, that's the Brenda I know! :)

  9. This is a wonderful post full of hope, Brenda...

  10. Brenda, that is GREAT !! You and your daughter will make an excellent duo ! I am glad the place you are considering has nutrition and gardens! Health is so important and nutritious meals are important for optimal health. AND-You see now how very important you are - may probably changed the lady-on-the-phone for the domain too! Stay positive and it will work out for sure. You put so much good in to the world..... it always boomerangs back for kind folks like you !

  11. You, once, told me to keep my fingers crossed for you..........I will continue to do that.. I'm so glad that your daughter is not turning her back on you........She's a thoughtful, sweet, smart, helpful person.
    As always, I send my thoughts and prayers for you.
    It's a small world, Brenda. You are accomplishing things that I'll bet you never even thought you could do.
    Thinking of you,

  12. Bless you for speaking up! You helped her, her daughter, AND yourself! WAY to go!!!

  13. I'm so glad you're finally getting some help from your daughter. Maybe she is helping in the only way she knows how... being professional and asking questions and doing research. I love your new profile picture too...and glad there is some hope in your life. Being in a place to live with more support, and more understanding people around you, I would think would be a big bonus for your! I hope all of this research and seeking out will bring a perfect life situation for you.

  14. Yes, bless you. You never know, and maybe might never know, when you could be the blessing for another. Jo

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  16. I am so glad your daughter is helping you. It will be very beneficial to have someone to help you run interference with "agencies" and "organizations." They can be very intimidating.

  17. Every little bit is like a pebble in the pond. Making ripples that spread farther and farther. Every time we offer help, support or adivce like you were able to do for that gal on the phone, we make a difference and create ripples. Who knows what direction her life will go with this new info or who she can make a difference for. Bless you Brenda for all you share.

    It's great you have your daughter to help you. It's probably hard for her too. I'm sure she'd like to make life perfect for you. Sending hugs and wishes that this works out, and you find a happier place to live.

  18. Brenda,
    I am so happy that your daughter is being so helpful to you. I just know in my heart all will be righted and you and your pups will find a wonderful home for all 3 of you. You should be very proud of your daughter, which I am sure that you are. You are a very strong, talented, wonderful woman. Don't ever forget that. ~Bobbie

  19. I love that you've purchased that domain... I think it will be enlightening to see what you share, there. I can imagine that the uncertainty of things to come is weighing heavily on you right now.... I'm so happy that she thought of registering one of the dogs as a therapy dog. That will ensure your ability to take them with you. I pray everything works out well, and that your next step is a warm, wonderful one!

  20. Well said Brenda.
    Praying you get to keep your babies...(which is seemingly Non-negotiable, I mean they're babies)
    praying you're able to find an affordable housing.
    Grace and Peace

  21. This post brought on tears. Honestly, Brenda, you are SO intelligent and eloquent and write beautiful, insightful, well-thought posts. I'm so glad you connected with that young mom on the other end of the phone. I know you lifted her spirits. Just think how well you communicated with her...made her feel like she was not alone in her worries over her child. I'm also happy for you that your daughter has stepped up. I was hoping she would. Best wishes as always.

  22. Brenda, you are so right - we all need to be helping each other in this world. You have helped many people already by being to open and willing to talk about problems that are not often discussed. I'm so happy that your daughter is able to help you explore all of your options.

  23. Brenda what a beautiful analogy. Lovely flowers there flourish under your care and it's wonderful to have a helpful daughter when you need her : )

  24. What a blessing you were to the lady on the phone! You and your daughter demonstrated your wise synopsis in reference to the flowers in the end well and beautifully. The pictures of the flowers are lovely!
    ~Have a great weekend! Rhonda

  25. Great post. Amazing how you were in the right place at the right time to 'touch' the woman on the phone.
    You've been looking for an opportunity to be useful. Amazing how God answers prayers. I am sure you'll find the best place to live. There are so many agency's that help people. Sometimes it is daunting to look. I'll be praying for you and your daughter on your quest. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photography and your beautiful post. Thanks for sharing yourself. You never know when what you've said even if it is in a comment might just be what someone needed. XXOO

  26. Although you are going through a incredibly difficult situation, you still find strength to reach out to others. Brenda, something good has to come from all of the troubles that you have encountered lately, you're on the path towards something wonderful here.


  27. This is so beautifully written..your gift for helping others just amazes me sometimes..

  28. So good that you were able to help the lady on the of those serendipitous moments that can shape a whole future. You were very kind to give her your help. I am glad that your daughter is helping you too, to find the right place for you and the pupsters to settle properly and suitably for your own future. It would be nice to think you had a place with some is hard to cope all alone sometimes.
    Wishing you a happy weekend, Brenda.
    Helen xox

  29. Blessing on you, Brenda. Your kindness and caring is an inspiration to us all. I still wish I had that magic wand to transport you and the pups to a wonderful new home.

  30. This is a perfectly lovely post, Brenda. It was providential for the young woman that she took your phone call. I believe with all my heart that you were sent to her at that moment. Just see how you are being used in directions you never imagined. But then, this doesn't surprise me as you have done that countless times, for me and for many others.

    I'm so proud of your daughter for looking for avenues of help for you that may be there, in a way that might open up just in the time that you might have need to move.

    And thank God that we no longer avoid talking about difficult subjects. By the time your grandson is grown up, his generation will think of it the same as any person with chronic migraines or a throat infection who needs professional help. And maybe more things will be caught earlier and treated and managed so that children will grow up with resources to live their best life.

  31. When things like that conversation happens, I always think that there is a reason. You have so much insight into many avenues of life. So glad your daughter is helping. Maybe you could the weight of both doggies and count them as one. hugs.

  32. I so agree with Andrea. You are so intelligent, a great writer, and have a big heart. Thank you for talking to the lady on the phone, you gave her hope.
    You are so right we each have a special gift to share. Just as flowers are different, difference makes the prettiest bouquet.
    Prayers for your housing.


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