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  • Writer's picturemagoopaints

BELIEVE...Spirit Does

Reflecting back on our journey so far I am surprised how many times

we were told Eric can’t/won’t reach this or that milestone. Right from

being a wee Soul his doctors, specialists, therapists said he wouldn’t

speak. Having someone believe in you is very critical. Shortly after Eric

was born Dr. J. Mackinnon, his pediatrician, believe from the start and

was always one of Eric’s cheerleaders. He told me when he reached 3

that if he wasn’t speaking we would be proactive and do what needs to

be done to rule out any issues. Back then they didn’t have much to

offer, but that didn’t stop us from trying. One specialist said “your son

will probably never talk”. When I asked, “Why”? “What is it that you see

that cause you to say that”?…there was no real answer of course. So,

my response back then was that if there was nothing stopping him from

talking then it was possible he would! We taught him sign language and

with a repertoire of 80 sign words he spoke his first words! Not that the

journey was easy with many uphill battles with professionals but he was

showing signs of speaking. First it was mostly to our German Sheppard

“Sammy” who never judged, teased or demanded anything from him.

The biggest blessing that came out of this experience from a mother

that was demanding help from the professionals was me being asked to

be on a panel with 4 other parents (considered parents with big mouths,

sometimes not a bad thing as I am beginning to realize). They brought

us in a boardroom full of professionals and asked us what in our

experiences they could have done differently. We all said ‘early

intervention’ and so the “Early Years Centers” were launched. I feel

Eric had a part in this creation looking after the ones that would walk the

path after him. Later in Eric’s teens we got to speak to parents that said

these centers were a God sent to them. This is a place where kids

come to socialize with others and if there are any concerns it could be

spotted and help offered if only it was some things they could begin

doing at home while on the never ending wait lists. So to this day many

believe Eric doesn’t speak…a little part of me thinks it’s that Inner Child

within him that maybe feels he may let down that Doctor that told him he

wouldn’t talk. Or was it all the therapist, teachers, EA that didn’t believe

in him? Or was it because he feels he wouldn’t be heard if he did talk

since everyone else has their own opinions of him? We may never

know but I believe that somewhere along the journey he felt limited with

words and realized talking was not his first language. Also, he doesn’t

want to let anyone down, so will do what he can to help others shine

their light. Somehow Spirit spoke to my soul and wanted me to believe

he could if there was a need and he does. He talks a lot and there are

only a selective few that have had the privilege of hearing him speak. I

have come to realize that Eric feels words are very limiting and chooses

to use them very wisely. His actions speak louder than words, but Eric

can talk…

Many road blocks were placed on the path moving forward or were they

all blessings? God has given us many special people that we have

been blessed to meet on this journey who believe in him and we watch

as the miracles unfold. One incident that was brought back to life not

too long ago was when a special needs adult was bullied in our small

home town. I thanked this mother for not keeping it a secret like I did, it

happens way too often. Eric’s story was in 2002, when he was in Grade

3 and without the need of words I knew my child was being bullied at

school. The staff denied that there was a problem and I; the angry mom

removed Eric from school. The school called CAS (Children’s Aid

Society) and unexpectedly a knock came to the door a few hours later.

Of course, I was nervous because I believed in my heart I know the

truth but Eric wouldn’t tell me if I was right. I explained to the male

social worker who was investigating the case about Eric being a

selective mute child this would be impossible and I would need to be

present. He did not agree and proceeded to go alone with Eric to his

room. Within a few minutes, which felt like forever, he came out and

thanked me for doing the right thing and wished me a good evening. I

asked him how he knew and he just said they have their ways of

knowing the truth, and the case was dropped. I asked Eric again that

night as we settled down for bed “Magoo, just tell mommy the truth, I

promise I will never tell them who it is so they won’t get into trouble, just

so that I can keep you safe, I promise”. He confirmed what I

believed…I cried myself to sleep that night and that secret is still deep

within my heart. My sister arranged a meeting with a medium to confirm

that he wasn’t hurt with all that happened and all the medium would say

was that it’s true and she was sorry and grateful that I believed as not

everyone always does.

Then came Eric’s leg braces. Eric has an incident that occurred in 2004

that landed him in a wheelchair. After about a year of this I couldn’t

make sense of what was happening and demanded answers from the

doctors. They thought I was crazy and gave me a social worker. She

helped me by confessing that the doctors just don’t know why he may

never walk again. Shortly after that day, Eric sat up in his bed and said

that he could walk. For many months afterwards we wouldn’t use his

wheelchair at home and on weekends. The day came when we were

confident and went to school with this exciting news but it seemed that

they were not as excited as we were and said he comes in the

wheelchair or doesn’t come at all. I gave Eric an opportunity to use his

voice and gave him the choice right in the principal’s office and Eric said

that he can walk. The decision was made again for me to remove him

from school. Once again CAS was called and they came to the house

and they met with me in the basement. After they got all the information

from me they wanted to see Eric. I called Eric to come down a flight of

stairs and down he came with the biggest smile on his face. The case

was closed. Eric can walk.

Many more events have unfolded in Magoo’s life but the one I would

like to close with is the most special…Magoo’s Art. When you have

someone that beats to the rhythm of their own drum it doesn’t mean

they ‘can’t’, it just means they are wired differently and that isn’t a bad

thing. It just means they need a different way of expression. This is

where I believe the “systems” we have created be it the school, medical,

social etc have failed us. Most of his school years his Art was

completed or sometimes even done by the EA’s (Educational

Assistants). I never really understood why but my guess is that the ones

that believed in him let him do his own thing and the ones that felt sorry

for him completed his work. When I home schooled him the second

time Art was part of his daily routine. He showed me a lot of emotion

through his Art but I never took it past that. In high school his was not

able to take Art classes as they didn’t feel he would be able to follow the

curriculum. So here goes Spirit guiding us again in 2012. We were

given a message that if Eric isn’t painting he should be. Of course I

thought painting pictures was not something Eric could do He didn’t

have talent I was told already. Me not wrapping my head around

Abstract Art I didn’t give this message much thought. Spirit was

persistent and once again in 2013 the message about Art comes up

again this time they sent me a friend who mentioned something about

Special Needs Art. Although there wasn’t space for a new client in the

program I convinced Mark, the coordinator from AWB (Artist’s Without

Barriers) that Eric didn’t need assistance and if he does indeed have the

ability let it just emerge on its own. Just being in the proper

environment with a non-judgmental energy things will happen. And

happen they did! He felt safe, accepted and loved and he shone his

light, laughed and painted up a storm. Meanwhile it was a lesson for his

mom this time to believe…I needed to be educated about what Art

really was, and it resides in the heart. He has moved on doing Art with

many different people and in different places. He has allowed me to put

words to his Art, both abstract and animals. I could be wrong with my

labels but without any judgment he seems to allow me to come along

for the ride doing my thing while he continues creating. I have many

stories of his Art pieces that I hope to put on paper and share some

day, but for now we have created some special note cards with his Art

and are working on finding a printer that will print us a deck of angel

animal cards which will have a little story about him enclosed. I have to

say the gift that Magoo has given the world with his Art is really beyond

words…it touches the heart. Thank you Magoo for sharing pieces of

you with everyone, Spirit knew all along, I need to Believe, Eric can


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